Read The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central by Christine Pelisek Online

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In 2006, Christine Pelisek broke the story of a terrifying serial killer who went unchecked in Los Angeles for decades, killing the most vulnerable women in one South Central neighborhood. Two years later, in her cover article for L.A. Weekly, Pelisek dubbed him "The Grim Sleeper" for his long break between murders. The killer preyed on a community devastated by crime andIn 2006, Christine Pelisek broke the story of a terrifying serial killer who went unchecked in Los Angeles for decades, killing the most vulnerable women in one South Central neighborhood. Two years later, in her cover article for L.A. Weekly, Pelisek dubbed him "The Grim Sleeper" for his long break between murders. The killer preyed on a community devastated by crime and drugs and left behind a trail of bodies—all women of color, all murdered in a similar fashion, and all discarded in the alleys of Los Angeles.The case of the Grim Sleeper is unforgettably singular. But it also tells a wider story about homicide investigations in areas beset by poverty, gang violence, and despair; about how a serial killer could continue his grisly work for two decades in part due to society’s lack of concern for his chosen victims; and about the power and tenacity of those women’s families and the detectives who refused to let the case go cold.No one knows this story better than Pelisek, the reporter who followed it for more than ten years, and has written the definitive book on the capture of one of America’s most ruthless serial killers. Based on extensive interviews, reportage, and information never released to the public, The Grim Sleeper captures the long, bumpy road to justice in one of the most startling true crime stories of our generation....

Title : The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619027244
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 325 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central Reviews

  • Glen
    2019-04-23 05:06

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. This is a story about the hunt and capture of The Grim Sleeper, a serial killer preying on East LA during the height of the crack epidemic. A big problem for the police was that not only was there a crack epidemic at the time, with nearly daily killings, and gang warfare, but there were at least three other serial killers, and a number of serial rapists all operating in the same area at the same time. There were almost too many bodies to even keep track of.Like most serial killers, this guy was caught mostly by accident. Police have a tough time catching serial killers, even though they seem to be getting better at it.

  • Chris
    2019-04-04 07:19

    If you have read Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, you should read this. Pelisek focuses on a segment of society that totally gets disregarded. Her book not only details law enforcement and community problems, but also the lives of the victim. Princess Berthomieux is a name we should all remember and something that society should do its best to never allow to happen again.

  • Stacy
    2019-04-10 11:26

    At the end of the book, Pelisek laments that we don't know why the Grim Sleeper killed all the women he did--which seems to me to negate the point of writing the book. However--and this is a big however--she brings to light the murders of women who are so marginalized in our society that, without her interest and writing, might never have been solved. Most of the women the Lonnie Davis murdered were prostitutes and drug addicts--sometimes both--and society doesn't tend to care about them. The police didn't like her writing about the murders, but I think this does her a disservice. In the end, she deserves kudos for caring. Most people--let alone most journalists--wouldn't.

  • Molly
    2019-04-16 05:02

    I'm glad someone took the time to tell the stories of Lonnie Franklin's victims, because too many murders of poor black women go ignored. It was satisfying to see the leads come together to catch Franklin, and the story is good - the writing here left me a little cold, though, due to some odd tics of the writer. (more later)

  • Mary Ronan Drew
    2019-04-19 07:19

    Real life for homicide detectives could not be more different from what we see on TV cop shows. Christine Pelisek's book, The Grim Sleeper, is about black women murdered over more than 20 years in South Central Los Angeles and the detectives who worked for years to find their killer. No gunshots, no explosions, just day after day searching databases, writing reports, interviewing witnesses, going door-to-door doing "knock and talk" -- and then doing it all over again. The author manages to make this process interesting and the arrest and conviction of the man who did it is satisfying.

  • Jill
    2019-04-21 11:23

    I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, thanks to Counterpoint Press and Goodreads for the opportunity. This was my first true-crime book and it won't be my last. The author provided a comprehensive review of the case from start to finish with a real emphasis on the women and their families. The book also highlighted the long timeframe of this case and the toll it took on everyone involved. Unfortunately the wheels of justice turned quite slowly in the end, but at least it was finally served.

  • Kathleen Gray
    2019-04-18 07:18

    This is a must read for true crime aficionados. Pelisek has built on her skillful and wonderfully written newspaper reporting to craft a book which has a lot to teach us about investigations and about how a marginalized community can be ignored. What is heartening is that the relatives and friends of the women who were killed never gave up nor did the detectives who worked the case. Pelisek too persisted and sometimes you can feel her own emotions. Very well done. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC.

  • Bridgett Brown
    2019-04-21 03:02

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I have to admit I love reading about serial killers, the stuff that goes through their minds. This is a true story of how a serial killer terrorized the streets of Los Angeles for more than two decades. The story is filled with facts about the Grim Sleeper case and other cases in the Los Angeles area. The author includes interviews with members of the investigation team and members of the victims family. These interviews give the reader an inside look at what it was really like for the investigation team and the family.

  • Sarai
    2019-03-29 06:00

    This book is about a serial killer who worked in LA over the span of many years, so rather grim subject matter, but a good book. The author at times seemed a little too proud of her role in the proceedings. Other than that, it's a book about dedication and determination, ruined families, loss, and healing.Book description:In 2006, Christine Pelisek broke the story of a terrifying serial killer who went unchecked in Los Angeles for decades. Two years later, in her cover article for L.A. Weekly, Pelisek dubbed him "The Grim Sleeper" for his long break between murders. The killer preyed on a community devastated by crime and drugs and left behind a trail of bodies―all women of color, all murdered in a similar fashion, and all discarded in the alleys of Los Angeles.The case of the Grim Sleeper is unforgettably singular. But it also tells a wider story about homicide investigations in areas beset by poverty, gang violence, and despair; about how a serial killer could continue his grisly work for two decades in part due to society’s lack of concern for his chosen victims; and about the power and tenacity of those women’s families and the detectives who refused to let the case go cold.No one knows this story better than Pelisek, the reporter who followed it for more than ten years. Based on extensive interviews, reportage, and information never released to the public, The Grim Sleeper captures the long, bumpy road to justice in one of the most startling true crime stories of our generation.

  • Jamie Canaves
    2019-04-06 05:08

    Pelisek gives voice to the victims, families, and community rather than the serial killer.

  • Joanne
    2019-04-17 10:16

    For some reason I found myself reading true crime books about multiple murder, first Murder in the Bayou by Ethan Brown, and now this one. I think what I like about both books is that the authors were both heavily invested in the stories, having spent a long time as reporters following the events and trying to find answers.I'm glad this story was told from its very beginning in the 1980s to the final verdict in 2016. The author clearly cares about the people involved and the circumstances that allowed the murderer to carry out his evil deeds with impunity for 30 years. Now I need a break from death and drug addiction. A light little romance would go a long way right now.

  • Lulu
    2019-03-30 11:04

    I'm glad someone told this story. I wasn't a fan of the author's writing style, but it was very informative.

  • ♥ Marlene♥
    2019-04-24 07:04

    A very interesting and well written true crime book. I was already wondering why this killer was not big news. Well perhaps in the USA but not in the world I don't think. Looking at the photos of this killer he has such cold eyes and it is obvious he does not feel any empathy.I was glad to see the author did not just blame the police for not catching this killer only because his victims were black and prostitutes as you hear sometimes. I do think they are partly to blame but also the community as a whole was to blame. That being said it must have been so hard for the victims loved ones. This creep killed them just because it was easy for him to do. He did it by shooting them. Most creeps like him love to have the power of control and see the fear in their victims eyes and a lot also love to touch them. He killed them in a perhaps non personal way but he like the others used them for his own pleasure by . For people like him I think the punishments dealt with are not strong enough.He killed so many and I think there are a lot of people not knowing where their loved ones are because he killed them and then duped them as trash. Some torture or truth serum is something I suggest to use on him so he tells the truth.

  • SAM
    2019-04-14 06:02

    I had this on my to-read list for almost a year before it was finally released last month. I was slightly anxious as i had been disappointed with long awaited new releases in the past e.g. Age of Myth but thankfully this wasn't the case.If i mention the name Lonnie Franklin Jr or the Grim Sleeper to people i can almost guarantee they wont have heard of him. He'll never be mentioned in the same sentence as Bundy, Gacey or Ramirez but his crimes were just as horrific. The only reason I've heard the name is because of Nick Broomfields 2014 documentary Tales of the Grim Sleeper which, like Kurt & Courtney, is a gritty and disjointed film that could have been much better in the hands of a different film maker. The book, however, is in a completely different league to the average film. The books main focus is the multiple murders in the 1980's of black prostitutes in the South Central area of Los Angeles. Rather then use the serial killer biography method of writing the book from the killers perspective the author writes mainly about the victims and their families. As well as Lonnie Franklin there were several other serial killers operating in the area during this time period and through the various task forces and old newspaper articles we are given an insight into the carnage and mayhem. The book is well written and researched and i would gladly read anything else Christine Pelisek publishes in the future.

  • Bmquiram
    2019-04-21 03:18

    The Grim Sleeper – The Lost Women of South Central by Christine PelisekThis is a true story of how a serial killer terrorized the streets of Los Angeles for more than two decades. The best way I can describe this story is to say that it was written by a journalist and for the most part it reads like a newspaper article. The story is filled with interesting facts about the Grim Sleeper case and other cases in the Los Angeles area. The author includes interviews with members of the investigation team and members of the victims family. These interviews give the reader an inside look at what it was really like for the investigation team and the family. The interviews also help the reader become more involved with the story. Even with the countless accounts of women whose lives were ended far to early, I never became sad or cried during the story. This isn't that type of story. I did get frustrated by the lack of progress with the criminal investigation. I couldn't believe that this could happen. I can only imagine how difficult it was for the people who lived through the ordeal.

  • Nissa
    2019-03-30 08:02

    Very well written and a true page turner. As far as true crime goes, this should be at the top of anyone's list. Fantastic read! I won a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway.

  • Dorie
    2019-04-01 05:14

    The Grim Sleeper:The Lost Women of South Central🍒🍒🍒🍒🌱By Christine Pelisek2017Counterpoint Heartbreaking....Startling.All women.All black.All murdered.All were found in alleyways in South Central, Los Angeles.Christine Pelisek followed these cases for 10 years....noting not just the grisly details of the murders, but the broader picture: homicides in areas of poverty, gang violence and drugs are given less concern by society because of their backgrounds. Pelisek was awarded - and definitely deserved - the Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles for her work on the Grim Sleeper cases. Without her dedication, and tenacity, many of these startling and heartbreaking stories and cases, would still be in cold case files. She helped bring to life and personalize the stories of these women's lives and tge tragedy of their deaths. This book is based on police reports, court documents, autopsy reports, and interviews with detectives, family members and other sources. Some parts of this book were very hard to read, I could not imagine having to personally deal with these kinds of crimes. Well written and reasearched, I totally enjoyed this book for its broader implication, and for its straight up refusal to allow these to often ignored crimes, to finally have a voice. Loved this!!

  • ExtremeBibliophile
    2019-04-01 09:20

    Extremely compelling, tragic, and occasionally infuriating account of the "Grim Sleeper" killer who, in the midst of Los Angeles' decade -long misama of the crack plague, gang warfare, and police corruption, was able to kill as many as 25 young women. Pelisek spent years researching the case and this highly detailed account is the product of that determined investigation. Lonnie Franklin Jr was eventually caught, arrested, and tried for the murders and received the death penalty. All the victims were poor black women who were drug addicts and prostitutes at the time of their murders, but Pelisek also delves into their prior lives with sympathy and tenderness (the story of the youngest victim, 15-year-old Princess, is especially heartbreaking). The horrifying indifference toward the fates of these young women displayed by some in the LA police force at the time of the murders is almost inhumane, but the relentless perseverance of Pelisek and others who were determined to see the Sleeper captured is gratifying. Some of the truths in this book are difficult to confront but the victims have at last gotten their justice.

  • Desiree
    2019-04-10 04:18

    Excellent read thus far. I am very familiar with the story of the Grim Sleeper, as I have watched many documentaries on the subject. There is still a lot to learn form this book, which surprised. Pelisek does a great job of humanizing the victims, and connecting their circumstances to more systematic issues such as racism, sexism, and the breakdown of family and community. Some of the victims on the surface could be written off as just prostitutes and drug addicts that fell victim to the streets. Pelisek makes you feel like you know the victims, and the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in their deaths, at times something as simple as a friend stating that they would pick the woman up from work, but then stand her up. The author gives you the background of the victim's upbringing and life at the time of their deaths. A fascinating, yet heartbreaking book. This book would keep me up later at times. I also feel like it raised my understanding of the importance of caring for others, even at times where I am at odds with them. This book increased my empathy. As an African American woman from Detroit, I feel as if in another time, I could have become a victim as well.

  • Christa
    2019-04-18 05:26

    What got me into true crime and studying criminology and criminal profiling was this: when I was 11 or 12, in my little home town, a prostitute was murdered in a seedy motel and her body was found apparently hanging from a hook in an old warehouse next door. And no one cared. I remember seeing the police chief on the news basically saying "She was a whore. Shit happens." This bothered me then and it bothers me now. And I think about how there are hundreds, or thousands, of women like that girl all over, who will never be known and never be avenged, who are overlooked and also targeted because of the kind of life they have.Anyway, this was a very good, well-researched book and it was presented in a likable, "friendly-to-read" way, because it was written by an engaging journalist. You know that she knows what she is talking about. I found myself often looking at the pictures of the victims. I felt like I had to remember the faces that went with the names. They had lives and families, hopes and dreams, and they MATTERED.

  • Charlie Newfell
    2019-04-09 08:13

    Good account of the serial killer than stalked South Central LA. I didn't know really anything about the story, so it was enlightening to read the horrific story. Ms. Pelisek spent 10 years on this - first writing as a newspaper reporter.The base facts are that the killer stalked black women in South Central, killing and leaving their bodies in alleys and dumpsters. Many of them were working girls from local families caught in drug addiction. To many, the police and the public didn't seem to care.He did this for over 30 years - not trying to give away anything, so no other facts. How many did he kill? Unsure to this very day.One big spoiler is in the book itself. The first part of the book documents the missing women, and the potential suspects the police had. In the middle is the common set of photographs - but don't look at them unless you want to know the killer's name.Recommended.

  • Cj Zawacki
    2019-04-25 07:08

    Christine Pelisek has captured the story of serial killer Lonnie Franklin, Jr. Breaking a story of 38 possible victims, all black women from the South Central region of Los Angles. She had broke the story after finding the victims were shot with a 25 caliber gun and dropped into alleys.This book shows society's difference in treating crime from lower neighborhoods as most cases didn't even make the reports into the papers. It also honers the 800 Task Force detectives who finally stayed on the case and the care they took in dealing with the victim's families.Franklin's trail was 6 years after his arrest in 2010. Many of the families had passed away during this time and could not see justice and closure served.This is an excellent read that dwells into the hunt and convection of Franklin. It covers the horrific tragedy of the murders that form the case of what was called " the Grim Sleeper" rampage.

  • Vicki
    2019-03-30 07:19

    This book was an incredible, detailed account of "The Grim Sleeper" who terrified Los Angeles for years. I myself lost sleep over the thought of this man roaming the streets, although I was not in his location exactly nor was I his "preferred" victim, a prostitute. But the horror that this man was and is really is sickening. And Pelisek is the perfect writer to expose his sickness. She wrote about him from the beginning in 2008 to the final day in court eight years later. I'm a huge true crime reader and this does not disappoint. Some fans of thriller may not appreciate the depth of her research - into the victims' lives and into the lives even of the lawyers involved. But, to me, this is what makes a true crime novel great...presenting the details that lets me, the reader, figure out how I want to perceive the case, the working of it and its conclusion.

  • Jo
    2019-04-01 06:11

    This is based on a true series of murders that occurred in Los Angeles over a 20+ year span. The book is mainly based upon the women killed and it is interesting to read how they ended up where they were to be killed. I remember some of the things mentioned in the book about the police department. The writer certainly did bring the victims to life as you read. There are several pages of pictures in the middle of the book. It is always helpful to see the pictures of real people you are reading about it. However, the pictures also included pictures of the killer, his house, etc. However, at this point in the book, the killer had not been found/identified. This really was a bummer/letdown. It took away from the reading of the rest of the book since you already knew who they were looking for. The pictures should have been put at the back of the book!!!

  • Virginia Van
    2019-04-14 09:07

    "The Grim Sleeper" was the name given to a serial killer who preyed on vulnerable women in South Central Los Angeles for decades by journalist Christine Pelisek. All his victims were black women caught up in poverty, gang violence and drugs, shot and discarded in alley ways under piles of garbage. As their families pointed out, would the case have gone on for so long had the victims been white women from a wealthy area. However, their families and a group of detectives refused to let the case go cold. Finally modern science provided the break that was needed to catch the culprit. Sympathetically written, this book shows the victims as women who had families who loved them and who deserved better and how the police tried everything they could to catch a man who blended into the neighborhood to become invisible.

  • Alex
    2019-04-17 04:16

    A stellar piece of true crime writing that goes above and beyond your typical "serial killer" recap. Pelisek does a deep dive into the lives of the actual victims affected by the Grim Sleeper, and the dark, disturbing aftershocks that continued to throttle the families of those killed. Up there with other true crime classics like THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, THE GOOD NURSE and THE RIVERMAN. Pelisek deftly covers the facts and explores the personal stories surrounding the case while also framing it with her own personal experiences while covering the case - from her beat up car to the poignant loss of her parents near the conclusion. It's a near-perfect piece of journalism with a touching human angle that feels genuine and immediate. Highly recommended.

  • Maggie Mayhem
    2019-03-26 11:22

    Violence against sex workers is gravely under reported and responded to by law enforcement and as such, this is a very important book about a prolific killer who operated for far too long because there was so little attention on his victims. Race, class, gender, and occupation figure highly.The material is near and dear to my heart but the writing and narrative voice got under my skin. It was hard to stomach the "plucky girl reporter" tone that proliferates. At times the author is at times conscious of this but is so clearly gunning for a starring role in justice she doesn't necessarily deserve. She is also clearly stepping lightly around alienating a racist, classist, and misogynist system.

  • Anna
    2019-04-21 11:00

    3.5Pelisek really threw herself entirely into this story and her research is incredible. She makes the victims the focus of the book and delves into their back stories. This was difficult to read because she doesn't shy away from the gruesome details. It was one heartbreak after the over for each victim and their families. Where I think the book could have improved were more details about the public's views etc. The women's deaths were ignored for a variety of reasons and she talks briefly about them, but I think there could have been even more explanation about how racism and other negative views affected how this case went and why it hardly got any national coverage.

  • Wanda C
    2019-04-12 09:21

    A true story of a 30-year murder spree. Christine Pelisek does an excellent job in detailing the terrible crime. Her book gave me a pseudo first-hand experience through the eyes of all those involved.Based on a five-star rating, I give it five stars!1) Buy from the author in the future? Yes2) Did it keep me intrigued? Yes3) Story line adventurous, mysterious, and believable? Yes4) Would I recommend to a family member/friend? Yes. 5) Did my idea of the book based on the cover remain the same after I read the book? Yes. The photo depicts an empty and dark area that may look safe, but is it really?

  • William Fluke
    2019-04-23 09:01

    This was a very compelling and interesting who dunnit told by a reporter that covered the case for over ten years. While grisly at times in the telling of these horrific murders the case work and investigating will be interesting to those who enjoy crime stories and mysteries. Hard to imagine such murders going unsolved for so long and - as is discussed within the book- hard to think these cases would have garnered so little attention if the victims were white females of upper middle to upper class families. Would have liked it to end with the author interviewing the convicted killer and on death row, but that was not the case.