Opening: Saturday June 8, 6 -9 pm
Exhibition Dates: June 8 - July 7
HOLD IT AGAINST ME: The Veronica Compton Archive
Featuring work by: Nina Schwanse
Nina Schwanse and Good Children Gallery present Hold it Against Me: The Veronica Compton
Archive , a collection of recently unearthed photographs, drawings, paintings, letters and
interviews culled from institutional vaults and the private collections of criminal minds. Veronica
Compton was incarcerated in 1981 for her involvement with the serial killer Kenneth Bianchi,
also known as the Hillside Strangler. Along with his partner Angelo Buono, Bianchi was
responsible for the rape, torture, and murder of ten young women during a four-month period
from late 1977 to early 1978.
An artist and playwright in her early 20's, Veronica became captivated and inspired by the
media hype surrounding the Hillside Strangler and contacted Bianchi in 1980 while he was
awaiting trial. What began as a research relationship quickly evolved into obsession, and
Veronica eventually agreed to commit murder in the Strangler's style in order to prove Bianchi's
innocence. In a failed effort that dubbed her "The Copycat Killer," she attempted to strangle
a woman at the Shangri-la Downtown Motel in Bellingham, Washington after a night of partying.
The plan was to plant Bianchi's semen, smuggled from prison in a rubber glove tied with a rosary,
on the woman's body, thus proving the Hillside Strangler to be still at large. The woman escaped
and Veronica was apprehended 3 days later in Los Angeles.
Exhibited here for the first time are selections from Veronica Compton's original play
The Mutilated Cutter (which served as inspiration for Bianchi's botched plan) and the lovers'
personal correspondence, along with photographs of Veronica from Kenneth's private collection,
previously stored in a shoebox in his prison cell. Also on display are Compton's paintings dating
from the time before her imprisonment, as well as the drawings she made while behind bars of
Kenneth's victims, perhaps as a therapeutic exercise in atonement.
This exhibition was produced with the cooperation of the Washington Corrections Center for
Women and the Washington State Penitentiary.