LA Weekly Catches Grief Over Serial Killer Nickname

L.A. Weekly has been getting loads of grief about our choice to name L.A.'s elusive serial killer the Grim Sleeper. (Because he stopped killing Angelenos for 13 years, but now he's back.) This afternoon, comedian Patton Oswalt, who was guest hosting on Indie 103.1's “Jonesy's Jukebox,” ridiculed the name Grim Sleeper, saying it was the dumbest, least-creepy name for a serial killer. The former star of “The King of Queens” and the voice of “Ratatouille” had the listeners make suggestions. Some included “Hooker Hacker,” “Ho Bagger,” “South LA Slayer,” “Bangkok Killer,” “Street Sweeper,” and “O.J. Simpson.”

More Angelenos have since weighed in. One wiseacre sent an email to the Weekly calling our nickname: “by FAR the worst serial killer name ever.”

He went on to say: “Name the guy for his activity, not his inactivity,” he wrote. “ And you gotta go with something at least vaguely ominous-sounding which elicits further attention (BTK, Son Of Sam), something scary that exudes a sense of location (The Hillside Strangler, The Green River Killer), or something full-on chilling (Jack The Ripper, The Zodiac Killer, The Night Stalker). I racked my brain to come up with a dumber name for this one...The Werewolf of Western, The South L.A. Slayer, The Inglewood Incubus...but they're all leagues better than The Grim Sleeper. ("Oooooh, I'm terrified! Not only does his expression indicate that he's not all that pleased...but he's napping as well!") Even my most terrible idea: O.P.P. (the "Orange Pinto Predator") has a better ring to it.”

Well, readers, get used to it! The Grim Sleeper popped up on Wikipedia encyclopedia on August 30. The definition reads: The Grim Sleeper is “a nickname for an unidentified serial killer in Los Angeles, California. The Grim Sleeper is believed to be responsible for eleven murders in Los Angeles since 1985.”

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