Welcome to our first blog post! The Grim Sleeper is a topic we both found interesting, mainly because it is such a complicated case. We use our blog posts to expand on our opinions on various topics and points discussed in the episodes and encourage any questions or comments below!
I actually first heard of the Grim Sleeper when I was searching through Netflix and HBO for something to watch on a rainy day. I ended up coming across Nick Broomfield’s documentary called Tales of the Grim Sleeper and it blew me away that I hadn’t heard about this case before. Eileen and I both highly recommend that documentary for a more in depth look at the area the Grim Sleeper lived, worked, and killed in. I think Nick does a good job of letting the people who knew him tell their stories.
We felt that going into more detail about the history of South L.A. was an important aspect of our discussion because the history ties so closely with the conditions that allowed the Grim Sleeper to hunt women largely undetected and uninvestigated by law enforcement. The issue of LAPD’s noninvolvement with the case was one of the hardest things to read about when researching this case. It’s hard not to wonder the ‘what if’s’ in a situation like this with a high number of victims over a long period of time. There were so many missed opportunities that could have allowed the Grim Sleeper to be apprehended sooner that slipped through the LAPD’s fingers. During this case Eileen and I just kept coming back to why. Why wasn’t the case investigated properly? Why wasn’t the orange Pinto lead pursued? Why wasn’t Eneitra Washington taken seriously after surviving her attack?
The Southside Slayer could be an episode unto itself. So many details of this case were shocking, but this one might have been the most startling. Five active serial killers in one location killing over a span of decades is (to me, and probably most of you) scary to say the least.
The topic we probably talked about the most was the issue of the familial DNA search. Eileen and I happen to agree on the topic overall, but there was a lot that I learned about DNA and fingerprint collection in California that we ended up spending a lot of time talking about. On one hand I’m glad the Grim Sleeper was apprehended, on the other hand (and we said it several times in the episode) I think the search itself is a slippery slope.
Lastly, I want to leave you with the article written by Christine Pelisek ran by the LA Weekly in 2008 exposing the existence of the Grim Sleeper and the 800 Task Force. It’s a long, fascinating read and really gives an insight on what was known at the time, but more importantly what questions were left terrifyingly unanswered.
Thanks for reading!