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Tales of the Grim Sleeper

  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs
  • 2014
  • Nick Broomfield
  • 109 mins
  • 15

Summary

Documentary-maker Nick Broomfield investigates the case of a serial killer who terrorised South Central LA for over two decades until the apprehension of a suspect in 2010. Although the LAPD claimed the arrest as a victory, local residents paint a very different picture.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

After his controversial films about death-row inmate Aileen Wuornos, documentary-maker Nick Broomfield delves into another serial-killer case - the Grim Sleeper murders that plagued South Central LA for 25 years. It begins with the 2010 arrest of ex-garbage collector Lonnie Franklin, accused of 10 homicides but suspected of more involving scores of missing Black women. In 2014 (when the film was shot), Franklin was still awaiting trial, so Broomfield decamps to the suburban area where he lived to find out how this unobtrusive family man had managed to evade capture for so long. What emerges is a disturbing picture of an individual with a dark, deviant history, but who managed to avoid investigation for a quarter of a century. It's compelling stuff and is as much about South Central itself, scarred by decades of poverty, drugs and police apathy ("He was only killing hookers"), as it is the murders themselves. Still displaying his unassuming trademark style of interrogation, Broomfield is initially labelled a "peckerwood" by Franklin's pals, only for them to co-operate as it transpires that their friend could be guilty. But most memorable is ex-crack addict Pam Brooks, who helps Broomfield and his cameraman son Barney gather quite jaw-dropping evidence by introducing the pair to mistrusting locals as "my friends from England". Utterly engrossing.

How to watch

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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorNick Broomfield

Details

Theatrical distributor
Sky Vision
Released on
2015-01-30
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing, nudity
Formats
Colour
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