Photos Released in So-Called "Grim Sleeper" Murder Case

Photos Released in So-Called "Grim Sleeper" Murder Case

They're the mystery women at the center of a horrific serial-killer case. The photos, 180 of them, were found, ominously, in the possession of a suspected mass murderer.

Now cops are appealing for help in putting names to these faces, to establish if the unidentified women are alive or dead.

"There is somebody's photo among these 180 who is a victim," said police at a press conference.

The photos were found when cops searched the home of a former police department employee named Lonnie Franklin.

Authorities believe Franklin is the mysterious serial killer dubbed "The Grim Sleeper," who terrorized Los Angeles for more than two decades.

Why the nickname "The Grim Sleeper?" Well, the case started back in the late 1980's, when someone carried out a string of murders of young women on the streets of south Los Angeles. Then the killings apparently stopped.

But 14 years later, in 2002, they started again. Because of that long gap, the still-unidentified killer was dubbed "The Grim Sleeper."

Franklin was arrested this summer after cops say DNA linked him to several of the Grim Sleeper killings.

The mayor of Los Angeles described Franklin's arrest this way, saying, "A terror in our city came to an end."

Since the photos were released, police have been swamped with tips, and have tentatively identified a handful of the women. But the vast majority are still unnammed.

An LAPD officer said, "We have no idea who they are, what their relationship is. The bottom line is to identify them, speak to them and account for their welfare."

Diana Ware is the stepmother of the young woman police say is The Grim Sleeper's fourth victim, Barbara Ware.

When she sees those scores of unidentified women, she fears the worst, saying, "I think they just haven't found other victims yet. And I really hate to think how many there could be."

Franklin, a former police-garage attendant, has pleaded not guilty to ten murder charges.