Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LAPD Use Social Media to ID Women in Grim Sleeper Photos

Lonnie David Franklin Jr.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr.

When police searched the belongings of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., accused Grim Sleeper serial killer, who stalked and killed prostitutes in L.A. and then stopped for 14 years before resuming his murderous rampage, they found a collection of about 1,000 photos of women, probably collected over decades. The women were not identified in the photos, and though investigators have identified most of them, at least 42 taken between 1976 and 2010 remain unidentified. Disturbingly, a couple of the photos show women who are not conscious, though whether they are sleeping or dead cannot be determined just by looking at the photo. Not surprisingly, police believe that some of the 42 unidentified women may have been Grim Sleeper victims. In an effort to speed identification, police have reached out to the public via Facebook and Twitter pages, releasing the photos of the possible victims in a slideshow format, and asking for help with the identification. The Facebook page description reads:

“The official LAPD ‘Griim [sic] Sleeper’ facebook. Call 1-877-LAPD-24-7. To remain anonymous call Crime Stopper at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or LAPDOnline.org

LAPD NEEDS YOUR HELP. Can you help the LAPD put names to these faces? These people are NOT suspects. These photographs were recovered while in the possession of a serial murder suspect, dubbed in the media as ‘The Griim [sic]Sleeper’”

Franklin is currently being held and is charged with 10 murders, though he sis a suspect, and may be linked to eight more.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr: The Grim Sleeper

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