In our own backyard
South L.A. serial killer still active
Thanks to the excellent reporting of Christine Pelisek, L.A. Weekly (Aug. 28, 2008, “The Grim Sleeper Returns”), the murders of at least 10 local residents over a 20 year span is now getting long overdue attention.
Three of the murdered victims’ bodies were dumped in the alleys off Western Avenue – 9400 S. Western Ave.; 8900 S. Western Ave.; and most recently 9500 S. Western Ave.
This heavily populated area, near the major intersection of Manchester Boulevard and Western Avenue is blocks away from Bethel A.M.E. Church and other churches, and uncomfortably near our own office at 8732 S. Western Ave. Our parking lot is off of the alley, adjacent to the parking lot of a senior housing complex.
Like many newspapers, churches, supermarkets and other businesses in the area, we keep erratic and long hours. We were never notified of a serial killer in the area. In fact, the employees can only remember seeing a patrol car in the alley, maybe once in the past three to four years.
We have always had a working media relationship with the LAPD (even after they tried to tell us there was no black and brown problem in Los Angeles). Yet, they have blatantly kept vital information from the public, putting an entire community at risk.
Over the past 20 years, bodies have been found in South L.A., Inglewood and Lennox. It was the responsibilities of the prior Inglewood police chiefs, the sheriff’s department, and the Los Angeles police chiefs to alert the public while making all efforts to solve these crimes.
The South L.A. murders were committed under four LAPD chiefs - Daryl Gates, Willie Williams, Bernard Parks and William Bratton.
In November 1988, the lone surviving victim described her assailant’s car as an orange Ford Pinto. Now, 20 years later, we wonder what to do with that information.
We are now waiting to hear from State Attorney General Jerry Brown to allow police access to DNA files on inmates. Investigators have connected the DNA from the murderer’s saliva to two of the female victims’ breasts. There was no match to collected DNA, however, the investigators want to search the inmate files for a familial match. It’s time, Jerry. Let’s solve this.
If it were not for L.A. Weekly’s prior and most recent coverage, we would not be aware that this serial predator was still active. Their recent coverage propelled the story to national attention.
With eyes on L.A., the city council extended a $500,000 reward for information–yesterday (Wednesday). Would it have taken 23 years if the victims were blonde, blue-eyed and lived in Malibu?