'Copycat Strangler' Escapes From Prison in Washington State

Associated Press

A woman who tried to stage a killing to divert suspicion from Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi has escaped from prison, authorities said.

Veronica Compton, 31, convicted of attempted first-degree murder in 1981 in Bellingham, escaped Tuesday from the Washington Corrections Center for Women with Candice L. Burk, 28, who was to be released next week after serving time for possession of stolen property and forgery.

Compton, who was serving a life sentence, had been dubbed the "Copycat Strangler" for trying to kill a cocktail waitress to make authorities believe that the person who strangled 10 women in Los Angeles and two in Bellingham was still at large. Compton, originally from the Los Angeles area, had said she was in love with Bianchi, who is serving seven consecutive life sentences in a Washington prison.

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