An UPDATED list of 38 photos of women who need to be identified in relation to the Grim Sleeper investigation. These Polaroid photos were retrieved from Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie David Franklin’s house during LAPD’s initial search in 2010. 180+ photos were found. Some have been removed because they have been positively identified or for various other reasons. These are the remaining 38 faces that desperately need to be identified.
I’ve created an up-to-date interactive map to replace the old out-dated versions. This one contains most of the pertinent locations and ‘places of interest’ to do with the Grim Sleeper investigation. It also contains a list of ‘suspected’ Grim Sleeper victims. I’ll keep adding to the map as more information surfaces. If you can think of things that should be included in the map then post a comment below.
Following on from the post below, questions 6 & 7 ask about survivor Washington’s eye witness information and whether it could prove significant in identifying the man who attacked her in 1987. Although the sketch of her attacker was quite dissimilar to suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. other aspects of her recollections were so accurate that the police almost had their (suspected) man two decades ago. In a fantastic article “Missing the Grim Sleeper by a Hair” Christine Pelisek & Jill Stewart show that far from being an unreliable witness, Enietra Washington was pretty much bang on the money when it came to retracing the car journey her attacker took on the way to ‘the uncle’s‘ house that fateful night.
It’s now known that Enietra Washington showed amazing resiliance by leading detectives to the correct road and almost to the correct house which, considering her harrowing ordeal, is quite remarkable. In fact, it has been suggested that during the month of the stake out, police did indeed knock on Franklin’s door although not even task force, Det. Dennis Kilcoyne can be sure of this as details and paper work from the time of the stake have mostly been lost.
One question that begs an answer is why the police, while staking out the property THREE doors from Franklin’s, never noted the red/rust Pinto that Washington had described so vividly? Why, during their door to door inquiries, did the subject of a red/rust Pinto never come up? Surely Franklin wasn’t in the habit of hiding this car? after all it was seen on several occasions in other abductions. Did Franklin only use the Pinto for ‘special occasions’ one wonders?
So close and yet so far. Perhaps, if things had worked out better, this investigation may have been concluded way back in 1987. The current suspect Lonnie Franklin, if indeed he turns out to be the Grim Sleeper, would have been behind bars two decades ago and many, many young lives might have been saved. It’s a tragic turn of events but one only seen in retrospect.
On a side note, the gun used to kill many of the Grim Sleeper victims has been identified as a Titan FIE .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Enietra Washington was shot with the same gun. During a search of Franklin’s home police found a Titan FIE .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The LAPD concluded that the same gun was used to shoot the last known victim, Janecia Peters. *
Eventually the trial of suspected Grim Sleeper killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. will commence after a thoroughly protracted series of pre-trial hearings. Mystery callers, a male victim, Pinto’s that vanish into the night and a huge ‘smoking gun’ Dodge van lead that the authorities appeared to have botched up big time in ’87 are some of the tantalising questions we hope will be answered as the trial unfolds.
Question 1 - Was the 1987 anonymous caller an independent eye witness or the suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr.?
The mystery 911 caller gave confident and accurate details of the crime he’d see take place 30 minutes before he called the police. He gave a perfectly accurate description of a Dodge van, licence plate and all, as well as describing the dump site exactly as the police later found it. The caller’s ID is unknown but there is speculation that the killer himself had made the call. If so then the Dodge van link may be a red herring used to confuse the police. If, however, the caller was a legitimate eye witness with accurate details, it means that there MUST be a link between the Killer and the Cosmopolitan church who owned the Dodge. No link has ever been established.
911 call UPDATE: “Though it jogged no one’s memory when it was released, several residents [Franklin's Neighbours] are now convinced the voice is Franklin’s. Cold case Detective Dennis Kilcoyne isn’t so sure but is looking into it.” LINK
Question 2 – Has suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. owned or had regular use of an orange/rust Ford Pinto?
Question 3 – Did suspect Lonnie Franklin have access to the Cosmopolitan church Dodge van allegedly used to dispose Babara Ware’s body? (see above)
Question 4 – Did suspect Lonnie Franklin have a connection to the Cosmopolitan church?
Question 5 Why does the photofit sketch of ’88 look so unlike Lonnie Franklin?
* Question 6 – Does 1988 survivor Enietra Margette Washington recognise her attacker as the younger Lonnie Franklin Jr. Moreover, does she recognise the VOICE on the 1987 911 call as being the same as her attacker?
* Question 7 Does Washington recognise Franklin’s house as the one she was taken to on the night of her attack?
Enietra Margette Washington was 29 years old when she was was attacked on November 20, 1988 by a black man aged around 30. He was driving an orange Ford Pinto. The attack occurred in South Los Angeles.
The attacker shot her in the chest with the same .25 caliber gun, photographed and sexually assaulted her and “left her for dead. She survived and is the only known eyewitness of the Grim Sleeper.
She described her attacker as a 30-ish smart ‘preppy’ black man driving a rust, red or orange Ford Pinto. The bullet removed from her chest was matched to the gun used to kill the first eight victims.
Question 8 How does victim Thomas Steele figure in the investigation? Does he have links with any other victims? Are there links with Lonnie Franklin?
Thomas Steele, 36, was found August 14, 1986, near 71st Street and Halldale Avenue. Cause of death: one shot behind right ear (ballistics matched the gun used in other Grim Sleeper murders). He was dumped in the road fully clothed in what looks like an indiscriminate killing . He is the only (known) male victim that has been positively linked to the Grim Sleeper series of murders.
* Questions 6 & 7 already have an intriguing and tragic answer. See the next post (above – coming soon)
Apologies for the lack of updates. This is a combination of personal circumstances and the very real lack of developments regarding the Grim Sleeper investigation. Since suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr’s arrest and committal for trial, things have slowed to farcical proportions. With even Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy commenting that
“If the time and energy had been spent trying to comply with my order instead of overturning (it), analysis of DNA and ballistics evidence might already be under way”.
And here is a Facebook page setup by the LAPD which contains more details of the on-going investigation.
Finally an AP news report update.
From KPCC: It looks like court proceedings for Lonnie Franklin, the man accused of being the South Los Angeles “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, will be slow. In what was sure to be one of many pretrial hearings Thursday, defense attorneys reported they’re hiring an independent analyst to look at ballistic evidence in the case.
Franklin was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and appeared relaxed during the pre-trial proceedings. He is accused of murdering seven women between 1985 and 1988 and an additional three women between 2002 and 2007. Franklin could be given the death penalty if convicted.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. next appears in court on October 24th for another pre-trial hearing.
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