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Slideshow: LAPD show pics of 160 feared victims of Grim Sleeper serial killer

Man held on ten murder charges is prime suspect in scores more of missing women cases.

POLICE IN LOS Angeles have taken the drastic step of releasing pictures of 160 women they fear may have been victims of a serial killer.

The pictures were found in the LA home in California of Lonnie Franklin Jr, who is already standing accused of murdering 10 women between 1985 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to the murders which have earned him the nickname The Grim Sleeper, because of the 14-gap between two groups of the women’s deaths. Seven victims were found between 1985 and 1988; the other three were killed between 2002 and 2007.

While searching Franklin Jr’s house for evidence, LAPD officers found around 1,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of home video of women in sexually graphic poses and various states of undress. The women in the pictures range in age from their teens to middle-age. Many are smiling, but some appear heavily drugged, asleep or dead.

Slideshow: LAPD show pics of 160 feared victims of Grim Sleeper serial killer
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    Source: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks look at photographs found in the possession of Lonnie Franklin Jr
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    Some of the photographs found in the possession of Lonnie Franklin Jr
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    A close-up of some of the photographs found in the possession of Lonnie Franklin Jr
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    Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck stands behind photographs found in the possession of Lonnie Franklin Jr
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    Enietra Washington, right, who survived an attack by the alleged "Grim Sleeper" murderer, Lonnie Franklin Jr gets a hug by friend Romy Lampkins, left
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    This booking photo from Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr in 1998. He is now accused of being the 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer.
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    Lonnie Franklin Jr appears for arraignment on multiple charges as the alleged 'Grim Sleeper' killer in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 8 this year.
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    The home of Lonnie Franklin Jr in south Los Angeles where the photos of the 160 women were discovered.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that as the police cannot account for large swathes of Franklin’s life, they are concerned that many of these women – whom they have not been able to track down – may have been murder victims.

Det Dennis Kilcoyne, head of the taskforce that investigated Franklin, said:

We’re trying to fill in the life and times of Lonnie Franklin over the past 30 years, and talking to people is a big part of that. These are obviously women who had a conversation or two with this guy… I won’t be surprised if we find some of them were his victims.

Franklin, 58, has been linked to the ten killings he is accused of by a mixture of DNA and ballistics evidence. A relative of his was convicted on a weapons charge earlier this year and his DNA entered on a police database. When police spotted that this DNA was linked to that found on the bodies of some of the dead women, they began to look at that person’s relatives. Franklin was targeted as a prime suspect and his DNA retrieved from a pizza crust and utensils he used in a restaurant.

A bullet was also retrieved from the chest of the only known survivor of the person believed to have killed all ten women and it was linked to the type of firearm used to shoot many of the others. Enietra Washington was shot and left for dead in 1988. At the time, she lived three doors away from Franklin. Franklin is a former rubbish collector and LAPD garage attendant.

The killer of the ten women is believed to have sexually assaulted them just before or after their deaths. The pictures of the 160 women the LAPD wish to identify are published in full on the website of LA Weekly, who dubbed the suspected serial killer the Grim Sleeper. There are 180 pictures online, but some of thought to be different shots of the same woman.

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