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HBO Snares LA Serial Killer Documentary ‘Tales of the Grim Sleeper’

Nick Broomfield’s latest takes a hard look at alleged murderer Lonnie Franklin Jr.

HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. rights to Nick Broomfield‘s serial killer documentary “Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” sales agent Submarine announced Wednesday from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

The film marks Broomfield’s fifth documentary for HBO, which was also behind “Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer,” “Kurt & Courtney” and “Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam.”

“Tales of the Grim Sleeper” will debut on HBO in 2015. It is the only documentary that was invited to the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals this year.

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The film was produced by Marc Hoeferlin in association with British Sky Broadcasting, which is handling international sales. Celia Taylor executive produced the documentary.

The deal was negotiated by Josh Braun and David Koh of Submarine on behalf of Sky Atlantic, which originally commissioned the film.

When Lonnie Franklin Jr. was arrested in South Central Los Angeles in 2010 as the suspected murderer of a string of young black women, police hailed it as the culmination of 20 years of investigations. Four years later, Broomfield visited the alleged killer’s neighborhood to find out if the police had earned their self-given kudos.

There, he finds a world of people who suspected for decades that there might be some connection between their odd neighbor and the dozens of women who had gone missing from the street. Franklin’s friends and neighbors offer chilling testimony, asking why it took so long for the authorities to pay attention. In a place where the residents have good reason not to trust the LAPD, few were willing to talk to them – but what would the police have done if they had?

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Aided by Pam, a charismatic former prostitute and crack addict who knows the streets and the people walking them, Broomfield reveals the journey of a serial killer, giving voice to his victims as he builds a powerful assemblage of testimony conveying a grave injustice that extends well beyond this case.

“‘Tales of the Grim Sleeper’ is a very important film to me and everyone involved.  It was important for it to find a good home, and I can’t think of a better one than HBO Documentary Films. I’m thrilled to continue my relationship with Sheila Nevins and Nancy Abraham and their team who are going to make sure this important and timely film gets seen by the most possible people,” said Broomfield.

“I’m delighted that Nick Broomfield‘s compelling new film for Sky Atlantic has become the first film that HBO has purchased from us. I can’t wait for audiences on both sides of the Atlantic to see his latest work,” added Celia Taylor, Sky’s head of non-scripted commissioning.