Criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward unravels The Hillside Strangler and The Night Stalker’s brutal cases on ‘Mind of a Monster’ season 2

True Crime May 9, 2022
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ID’s “Mind of a Monster” is back for a second season, delving into grisly crimes and featuring audio clips from serial killers themselves. This season travels to the ’70s and ’80s when The Hillside Strangler and The Night Stalker terrorized Los Angeles.

These serial killers are some of the most depraved and brutal in American history. Palatable fear filled the city as crimes stacked up: with 25 murders, 5 attempted murders, and many sexual assaults happening, everyone was on edge.

Season 2 hits home for host and criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward. In the first episode, Dr. Ward shares she was born in the aftermath of the Hillside Strangler and was raised in LA. She recalls being terrified as a young child and her family knew victims killed or attacked during both serial killers’ sprees.

In episodes, Dr. Ward will talk to detectives, experts, friends, family, witnesses, and others involved in each case to examine the crimes – and sift through granular details – to unpack why and how these serial killers came into existence and the motivations for their crimes.

With episodes less than 40 minutes each on average, “Mind of a Monster” is totally bingeable. Start the series from episode 1 each season. Season 1’s 6 episodes zoned in on two serial killers: Ed Kemper “The Co-Ed Killer” vs. Herbert Mullin. Dr. Ward shared interviews, commentary, and testimonies alongside new, chilling audio recordings from both killers. Kemper and Mullin were active at the same time in Santa Cruz, CA and slaughtered 20+ people.

Season 2, episode 1 revealed how the City of Angels turned into Hell. Women and girls disappeared and were later found dead. In 1977, Yolanda Washington’s naked corpse was found near Hollywood Cemetery, the first of many found bodies linked to the serial killers’ sprees.

The Hillside Strangler’s victim list included prostitutes, a waitress, an aspiring actress, and a student, among the many. It was determined that The Hillside Strangler was actually two people – cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono Jr. The two lured, sexually assaulted, and murdered women ranging from 12 to 28 years old.

A fingerprint found at one crime scene led to identifying The Night Stalker as Richard Ramirez, who was eventually found and convicted of raping, burglarizing, and killing at least 13 people in California. After Ramirez invaded homes, he would beat, assault, and loot the victims. Some survived. Satanic symbols were found at the crime scenes.

To hear all about these cases, tune in weekly for new podcast episodes. This series is for fans of investigative true crime shows like “Dateline” and “CounterClock.” Video versions of “Mind of a Monster” episodes are available to stream on discovery+.

Listen to ‘Mind of a Monster’

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