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The Grim Sleeper

The Lost Women of South Central

List Price: $26.00

June 13, 2017 | Hardcover | 6 x 9, 325 Pages | ISBN 9781619027244

Christine Pelisek — petite, blonde, Canadian — seems the least likely reporter to have broken the story on the longest running serial killer west of the Mississippi. But in 2008 she did just that with her cover story for LA Weekly, shedding light on a suspected killer of women in South Central Los Angeles who had been active since the 1980s. Dubbing him “The Grim Sleeper” for his possible long break between murders, Christine was the only one who put the pieces together after the L.A. coroner reluctantly handed her a list of thirty-eight possibly linked homicides in 2006.

Alleged serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. lived in South Central Los Angeles in the same neighborhood where his victims were found. He was a husband, a father, and neighborhood fixture. The victims were all women; some were prostitutes or drug addicts discarded like trash during a time the city was overrun with crime, drugs, and racial strife. Franklin is currently charged with ten murders, but investigators think he is responsible for at least twenty more.

The Grim Sleeper captures a singular case but also tells a bigger story: about urban homicide investigations in areas beset by poverty and gang violence; about how a serial killer could continue his macabre work for so long in part due to society’s lack of concern for his victims; and about the power and tenacity of those who refused to let the case go cold.

CHRISTINE PELISEK is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been covering crime for almost fifteen years. She got her big break at LA Weekly and has since covered national stories for The Daily Beast, 20/20, and is now the crime reporter for People. She’s been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, Ottawa Sun and has been interviewed as a crime expert by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Headline News and the Nancy Grace Show. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise

“This upsetting account of a Los Angeles serial killer, written with passion by Christine Pelisek, an investigative crime reporter who spent 10 years working the case, blurts out a hard truth that no one wants to acknowledge . . . [She] tries to restore dignity to some of the victims by drawing sympathetic and carefully detailed life histories for each and every one of them.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Pelisek takes readers through the investigation step-by-step, and she also delves into the details of the women’s lives. The author paints each victim clearly, and she palpably captures the pain of the families left behind . . . True-crime fans will greatly appreciate Pelisek’s detail and determination.”Kirkus

“Through this fascinating read, Pelisek delves deeply into the connections between the war on drugs, the misguided search for The Southside Slayer, the Los Angeles Police Department’s indifference, and the cultural disregard for sex workers . . . An engrossing read for those invested in true crime, but also a cautionary tale for law enforcement.” —Bitch Media

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