US & Canada

'Grim sleeper killings': LA Police seek women in photos

A handout from the Los Angeles police of photographs taken from Mr Franklin's house
Image caption Many of the women are in sexually suggestive poses

Los Angeles detectives investigating the alleged "grim sleeper" serial killer have said they expect to hear from up to 1,000 women after publicising photos found in his house.

Police have released images of 160 women in an effort to identify them - and to determine whether to charge Lonnie Franklin over more deaths.

The mechanic has pleaded not guilty to 10 murders between 1985 and 2007.

Most of the victims were prostitutes who were sexually assaulted and shot.

Police concern

The attacker was given his moniker because he apparently stopped killing between 1988 and 2002.

Image caption Mr Franklin was arrested in July

Police said they opted to release the images found in Mr Franklin's house because they needed to identify the women - and learn if any are missing or presumed dead. Many of the women were shown in photographs and home video in states of undress or in sexually graphic poses.

"Now that we know who he is and what type of activity he is involved in with women, we are very concerned for everyone in these photographs," Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said.

Many of the women appear to be willing participants in the photography, although others appear to be sleeping, unconscious or dead.

After spending years investigating the killings, police made a breakthrough when Mr Franklin's son - who is currently in prison - was swabbed for DNA using a technique known as a "familial search". The convict's DNA indicated he was a close relative of the serial killer.

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