New 'Grim Sleeper' Photos Released

PHOTO Help LAPD put names to faces. LAPD releases more than 100 images recovered in possession of the Grim Sleeper.
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Los Angeles police released 180 new images of unidentified women that were found on the property of the suspected "Grim Sleeper" serial killer, in hopes that someone will recognize their faces and contact investigators.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a press conference Thursday that investigators are asking the public to help identify the 160 women in the photos to determine whether they are still alive.

The photos show women ranging from teenagers to those who look as if they're in their 60s. Some are smiling, others appear to be unconcious.

Click here to view all of the "Grim Sleeper's" victims' photos.

"These people are not suspects," Beck said of the photos. "We don't even know if they are victims. ... We certainly do not believe that we are so lucky or so good that we know all of the victims. We need the public's help."

Beck also cautioned the public that some of these photos span back decades, and that these women "will have changed, aged."

victims

The Daily Beast's Christine Pelisek reported that the full photos of these women show them with either their breasts exposed or fully naked.

Homicide Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, who headed the team that tracked down suspected "Grim Sleeper" Lonnie David Franklin Jr., would not comment on the nature of the photographed women's "lifestyle or situation." He did acknowledge that the L.A. Police Department was showing only the women's faces, which was "indicative of the content in the photos."

"Our best wish is that we get a phone call from each and every one of the them and that everyone is OK," he said.

Detectives also encouraged any of the women who are still alive to come forward and explain how they came to be photographed.

Franklin, a 57-year-old mechanic, was charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in July for the infamous "Grim Sleeper" slayings in Los Angeles. He is accused of murdering 10 young women between 1985 and 2007 in South Los Angeles.

When detectives searched Franklin's home and surrounding property, they found more than 1,000 photos and hundreds of hours of home video footage in his procession.

"It's a long period of time that he's been taking pictures," Kilcoyne said.

Authorities working on the case said they had been trying to identify the women in the images for months.

Franklin pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 23, 2010, during a court appearance. He remains in custody.

Determining the identity of the "Grim Sleeper," who had eluded police for more than two decades, was helped by a DNA sample taken from the suspect's son.

A technique called familial DNA led police to Franklin in July.

Police said the DNA technique could prove more revolutionary than fingerprinting in solving crimes.

"This is a landmark case. This will change the way policing is done in the United States," Beck said at the news conference today.

The technique may also be controversial, and likely faces legal challenges.

"This arrest provides proof positive that familial DNA searches must be a part of law enforcement's crime-fighting arsenal. Although the adoption of this new state policy was unprecedented and controversial, in certain cases, it is the only way to bring a dangerous killer to justice," said Attorney General Jerry Brown in a statement.

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