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The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989)

The true chilling story of the "two of a kind", killin' cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, better known as the Hillside Stranglers, is told in this TV drama. The movie concentrates ... See full summary »


Steve Gethers


Darcy O'Brien (book), Steve Gethers (teleplay) (as Steven Gethers)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Crenna ... Sgt. Bob Grogan
Dennis Farina ... Angelo Buono
Billy Zane ... Kenneth Bianchi
Tony Plana ... Mike Hernandez
James Tolkan ... Lt. Ed Henderson
Karen Austin ... J.D. Jackson
Matthew Faison Matthew Faison ... Judge George
Robert Harper ... Los Angeles Deputy D.A. Richard Carson
Mary Jackson
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman
William Bassett ... Dr. Watts (as William H. Bassett)
Victor Brandt Victor Brandt ... Dr. Owens
Rick Fitts ... Sgt. Thorpe
Ed Hooks Ed Hooks ... Gary Wilson
Randy Kovitz Randy Kovitz ... Jason Brown


The true chilling story of the "two of a kind", killin' cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, better known as the Hillside Stranglers, is told in this TV drama. The movie concentrates on the killers story, as well as on the life of Officer Bob Grogan, who investigated their case. Look for the real Bob Grogan as the Washington cop who arrests Kenneth Bianchi! Written by Jaromir Krol <jaromirk@kr.onet.pl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | Hungarian

Release Date:

2 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hillside Stranglers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dennis Farina who plays serial killer Angelo Buono was actually a Chicago Police Officer for 18 years in real life See more »


Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Extremely Effective Film
15 January 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Case of the Hillside Stranglers, The (1989)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely well-acted and dramatic made-for-TV flick about the cousins (Dennis Farina, Billy Zane) who stalked Northern L.A. back in 1978-79 and ended up murdering a total of ten people. Richard Crenna plays Sgt. ob Grogan, the man put on the case who slowly finds everything slipping away when a lack of evidence causes the D.A. to worry about going forward with charges. I remember watching this movie when it first showed up on television but I really couldn't remember too much about it nearly twenty years later. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the film held up over time and it actually managed to be quite dramatic from start to finish. Anyone who knows anything about the real case will say this movie portrayals everything fairly accurately and this helps the drama because it's also unbelievable how this case eventually turned out. I think the film's strongest aspect is that it pretty much gives equal time to everything involved here. We get to spend time with the killers, spend time with the police trying to crack the case but we also get to peak in at Grogan's personal life and the effect this case had on it. I thought the film managed to play all sides and for the most part we get a pretty full knowledge of everything that happened and I think we also get to know the killers quite well. The movie manages to be quite intense not only as the police try to crack down but also with the killers stalking their victims. The direction by Gethers is extremely good as he manages to keep everything moving very quickly but he also fills the film with some great atmosphere and really manages to put you right in the middle of everything going on. Crenna gives a very good performance in the role of the cop as his energy is right on target and you can believe everything he does. Zane and Farina are extremely good as the killers and you can't help but see and feel the cold blood running through their veins. Both actors really dig deep into the role and comes off quite chilling.

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