The Los Angeles City Council reinstated a reward of up to $500,000 today for information leading to the capture of the "Grim Sleeper,'' who has been linked to 11 murders in and around South Los Angeles over the last 25 years.
Councilman Bernard Parks described it as "possibly the largest reward motion the council has ever approved.''
Under the reward motion, $500,000 is the combined total that a group of tipsters can receive. No single witness can receive more than $200,000.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said the serial killer was linked by forensic evidence to eight murders between 1985-88, and three murders between 2001-07.
He was dubbed the "Grim Sleeper'' because of the 13-year break between killing sprees.
All but one of the victims was a woman, and 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 county areas.
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 billboard with a composite sketch of the suspect from that time, as well as a drawing of how he might look like now.
"It's very important that my phone continues to ring, and one of the catalysts for my phone ringing with information is this substantial reward,'' the detective told the council.
Diana Ware, whose daughter was among the victims, said "it's been too long -- we need closure.''
Porter Alexander, who also lost his daughter to the serial killer, said, "He's human, this person is going to slip up, he's going to make a mistake, and God knows, I hope he makes it while I'm still alive to be able to witness it.''
Anyone with information was asked to call Kilcoyne at (213) 486-6801 during normal office hours, or (877) LAPD 24-7 around the clock.
Tips also can be sent via the LAPD's Web site, lapdonline.org, or texted to CRIMES (274637). The text message should begin with the letters LAPD.
Tipsters may remain anonymous. The reward will be in effect for six months.