“I can’t find the words to express the sorrow I feel for what I’ve done,” Bianchi said at the time.
Now nearly four decades later, Bianchi is reaching out. Allowed to send an occasional email from prison, I recently heard from the man known as “The Hillside Strangler.” And despite pleading guilty to five of the murders in California and two others in Washington state, Bianchi is adamant that he didn’t kill anyone.
“I am not the Hillside Strangler,” he writes. He calls his arrest and conviction, a “miscarriage of justice.” And he believes “the story the residents of Rochester should hear is that a native son raised by loving parents was “arrested,” “tortured,” and “hypnotized,” which resulted in “false confessions,” and a guilty plea “under duress.”
“You look at someone like Kenneth Bianchi,” says Clint Van Zandt, “number one, this guy is a stone cold psychopath.”
Clint Van Zandt is a former FBI