The Grim Sleeper
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Basic Information

December 16, 2010: Charges have been made against a 58 year old rubbish collector alleging that he is "The Grim Sleeper" a serial killer responsible for the deaths of at least ten women between 1985 and 2007. The nickname is the result of a 14 year gap between killing sprees, seven victims being taken in 1985-1988 and another three in 2002-2007. The LAPD are investigating another 30 cases with a similar MO. The accused denies all charges.

Of course, if he is guilty, the question will be what he was doing in that 14 year gap in which he got his name - normally a gap in a criminal career is the result of the perpetrator being imprisoned for something else or else out of the country. Alternatively those may just be 14 years in which no bodies were found.


Game and Story Use

  • A serial killer with a 'Dormant Phase' may be an interesting plot point for police or vigilante PCs. In a mundane campaign he has been serving time for another offence (and the release from custody records may help to identify him) or has been abroad (and has maybe been killing there as well, creating a matching record with some other police force). Another possibility is that the killer has been stabilised for a while by someone else - a spouse, friend or mentor, who has since died or become alienated from him. In a more supernatural campaign one of the following might hold instead:
    • A Soul Jar is at work - the actual killer is a spirit which possesses hosts to do its killing. The hiatus is the result of it being trapped without a host somewhere.
    • The killer is a Hollywood style slasher - he was killed back in 1988, but the stars came right again in 2002.
    • The killer is engaging in human sacrifice to appease or contain something much worse. Stopping him may only lead to worse problems.
    • The current killer found out about something that had happened fourteen years prior, and decided to become a copycat.
      • If certain details of the case were never released, this could point to the copycat being part of the original investigatory team.
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