A British filmmaker believes a Los Angeles man accused of murdering up to 180 people over the span of three decades was able to do so because his victims were mostly prostitutes and drug addicts — people who the police view as “disposable.”
Lonnie Franklin Jr., also known as the Grim Sleeper, will go on trial in June for the alleged rapes and murders of 10 women whose bodies were found dumped in alleyways and trash cans.
But a new documentary suggests Franklin was responsible for many more deaths, and was able to evade being arrested for so long because of a police “blindness” to his victims.
British filmmaker Nick Broomfield said there was a “genocide happening and nobody was talking about it.”
Franklin’s crimes date all the way back to 1985, claims Broomfield. Although he is on trial for the murders of 10 women, a police search of his home found photos and videos of 180 women who are believed to be possible victims, the Daily Mail reports.
In his new documentary “Tales of The Grim Sleeper,” Broomfield says many of these murders could have been stopped had police properly investigated them and alerted people that a mass murderer was on the loose.
“People didn’t know someone was hunting for them,” Broomfield told the Daily Mail.
Broomfield said he was shocked that the disappearance of more than 200 women in the span of 25 years in one of the wealthiest cities in the world received such little media attention, but he thinks he knows why.
“They were seen as disposable people,” he said. “The police had this term, NHI, which meant no human involved, which they used to call in murders of prostitutes by gang members. They didn’t take it seriously, they didn’t seek evidence. They would often not even use the proper name of the prostitute, just call it in as a ‘Jane Doe.’”
“They just didn’t take it seriously,” Broomfield continued. “Most of the women were prostitutes and drug addicts and I don’t think it helped that the people were black.”
The filmmaker spoke with Franklin’s family. Broomfield claims that Franklin’s son Christopher told him that officers were almost “grateful” that the Grim Sleeper rid the streets of the “problem” they were forced to deal with daily.
Franklin, who is now 62, was arrested in July 2010 after his DNA was connected to more than a dozen crime scenes. He was dubbed the Grim Sleeper after going on his alleged killing spree between 1985 and 1988, taking a 13-year break, and then continuing in 2002.
Broomfield said Franklin was popular in the area. Locals said he became obsessed with crack addicts — mostly women — during the 1980s epidemic that swept Los Angeles.
In March, a woman only identified as “Mo” revealed that she may have been one of Franklin’s targets. She went for a drive in his van in 2006. She was his neighbor at the time.
In the van, Franklin allegedly showed her pictures of various naked women in strange poses and then asked her to pose naked, ABC7 reports.
“When he showed me the pictures I asked him why they in weird positions, and they looked dead,” Mo told ABC7. “He told me they wasn’t, that’s just how he have them take pictures.”
Mo said she noticed a rope and gun in the van and that’s when she realized her life was in danger. She agreed to take the pictures.
“And I thought if I didn’t take the pictures he would kill me,” she added. “He’s a monster. A straight monster.”