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Grim Sleeper: Google Street View might show alleged serial killer

July 8, 2010 |  2:08 pm

Google-killer

Google may have captured the suspect accused of being the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer before Los Angeles police detectives caught up to him.

Captured on an image, that is.

A photo of the suspect's 81st Street home, available through Google Maps' Street View, shows the green stucco house that has become recognizable on news reports as the residence of suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr.

Standing in front of the house are two men, one of whom looks strikingly similar to Franklin. It’s impossible to be sure because the photo’s resolution is not sharp enough.

But the two men are standing behind a late-model sedan with its hood up.  Franklin was a backyard mechanic.

A separate aerial photo of the same address shows two cars parked in front and at least three inside the property. The garage area behind the house where Franklin worked on cars also is visible.

Google created its street views by sending cars through the streets of America taking pictures. Each one is a mini-time capsule of the moment in which it was snapped. And, once in a while, these pictures have caught people in compromising positions, leading some to accuse the search engine company of invading people’s privacy.

There’s nothing revelatory about the possible photo of Franklin, except as a curiosity of hindsight.

--  Howard Blume

Photo: Google Street View

Click to learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims
Learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims on The Times interactive Homicide Report map