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Should the LAPD have Warned the Public Earlier?

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In a weekend editorial about Los Angeles' serial killer, the "Grim Sleeper," the LA Times said it was about time they came public with information.

Expert "profilers" say it's hard for outsiders to judge the Police Department's actions -- working a case without alerting the community means keeping the killer in the dark and giving officers an advantage. Widespread publicity has been known to work both ways in such cases: Some killers bask in the attention and make crucial mistakes that reveal their identity; others go underground. But not alerting the public also means passing up an opportunity to rally potential witnesses. Few crimes are solved because a David Caruso-like detective outwits a criminal. Rather, acquaintances and neighbors of the victims -- or the criminals --step forward with evidence. What's more, the fact that the victims in this case were mostly troubled young black women with histories of prostitution adds an unavoidable element of class and race to the case. If the victims had been well-to-do white women living on the Westside, would police have kept mum for so long?

The department still has not come clear about why they are only now announcing a reward for information leading to the capture of the killer. It was in May 2007 after DNA testing linked the cases together that they knew that had a serial killer on the loose.
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Photo of reward poster (more photos from press conference here) by Tom Andrews/LAist