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. WakeUpPeople2k10

    This is most definitely Michael Jackson "Doctor" that killed him! Middle Picture for sure. I want my $500,000 dollars NOW.........

    May 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. steven harnack

    CNN: Had to use this route to tell you that your other comments function is non-functional. It just sends me in a circle, and it's very annoying. Go back to your old system.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NS

    Black man with short gray hair???? holy s@#t! Obama is the 'grim reaper'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thedude

    Has he struck since Dec 5th 2008? If not I bet it was OJ.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sharnette

    Jeremy? Who do you think they're going to question?? White men? Seems like you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. Why don't we focus on finding this pervert and sending him to prison.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thedude

    put some glasses on him and it could be Don Cornelius too.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bob

    He is really a white guy, because only white people are serial killers.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    Holy Cow! It's Uncle Ben!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. justhuman99

    how many crimes do you think we would clear up of everyone who dies is finger printed. I know it sounds wrong but just think about how many unsolved crimes that have finger prints would get solved. This guy may have alredy passed away and all of this effort is for nothing.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    The one on the right looks like Sidney Poiteir.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. guest


    May 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tman

    You will find him at the White House!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Friar Tuck

    Wow a serial killer that isn't a white guy?!?!?! I guess police everywhere can stop racial profiling all white guys now that there is finally one that isn't white. Or I guess they could continue to do the logical thing which is if a crime is committed and that type of crime can generally be attributed to a certain group, like white male serial killers, they can profile that group for the offending criminal until there is evidence that tells them otherwise.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    That looks like 4 out of every 5 black men.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lg

    hey tman are you from arizona?

    May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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