Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. spoke to KPFK’s Margaret Prescod on the issues of race in the public outcry and media coverage of the “Grim Sleeper” case. The arrest of accused African American serial killer Lonnie David Franklin Jr., closes a series of murders in the Crenshaw area of South Los Angeles over a span of 30 years, and has sparked concerns over social injustices over race.
The following is an excerpt from the radio interview:
PRESCOD: I have never, ever heard of these murders. Why is that?
GILLIAM: In some way it is no surprise that the media coverage has been lacking when it comes to the murder of African American women in south Los Angeles.
When it comes to media coverage there is a racial and gender hierarchy. At the top of media coverage is when the victims are white women, and at the bottom of media coverage is when the victims are African American women or women of color. It also has to go with the interaction between geography and race. If the murders were of women in West Los Angeles, we would see a different coverage. It is in communities that are often forgotten."
Download or listen to the entire interview online.