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Grim Sleeper to be Put to Sleep

One of the few times the Death Penalty is justified in my view…

Lonnie Franklin Jr.

Jurors vote for death sentence for ‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killer

A Los Angeles County jury decided Monday that the man known as the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer should be put to death, closing an important legal chapter in the grisly slayings of at least nine women and one teenage girl that terrorized South L.A. for more than two decades.

The verdict against Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a 63-year-old former sanitation worker, drew muted sighs of relief in the downtown courtroom from victims’ relatives who were passing tissues back and forth, letting slight sobs go as each victim’s name was read aloud. Franklin, wearing a yellow dress shirt and neck tie that he put on as he entered the courtroom, appeared to remain stoic as he has the entire trial.

He was convicted last month of 10 murders between 1985 and 2007 but authorities believe he is responsible for more. Jurors rejected defense arguments that he should spend the rest of his life in prison rather than face execution.

The victims’ bodies were often dumped naked on roadsides or among trash in humiliating fashion, and the victims were all initially listed as Jane Does, leaving the killings unconnected for decades.

During the penalty phase of the trial, prosecutors connected Franklin to an additional five killings. The district attorney’s office decided not to charge Franklin with those crimes because he was already facing the death penalty and prosecutors did not want to further stall a trial that had already been beset by delays.

In all, investigators think Franklin may have killed as many as 25 women during the years he spent stalking one of the city’s most vulnerable populations.

In her closing argument to the jury, Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman gave a blistering recounting of each victim’s final moments, speaking with a palpable disdain for Franklin. The defendant, seated underneath a projector that displayed pictures of his victims’ battered and bloody bodies, never looked up.

“They were so vicious, they were so calculated, and they were so demeaning,” Silverman said of the killings. “The way that these women ended up, half of them naked … all of them in filthy alleys.”

Defense attorney Dale Atherton countered by appealing to the jury’s conscience in a plea for mercy. Executing Franklin, he said, would only “delay the healing process” for the victims’ families.

“Every time they think of the approaching execution date, it will be like opening the wounds again,” he said.

Photos: Grim Sleeper victims

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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The “Grim Sleeper”

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. appears to have lived for 20 years in the neighborhood where the Grim Sleeper murders occurred.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr., Who Police Believe Committed at Least 11 Murders

Black serial killers are a rarity. The most infamous being the Atlanta child murderer, Wayne Williams. Perhaps they are not as rare as police profiles indicate, and it is just that their victims tend to get ignored.

Grim Sleeper serial killer suspect known as nice, funny ‘fix-it’ man

For more than 20 years an elusive killer dubbed the Grim Sleeper walked the streets of south Los Angeles, California.

The killer targeted black women, some of them working as prostitutes, shooting most of them with the same small-caliber gun.

Police combed the neighborhood where the killings occurred — a low-income area.

But some have said that because of the low-income profile of the area and the victims, the slayings were pushed aside as unrelated incidents.

Police eventually got the killer’s DNA and ballistics evidence, which allowed them to link at least 10 murders. But for years they could not match the DNA.

Then on Wednesday, police announced they believed they finally had their man, Lonnie David Franklin Jr.

Franklin, 57, is a former city trash collector who at one time worked as a garage attendant at an LAPD station and used his mechanical skills to help out around the neighborhood.

The same neighborhood was littered with composite sketches of the suspect. But police say nobody said anything about noticing the resemblance to Franklin who lived just eight blocks from one the sketches.

His arrest came as a shock to neighbors who said they knew him as a guy who helped fix their cars — on the same street near where police say he allegedly dumped his victims’ bodies.

Vehicles were a focus for detectives during their investigation. His only surviving victim told police after her escape that the suspect was driving an orange Ford Pinto when he picked her up.

One of Franklin’s neighbors said he was seen driving an orange Pinto once or twice. But the neighbor thought nothing of it, not knowing about the vehicle’s relationship to the case and not suspecting anything because Franklin was known as a “fix-it” man who always drove different cars he was working on.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Giant Negros

 

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