'Grim Sleeper' photos: LAPD gets hundreds of calls, e-mails from the public
A day after releasing photographs of women that belonged to Lonnie Franklin, Jr., the alleged "Grim Sleeper" serial killer, the Los Angeles Police Department has been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from the public.
"The information coming in is voluminous," said Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, who headed the task force that tracked down Franklin. According to Kilcoyne, officers have fielded "several hundred phone calls," while e-mails and text messages have been flooding in through various accounts and tip hotlines the department uses.
Franklin, who is accused of sexually assaulting and killing 10 women in South L.A., was arrested in July after authorities identified him after matching DNA samples Franklin allegedly left on the bodies of his victims to his son's genetic profile that was stored in felon databases.
After arresting Franklin, police discovered a trove of 1,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of video in a trailer and garage on his property. The images showed about 160 different women, most of them partially or fully nude and striking sexual poses. Fearing that some of the women in the photos could be victims and wanting to better understand what makes Franklin tick, detectives spent months trying to identify the women in the images. The effort was fruitless, however, and LAPD officials made the decision to go public with cropped versions of photographs that showed the women's faces, hoping that the women, family members or others would recognize them and contact police.
Kilcoyne said detectives have already had phone conversations with a handful of people claiming they were relatives of women pictured in the photographs and that they had either been missing for years or had been the victim of unsolved murders.
"We will make sure we sit down across from anyone like that and have a face-to-face conversation to make sure we do everything possible to figure out what happened," Kilcoyne said. "Right now, my goal is just to sort all the information coming in, organize it and in the days to come we'll start meeting with people."
--Richard Winton, Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein