Even as Night Stalker Richard Ramirez terrorized suburban Los Angeles residents with his sexual sadism and brazen break-ins, another serial killer was at work in South Central L.A.
Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. , a.k.a. the Grim Sleeper, murdered as many as 25 young women between 1985 and the early 2000s, often dumping their bodies in alleyways along the Western Avenue Corridor.
In South Central in the 80's there was an epidemic of crack cocaine. It is a highly addictive and very destructive drug. It was cheap and extremely potent and, when it first came out, had a higher purity than powder cocaine. Its distribution and its use exploded in 1980s in South Central Los Angeles. It left a path of destruction in this area. People lost their jobs, homes, their families and their lives by overdosing.
"Some women would risk everything to acquire more of this drug," One Assistant District Attorney recalled. "Some women were willing to sell their bodies and their souls to get their next high. "
Some lost their lives to the Grim Sleeper.
While Ramirez got a lot of publicity, Franklin got very little -- even after a victim got away and practically lead LAPD officers to his front door.