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. Tara

    He's probably a married, seems to be normal family man... Tragic.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • carleen

      serial killers tend to hunt in their own ethnic group.

      November 5, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • carleen

      yep just like t he btk killer sad

      November 5, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |

    What a lousy sketch. Looks like every older black male in my family. Good luck trying to catch anyone with this.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kate

    Dear Getalife – then maybe the police need to check out your family because the sketches don't look like anyone in my family or anyone I work with or have run into in the grocery store. If they so closely resemble the folks in your house, then maybe your house needs to be closely checked.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      LOL, that's exactly what I was thinking.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeremy

    Seriously? I have similarities of the sketch on the right. I wonder how many Black males will get questioned for this.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tina

    Let's get this fool and dog em out bad,for hatin on ma sistas.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Me

    Yeah he looks like that guy that works on the other side of my floor, and the guy on that sits near the stairwell, and that other guy I see buying coffee in the cafeteria in the mornings, and um that guy that works on the 5th floor.... I realize it's a sketch based on a dsecription, but it looks like they don't have a clue.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Josh

    Clearly this is the work of Don Cheadle

    May 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      That's weird, I was thinking David Alan Grier for the guy on the left.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hank

    its either Don Cheadle or Morgan Freeman. I know it.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill Dauterive

    Oh my God. First OJ, now Morgan Freeman.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tina Tina

    Well every "white male" suspect sketch in my neck of the woods looks like either the unibomber or Grizzly Adams. Give the police artist a break–I'm sure it's hell trying to create a drawing like this, and I think the fault probably lies in the overly-stereotyped testimony of the witnesses.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatdidyousay

      The witness was a black woman....Unless you think the artist was holding a sterotype and not doing their job correctly, i doubt that the black woman would stereo type the black male, who is the grim sleeper.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tina

    Tommy Davidson!, never mind. It's the dude from The Wire that made the llittle toy furniture in Season 1. In other words, the sketch sucks. Could be anybody.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ren

    Slow your roll everybody. Wouldn't you feel just a little bit better if the police had a sketch of the person who killed your mother, sister, aunt, friend? Although not much, it's something. Let's not make this a "black" or "white" issue. He is an INDIVIDUAL that needs to be captured.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. XMH III

    It MIGHT help if ANY of the sketches looked like any of the others... HOW can anyone be expected to use them to find the man when none of the tools to use resembles either of the others.. and Shine,.. Right on Man.. That was the LOooongest night of Morgans life... Ohhhhh Andy

    May 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Manchu

    Isn't he runningt for elected office?????

    May 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Devin

    Except OJ was found guilty in a civil court

    May 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
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