Police Bust Serial Killer After 25 Years
Boston Globe via YellowBrix
July 08, 2010
LOS ANGELES — Police arrested a man in the city’s “Grim Sleeper’’ serial killings yesterday after decades of frustrated investigations into at least 11 slayings going back 25 years, authorities said.
Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County district attorney, said Lonnie Franklin Jr. will be charged with 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations that could make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Franklin’s age was unclear, with different agencies saying he is 51 or 57.
Detectives have spent years investigating slayings between 1985 and 2007 in which the killer targeted young black women and one man.
The killer was dubbed the “Grim Sleeper’’ because he apparently took a 14-year hiatus from his crimes.
Dozens of police officials closed off a block around the South Los Angeles house where the arrest was made. “Today is a good day,’’ Donnell Alexander, the brother of victim Monique Alexander, said as he watched police outside the house.
Neighbors described the man who lives there as friendly and quiet. They said he was often seen working on cars in his front yard and would sometimes stop to chat with passersby.
The case has dogged police even though they had the killer’s DNA and a description from a survivor, and they had offered a $500,000 reward.
The victims were shot, strangled, or both, usually after some kind of sexual contact. Ten victims were women and several were prostitutes.
Police have said the male victim, who was shot in 1987, may have been a friend of a victim or had discovered the killer’s identity.
The most recent known killing was the June 2007 death of Janecia Peters, 25, whose body was found in a trash bin.