'Tales Of The Grim Sleeper' Is A Complicated Look At Serial Murders

October 6, 2014 8:39 PM

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There's only one way to look at "Tale of the Grim Sleeper," and that's grimly. The new documentary, which is screening as part of this year's New York Film Festival, tells the harrowing story of a section of South Central Los Angeles haunted by the disappearance of dozens of black women (many of them drug-addled prostitutes) since 1985. Lonnie Franklin Jr., labeled the "Grim Sleeper" because he appeared to take a 14-year hiatus before killing again, was convicted of 10 murders corresponding to those crimes, and most of the residents interviewed in Nick Broomfield's documentary believe he's responsible for the others.

When Broomfield ("Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer," "Biggie and Tupac") arrived in Los Angeles to investigate the crimes, he had little other than news reports with which to launch his film. That is until he met Pam Brooks, a well-known resident of the neighborhood and self-described forme...

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