Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


Anything for Love

While many women get involved with men in prison, they tend to believe that their love will redeem the man's crime. However, some offenders exploit that notion and rather than being affected positively by their newfound friend, they exert a strong negative affect on the woman.

Kenneth Bianchi (CORBIS)
Kenneth Bianchi

Kenneth Bianchi pleaded guilty to the murder of two college coeds in Bellingham, Washington, and to five of the 10 murders in Los Angeles in 1977 and 1978 attributed to "the Hillside Strangler. He attempted and failed at malingering, a multiple personality disorder, so he agreed to testify against his cousin, Angelo Buono. However, he was playing games with the Los Angeles investigators, pretending to have memory lapses.

Then in June 1980, a 23-year-old playwright and actress, Veronica Lynn Compton, contacted Bianci in prison, according to Court TV's Mugshots documentary, "The Hillside Strangler." She told him that she identified with him. They got together and came up with a plot to save him: She would go around the country and kill women as a way to show that the Hillside Strangler was still at work. They had imprisoned the wrong man. He had given her some body fluids for her to use to make it look like a rape and murder.

Book cover: Encyclopedia of Serial Killers
Book cover: Ency-
clopedia of Serial

In his Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, Michael Newton describes how she went first to Bellingham to lure a woman to her death. She checked in to the Shangri-la Motel and then spotted a short woman who worked in a bar. She thought it would be an easy task to dispatch with her, so she brought the woman to the motel and tried to strangle her. Veronica was a woman without much muscle, while the intended victim was athletic and worked another job with the Parks and Recreation Service. She struggled and got away, while Veronica was arrested.

Angelo Buono, police file photo
Angelo Buono,
police file photo

She was tried for attempted murder. Her one "acting job" had backfired and she was convicted. Her hope to get Bianchi out of prison and unite with him had separated them both rather permanently. She testified at the trial of his partner Angelo Buono, admitting to the plan to do all of this and then frame him.

While her idea was to mimic the crime of a man, she clearly did not create the scenario on her own, and might never have instigated such a behavior had she not met Bianchi. Psychopaths can have that affect. However, some women appear to be psychopathic in their own right.

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