It is estimated that at any one time there are around 100 practicing serial killers in America, and it seems Los Angeles is a city that has had its share.
My new book Slasher is a crime thriller set in LA, with a brutal serial killer mimicking Hollywood slasher movies on the loose, so I thought I'd share with you some serial killer trivia from the city.
The Grim Sleeper is possibly the most prominently known LA serial killer currently. Lonnie Franklin, a 61 year old married father of two, was arrested in 2010 for the murders of numerous women in the city, and his case is so fascinating because though he seemingly operated over 23 years, there was a 13 year gap where apparently he did not murder anyone. This strange break in his habits is what earned him the moniker of the Grim Sleeper, his lust for murder 'sleeping.' As of March 2014 Franklin had still not come to trial, but thanks to the relentless news reporting of Christine Pelisek that resulted in Franklin being arrested, his case has become infamous and even been turned into a TV movie. Over the four years Pelisek reported on the story, many women would contact her with fears that they were living with the Grim Sleeper, but she believes that because the women were black and from poor backgrounds, that her investigation wasn't treated seriously.
Historically there are other prominent Southern California killers. In the 70's Angelo Buono was convicted of torturing and strangling ten women. In 2007 Chester Turner was sentenced to death for murdering ten women in the Los Angeles area. William Bonin was put to death in 1996 for the rape and murder of fourteen teenage boys, and it's suspected that there are more victims of Bonin that were never identified or discovered.
In April this year reports came in of another suspected serial killer in the Los Angeles area, when the LAPD released a statement that two victims found nine months apart were killed by the same person, forensic evidence linking the murders. In fact, there have been other reports of bodies found discarded in a similar manner on the Eastside of LA and around Los Angeles County, but so far none have been connected to these two victims.
So, that's just a taste of the recent history of serial killers in Los Angeles, but rest assured, the one I wrote about is in good company!