Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks unveiled six billboards in the South Los Angeles area today. The billboards feature three updated composite sketches of the Grim Sleeper, a serial killer responsible for the murders of 11 people in South Los Angeles between 1985 and 2007.
The drawings, which were re-released by the LAPD after 21 years, are based on a description of the killer by the only known survivor, who was attacked by the Grim Sleeper in November of 1988. He is described by the sole survivor as black, in his 20s, between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 inches tall, around 160 pounds, soft-spoken, articulate, with neatly trimmed hair and a pocked-marked face. The sole survivor told the LA Weekly that her attacker was driving a 1970s two-door orange, white-striped Pinto hatchback with tinted windows.
DNA and ballistics evidence connected the killings of 10 women and one man between 1985 and 2007. The killer attacked most of his victim's between 1985 and 1988. After 1988, the Grim Sleeper seemed to stop and didn't commit any known homicides until 2002. He last struck on Jan. 1, 2007 when the body of 25-year-old Janecia Peters was found in an alleyway dumpster along Western Avenue by a homeless man looking for recyclables.
The three versions of the composite sketch represent LAPD's best guess as to what the suspect would look like in present-day, factoring in several variables, such as weight gain and living conditions, according to Parks. The Grim Sleeper has been at-large since a waitress named Debra Jackson was found dead, nearly 25 years ago on August 10, 1985.
Layne Lawson, Director of Public Affairs for Clear Channel, announced that two of its digital billboards along the 91 freeway will also display the composite sketch.
“If anyone has any information, no matter how unimportant or insignificant it may seem, I encourage you to contact LAPD and let them check it out,” said Parks who was flanked by members of the LAPD's Grim Sleeper Task Force.
The LA Weekly broke the story in August of 2008 that the Grim Sleeper was on the loose. A week later, the Los City Council issued a $500,000 reward for information leading to the killer's arrest and conviction. Last year, an LAPD sex crimes detective named Diane Webb began looking for the Grim Sleeper in the city's registered sex offenders. Webb didn't find the Grim Sleeper. Instead, she found alleged Westside Rapist John Floyd Thomas. Thomas is believed to be responsible for the murders and rapes of at least 20 elderly white women in Los Angeles dating back to the 1950's.
This is the second phase of the billboard campaign initiated by Parks' office.
Anyone with information on the Grim Sleeper case was urged to call detectives at (213) 473-0346 or (877) 527-3247 evenings and weekends.