LOS ANGELES — The LAPD released images of 180 women taken by the alleged ” Grim Sleeper” on Thursday in the hope that family or friends will recognize them and contact authorities. In July, when Los Angeles police arrested Lonnie Franklin Jr., the man accused of being the notorious “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, they searched his South L.A. home for incriminating evidence and found nearly 1,000 still photographs and hours of video showing women, almost all of them partly or completely nude and striking sexually graphic poses.
Detectives have spent months trying to identify the women to determine whether they are alive and to learn how they came to be photographed by a man charged with sexually assaulting and killing 10 women during a crime spree that spanned two decades. The attempt has proved fruitless prompting the LAPD to release the images of 180 women in the hope that family or friends will identify them and contact investigators.
Back in August, 57-year-old Franklin pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Franklin was dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and had his hands shackled to his waist. The pleas were entered on his behalf by his attorney. Franklin only spoke to answer procedural questions. About 30 family members and friends of some of the victims of the “Grim Sleeper” attended the emotional hearing. Some were seen crying as they left the courtroom.The retired auto mechanic was arrested at his South Los Angeles home July 7 after DNA evidence linked him to the 10 murders. Investigators said they were trying to tie him to dozens more. Franklin is being held without bail. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether they’ll seek the death penalty. Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merrit has said the trial process could last three years.