Los Angeles Police Deluged With Calls Over ‘Grim Sleeper’ Photos
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Investigators received hundreds of calls after releasing photographs of women seized at the home of a mechanic accused of the “Grim Sleeper” serial killings, authorities said Friday.
Detective Dennis Kilcoyne expected the tally of calls to reach 1,000 by the day’s end. Several callers said they were among the women in the photographs, but detectives must interview each one to make sure.
Police want to know who the women in the photographs are and fear some of them could have been victims of a crime.
“By the end of the weekend, we will be buried in work,” said Kilcoyne, noting he has canceled leaves for the eight homicide detectives who worked the case.
The photos and videos were found in the home and garage of suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. during a three-day search after his July arrest. Several of the closely cropped images depicted women in sexually explicit poses.
Investigators spent years trying to crack the “Grim Sleeper” case in which at least 10 women were killed from 1985 to 1988 and from 2002 to 2007. The apparent pause in slayings led a newspaper to dub the killer the “Grim Sleeper.”
The arrest came when Franklin’s son was swabbed for DNA after being arrested on an unrelated matter. Using a technique known as a familial DNA search, the sample came back as similar to evidence in the serial killings, ultimately leading police to Franklin.
Detectives now say they doubt the killer took a hiatus and are reviewing more than 30 cold-case files to see if they can make any connections.
Police on Thursday released images of about 160 women and asked anyone who recognized them to come forward.
Franklin has pleaded not guilty to the murders of 10 women. He has declined a request for a jailhouse interview.
Anyone who recognized a photo was asked to call 1-877-527-3247.
(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)