The Los Angeles City Council renewed a $500,000 reward today for the so-called "Grim Sleeper," a serial killer linked to 11 murders, mostly in South Los Angeles, over the last quarter century.
Eight of the murders were committed from 1985-1988. Three more were committed from 2001-2007.
The killer was dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" because he took a 13-year break between killing sprees.
All but one of his victims was a woman. Many were prostitutes. Some were raped before being shot to death with a small-caliber handgun.
Their bodies were dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles, Inglewood and unincorporated areas.
Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, who has been on the case for years, said he hopes the reward will lead to a breakthrough in the case.
"Somebody out there knows who this guy is, whether it's a relative or a roommate or other victims," Kilcoyne said. "I don't believe everyone that's come across this man's path has been a murder victim."
Kilcoyne added "Half a million dollars is a lot of incentive to call the police department, get involved. Just do the right thing."
A woman who survived an attack in 1988 described the suspect as a black man in his 20s, driving an orange Ford Pinto. She said he picked her up, shot her in the chest, raped her, then pushed her out of his car.
Kilcoyne displayed a sketch of the suspect from that time. He said detectives will use age-enhancement techniques to bring the sketch up to date and release it to the news media soon.
"He's probably in his 50s or late 40s now. We're going to find that he's somebody that nobody ever would suspect," Kilcoyne said. "It'll be one of those stories where he was the best neighbor ever – it's not some maniac like Settle just had in the last few days. He just blends right in with society."
Most of the murders happened in Councilman Bernard Parks' district. Aside from initiating the reward – one of the largest ever offered by the City Council – he is working with a billboard company to post warnings along the Western Avenue corridor where most of the bodies were dumped.
"We have seen the impact that the reward has had," Parks said. "Since it was offered, there has been an increasing amount of awareness and interest in this very serious case. We hope that by continuing the reward, it will be a big help to detectives."
Anyone with further information was asked to call Kilcoyne at (213) 473-0346 during normal office hours or at (877) LAPD 24-7 around the clock.
Tips can also be sent via the LAPD's Web site, LAPDOnline.org, or texted to CRIMES (274637). The message should begin with the letters "LAPD."
Tipsters may remain anonymous. The reward will be offered for another six months.