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'Tales of the Grim Sleeper' by filmmaker-cum-homicide detective once more

Nick Broomfield's
Nick Broomfield's "Tales of the Grim Sleeper" follows a 25-year-old story of a serial killer that quietly stalked South Central Los Angeles and allegedy murdered dozens of sex-trade workers.The documentary is up for an Oscar for best documentary feature 2015.
HBO Films

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Nick Broomfield styles himself as the Columbo of true-crime filmmakers. In his latest verite style documentary, he wades into a 25-year-old story of a serial killer that quietly stalked south central Los Angeles, allegedy murdering dozens of sex-trade workers. Broomfield is not just investigating the alleged murderer, but the LAPD, as well. In July 2010, when police arrested Lonnie Franklin Jr., the so-called Grim Sleeper, for the murder of 10 women, Broomfield was confounded by how the accused Franklin could have escaped notice for so long. 

The question takes Broomfield to the streets and alleys of south LA, where he enlists the help of locals who know Franklin. One unforgettable Angeleno who takes charge of numerous scenes is Pam, a former drug-addicted prostitute whose streets smarts, unpretentious humility and dark humor help make this tragedy more accessible. While Franklin has yet to stand trial four years after his arrest, "Tales of the Grim Sleeper" is as much an indictment of police and local officials. “The lack of concern allowed this hunting ground," said Broomfield.


Nick Broomfield, Director of “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” shortlisted for an Oscar for best documentary feature  2015; the film is coming to the big screen at an unspecified date later this month and will air on HBO next year; Broomfield is also renowned for previous documentary features, "Kurt and Courtney," and "Biggie and Tupac."