In the hopes of identifying possible victims of the so-called "Grim Sleeper" killer, the Los Angeles Police Department has posted images of 42 women whose photos were found in the possession of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a 59-year-old retired auto mechanic arrested in July 2010 in connection with a number of killings.
"These women have yet to be identified, and the Department is asking for the public’s help," the LAPD said in a press release. "If anyone recognizes any of the women in the photographs, Facebook or Twitter may be used to make a positive identification."
The photos, believed to have been taken between 1976 and 2010, are among thousands that police recovered from Franklin's home after DNA evidence allegedly linked him to the killings of 10 women that occurred between 1985 and 1988 and between 2002 and 2007. The serial killer was nicknamed the "Grim Sleeper" because of his unexplained 14-year hiatus.
CASE PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)
All of the victims were black, and many were prostitutes. The victims were either shot with a handgun or strangled. Their bodies were dumped in alleyways and trash bins, authorities said.
This most recent appeal by the LAPD is not the first time they have sought help identifying potential victims. In December 2010, 180 photos found in Franklin's possession were released during a news conference. Some of the photos are duplicates, and police are not sure exactly how many different people were represented in them.
Following the initial release of the photos, all but 48 of the women were identified. That number has since been narrowed down to 42, according to the LAPD. Authorities have spent nearly two years trying to identify all of the women in the photos. Now they are hoping social media will help finish the job.
Franklin has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder that involved a near-fatal assault on a woman who was raped, shot and left for dead in November 1988.
Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty in the case.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police at 1-877-527-3247. Anonymous tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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