The LAPD has put up a Facebook page of photos of women whom they are trying to identify that were in possession of the suspected serial murderer, Lonnie Franklin, Jr., known in the media as the Grim Sleeper.
Franklin, 60, is charged with 10 counts of murder in the deaths of women — many of them prostitutes and drug addicts, whose corpses were often found dumped in alleyways and Dumpsters in South-Central Los Angeles — between 1976 and 2010, and who is believed to have taken a break of 13 years in between, hence the Grim Sleeper moniker.
Franklin was arrested in 2010 and at the time LAPD made public the photos, found in his possession, of some one hundred women they believed might be his victims. Some photos seemed to be normal snapshots, but others showed women undressing.
Many were identified through public outreach, but some were not. So the FB page is one more attempt to find the identify of women whose photos Franklin possessed when he was arrested.
For years, many Grim Sleeper killings were believed part of other sprees. News of an LAPD investigation into the killings as connected to one man was made public in 2008 by Christine Pelisek in the LA Weekly.
The Grim Sleeper case is fascinating for several reasons. But one of them is that it involves a black man. For decades, serial murderers were almost all white. Think Ted Bundy or the Green River Killer. But the chaos of the crack-epidemic years apparently created black serial killers, who often prayed on street women, and whom DNA technology has only recently allowed police to identify, in LA at least. Franklin is suspected to be one of them. Chester Turner and John Floyd Thomas are others.
At long last, a story I worked on months ago, has run.
It’s about Wan Joon Kim, a vendor at an indoor swap meet in Compton, who became an impresario of gangsta rap, a music he didn’t particularly care for nor understand, as it was emerging from the garages of that city.
I got into it while looking for a way to write about indoor swap meets in Los Angeles, which have always intrigued me. I shop at them often and find them fascinating business models for micro-entrepreneurs.
Most, if not all, are owned by Koreans, for whom the indoor swap meet was an important route into the middle class in America.
They provided another view of black-Korean relations than that of the Korean-owned liquor store.
Mr. Kim is pictured here with his wife, Boo Ja, and his son, Kirk, who now runs the stall at Compton Fashion Center.
Hope you like the piece.
The Huffington Post crime page has posted another story that first appeared on my storytelling website, Tell Your True Tale.
The story is by Richard Gatica, a longtime Mexican Mafia tax collector, and drug runner inside various prisons.
Now 43 and a prison-gang dropout, he is writing his memoirs, and was just convicted of strangling his cellmate to death. His memoirs make for powerful reading as he’s a great storyteller.
Richard sent me the story of how he killed his crack dealer, included in those memoirs, more than a year ago. It was posted on TYTT last year.
Anyway, read “Killing Donald Evans” on the Huffington Post.
Please “like” it, share it on FB, tweet about it, and tell your friends.
Earlier this month, HP also posted a story by federal prison inmate Jeffrey Scott Hunter: My First Bank Robbery.
Also I hope you’ll all consider submitting your own stories to Tell Your True Tale. We’ve got about 40 or so up so far.
If you haven’t looked into TYTT, or it’s been a while, feel free to check it out. The stories are great (and deal with all kinds of topics; only a few are about crime). Don’t pay, but I do edit.