Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Watch Tales of the Grim Sleeper

"25 years. Hundreds of victims. Justice for none."
  • TV-MA
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 7.0  (3,205)
  • 85

Tales of the Grim Sleeper is a 2014 documentary film directed by British filmmaker Nick Broomfield, which tells the story of the notorious serial killer Lonnie David Franklin Jr. and the community that enabled him. The film is a gripping and unsettling examination of the murders committed by the so-called "Grim Sleeper" in South Central Los Angeles over a span of 25 years, and the police investigation that eventually led to his arrest.

The film begins by introducing us to the residents of the area, and their distrust of the police, who they believe have long ignored the horrifying violent crimes taking place in their community. We are introduced to a group of women who call themselves the "Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders," who have taken it upon themselves to investigate the murders and bring attention to the case. Through interviews with these women, as well as other community members and law enforcement officials, the film delves into the racial and socioeconomic factors that contributed to the murders going unsolved for so long.

The film then introduces us to Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a man whose quiet demeanor and unassuming appearance belied a chilling secret. Franklin is suspected of killing at least ten women between 1985 and 2007, though many believe the actual number could be much higher. Broomfield traces Franklin's history, from his time in the military to his eventual employment as a mechanic, where he was known to pick up women in his van and bring them back to his home, where they would sometimes never leave alive.

As the film progresses, we see how the community's reluctance to cooperate with the police and the LAPD's own mismanagement of the investigation allowed Franklin to continue his killing spree for far too long. We hear from victims' family members who express their anger and frustration over the lack of progress in the case. We also see how the women of the Black Coalition, many of whom were personally affected by Franklin's crimes, came together to form a support network for each other and to demand justice for the murdered women.

What makes Tales of the Grim Sleeper such a compelling and haunting film is the way it presents a portrait of a community and a law enforcement system that, for different reasons, were both ineffective in stopping a prolific serial killer. Broomfield's documentary is equal parts true crime memoir and social commentary, examining the many ways in which racism, poverty, and systemic inequality contributed to the crisis in South Central Los Angeles.

Overall, Tales of the Grim Sleeper is a sobering reminder of the devastating toll that serial killers can take on a community and the importance of detective work, community-led initiatives, and public awareness in the fight against violent crime. It is a film that is not easily forgotten, and one that sheds light on a tragedy that too often goes unacknowledged.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper is a 2014 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 85.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper
Where to Watch Tales of the Grim Sleeper
Tales of the Grim Sleeper is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Tales of the Grim Sleeper for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (3,205)
  • Metascore