May 5th, 2010
02:32 PM ET

New sketches released in hunt for 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer

Police released these three composite sketches showing what the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer may look like today.

New composite sketches have gone up on billboards across Los Angeles as police intensify their hunt for the “Grim Sleeper,” a serial killer suspected of murdering 11 women since 1985.

“It’s just another creative effort to try to shake loose some information because we believe he’s still around and in the southern L.A. area,” said LAPD Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, who has been tracking the case for years.

Kilcoyne said police have been flooded with calls since the new billboards and sketches went up, but they've had no concrete leads. Kilcoyne said regular sightings are expected when new sketches go up, and he hopes one of them could lead them to their man.

For two decades the “Grim Sleeper” – nicknamed for the length of time between his attacks – has been targeting black women, some who worked as prostitutes, police say.

Examine CNN's interactive evidence case file on the "Grim Sleeper"

Police have the killer’s DNA and his fingerprint, but haven’t been able to make a match to a suspect. A 911 call made in 1987 reporting one of the murders led police to a van they believe was involved. But the trail went cold.

Officials have struggled to find new leads partially because the changing makeup of the neighborhood where the crimes were committed makes it unlikely that any possible witnesses are still around.

“We could not find anyone,” Kilcoyne said.

Investigators are hoping the sketches, along with a $500,000 reward offered by the Los Angeles City Council, will turn up some leads. The suspect is described as a black male with black or graying black hair and between 45 and 60 years old.

In one of the sketches the man’s face appears worn and aged, and in another he is a bit heavier. The third photo is based on the description given by the only woman known to police to have escaped the “Grim Sleeper’s” grasp when she was attacked in 1988.

“She got a look at the guy and sat down with an artist and gave a composite of a young man,” Kilcoyne said of sole survivor. “We took that and had one of our artists with the police department here give us his version of what he would look like now.”

Kilcoyne hopes the new sketches and the seven billboards scattered plastered southern L.A. as well as two digital ones on the 91 Freeway in Compton may finally bring the killer to justice.

Still, Kilcoyne continues to pull at the threads of the case, which has frustrated him for years. He is notified any time victims similar to the Grim Sleeper’s have been found dead. He tries to cross-reference them to see if they are connected. So far, he’s had no luck.

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. zunedog

    what if he isnt black but wheres makeup like a the movies? dang iam good, read the story and solved the case.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. C Garton

    I wonder if they contacted the FBI to see if they could profile this guy and get a better idea of the character of this killer, maybe they would have better luck finding him.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dan

    Oh man that is racist!!! I bet if he were a white guy you wouldnt have sketched him!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dan

    I wonder if they contacted a really smart professor, with some fresh young ideas on how to narrow the search with his or her mad skills derived from some sort of college classes and thesis...

    May 5, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. greg

    I hope they catch him based on the sketches

    May 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ytrbium

    So, you're saying that in 1988, a serial who killed black people wasn't worth stopping? And why are we hunting for him now? Because we're less racist, and therefore care about saving the lives of black women? Or because the news was slow and serial killers are popular stories?

    May 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jo

    Kate, you're an ass.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. april

    i hope they find him and give him a medal for cleaning up the streets

    May 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. robby m

    you idiots its obviously hank aaron

    May 6, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Socratic Buzz

    Wasn't he one of Obama's czars?

    May 6, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Wichita Watcher

    Keep playing the voice. People recognize it, they just brush it off because it can't possibly be so and so. BTK's barber recognized his voice when it was played, but didn't call the police because he just thought his customer sounded like him, but wasn't him.

    May 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bobby Sox, Slidell

    It will be interesting to see how Fox News spins this into Obama's fault.

    July 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. brian

    no not this,just everything else!

    July 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sandy

    unfortunately, this page doesn't open in IE 7... had to open it in firefox - you may want to check that...

    July 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    Sketches don't work for black people because they all look alike. duh LAPD

    July 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
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