Newsweek on LA Weekly's 'Grim Sleeper'

The news magazine's Aug. 17 print issue gives the LA Weekly and reporter Christine Pelisek big props for diligent reporting on the serial murders in Los Angeles blamed on a killer the Weekly dubbed the Grim Sleeper.

Reporter, cop, killer: the eternal triangle of tabloid journalism, pulp fiction, and film noir. Turn them loose in Los Angeles, cue up the Coltrane, watch their taillights disappear down Sunset. The cop is LAPD homicide detective Dennis Kilcoyne, at 54 still rangy and vital, but burdened by decades of sifting the muck of human depravity in search of prosecutable felonies. In a dark suit and black sunglasses, at the wheel of his silver Lincoln, he could pass for a Hollywood player on the make, but in the bleary fluorescent glare of his office, his eyes—the weary, puffy eyes of someone not about to spend six grand on an eyelid tuck—give him away. The reporter, Christine Pelisek of LA Weekly, is "late 30ish or maybe a little past," as she puts it, a slender, stylishly dressed blonde, blue eyes still wide with amazement at the tragicomic panoply of folly and greed she is lucky enough to witness. As for the killer, we don't know.


It was Pelisek—a former waitress whose only previous newspaper job was covering minor-league hockey in a suburb of her native Ottawa—who first brought the case to public attention in an article in 2006, linking the two new murders to the string of earlier ones....Pelisek is one of two full-time reporters still working at the Weekly—a free paper modeled on New York's Village Voice—down from a much larger staff in 1999, when she talked her way into a job as a researcher. So there is something to learn from the cordial, if complicated, relationship Pelisek has with Kilcoyne.

Newsweek's site has video of Pelisek and Kilcoyne, among others.

Also in Newsweek: James Ellroy remembers knowing Lily Burk, and Vincent Bugliosi looks back at the Manson murders.

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