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In South Los Angeles, a vigil for victims of a serial killer

January 7, 2009 |  7:20 pm


A few dozen people gathered for a vigil in South Los Angeles on Wednesday night to remember 12 people who police believe were murdered by a serial killer who has been active for more than two decades.

The gathering was held at South Figueroa Street and West Colden Avenue under a new billboard that pleads for community help in solving the murders. Police are offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the killer.

City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who was joined by community members, asked that anybody with information about the killer come forward.

“The only way that we can think of to aid the LAPD is to keep highlighting these cases so that anyone in the public who may have a thread of information might come forward,” he said. 

LAPD Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, who leads a task force of detectives working on the case, reiterated Parks’ point. “What’s going to solve this case is the community’s involvement ... someone out there knows who this person is.”

Police say all of the murders, which occurred between 1986 and 2007, are linked either by ballistic or DNA evidence.

They say the killer targets young black women, and that he typically shoots them with a small-caliber handgun, sexually abuses them and dumps their bodies along Western Avenue. Detectives believe most of the women were working as prostitutes at the time they were killed.

Pastor Davon Johnson solemnly read the names of the 11 people who police believe were killed by the serial killer. Ten of the victims are female, and one of them is male. A 12th victim survived an attack.

“Keep the families of these victims in your prayers,” Johnson said.

Anyone with information about the killings can contact police at (877) LAPD-247 or e-mail Rhd800tf@lapd.lacity.org.

-- Joel Rubin and Kate Linthicum 

Photo: L.A. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, left, joins 12-year-old Isante Henderson and Pastor Davon Johnson, right, in remembering the victims. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times