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Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)

TV-MA | | Documentary, Crime | 30 January 2015 (UK)
0:56 | Trailer

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Nick Broomfield digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.


Nick Broomfield, Barney Broomfield (co-director) | 1 more credit »


Nick Broomfield (by), Barney Broomfield (by) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Broomfield Nick Broomfield ... Himself, also narrator
Lonnie David Franklin Jr. Lonnie David Franklin Jr. ... Himself - 'Grim Sleeper' (as Lonnie Franklin)
Donna Donna ... Herself, Lonnie Franklin's neighbour
Steve Steve ... Himself, Lonnie Franklin's friend
Gary Gary ... Himself, Lonnie Franklin's friend
Richard Richard ... Himself, Lonnie Franklin's friend
Seymour Amster Seymour Amster ... Himself, Lonnie Franklin's defense attorney
Laverne Peters Laverne Peters ... Herself, mother of murder victim Janecia Peters
Margaret Prescod Margaret Prescod ... Herself, founder of Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders
Pam Brooks Pam Brooks ... Herself (as Pamela Brooks)
Diana Ware Diana Ware ... Herself, stepmother to 1987 murder victim Barbara Ware
Liz Liz ... Herself, friend of Pamela Brooks
DelaShawn DelaShawn ... Herself, Chris Franklin's former girlfriend
Jerry Jerry ... Himself, Lonnie Franklin's mechanic
Nana Gyamfi Nana Gyamfi ... Herself, lawyer, Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders


Nick Broomfield digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Crime



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

30 January 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Fortællinger om en seriemorder See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

South Central Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shortlisted for 'Best Documentary Feature' at the 87th Academy Awards. See more »


Featured in Docventures: Oikeus (2015) See more »


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User Reviews

28 March 2016 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Nick Broomfield, I gather, is a well-known figure in documentary films, and he IS a little different from what you'd expect. He wanders in and out of the frame carrying the microphone and wearing earphones. He looks like a normal, middle-aged Englishman, moves deliberately, and sounds a little like Donald Crisp might have sounded as he approached adolescence. His voice is calm, dispassionate, and lacks drama. On the whole he sounds like a philosophy professor at some British boarding school, maybe Sidcot. "Next we met Bertrand Russell. Bert is a white-haired socialist. He once drove a garbage truck but is now homeless. Bert, how well did you know Alfred North Whitehead?"

In point of fact, we don't really get to know much about the suspected murderer, Lonnie Franklin. Broomfield has the invaluable help of a key informant, Pam, who takes him on a tour of South Central Los Angeles and calls pedestrians over for a few words about the Grim Sleeper. Without Pam Bromfield probably wouldn't have got as far as he did, since he's white. According to the anecdotes we get from the people on the street, Lonnie Franklin seems to have been one of those fellows who goes out of his way to help other people, although his friends do mention a few peculiarities -- a pile of stroke magazines in the bathroom, a proudly displayed .25 caliber pistol.

If we don't learn much about Franklin, we certainly get a good gander at the neighborhood and its residents. First of all, despite the bars on the windows and the gun shots in the background, it doesn't look nearly as squalid as the black ghetto near where I grew up, in Newark, New Jersey. Anybody moving from Chancellor Avenue to broad sunny Central Avenue in LA would take a deep breath and relax, the way retirees do when they finally step off the bus in Florida.

The police weren't involved in the film, so we get the African-American perspective on events. Generally, the attitudinal set is that the LAPD is incompetent and neglectful of black crime victims. There are exceptions but it's clear that there is a great big wall between the black neighborhood and the police force, as in so many other cities.

Broomfield doesn't show much in the way of political correctness. His informants speak for themselves. As an anthropologist, which is what I am, I would be very careful in taking some of their statements as literal fact.

One of the more admirable features of the film is that Broomfield, despite his narrative voice-over and his occasional intrusion into the images, is no Michael Moore. He's not one of the so-called Nouvelles Egotistes.

I regret to say that on the whole it was a little repetitious and dull. Too many anecdotes from a handful of acquaintances and relatives about what Franklin might or might not have done. It could have been pruned down to a fascinating one-hour show.

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