Police Collect Hundreds of Items from Suspected Serial Killer's Home
AP Photo / Gary Friedman
July 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police have seized hundreds of items from the home and vehicles of the man charged in the “Grim Sleeper” killings, including guns, ammunition and handcuffs, court records show.
Detectives have booked more than 650 items belonging to Lonnie Franklin Jr. into evidence, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
None of the items have tied Franklin to the killings, but DNA and ballistic tests are continuing, police said.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Detective Paul Coulter, one of the lead investigators in the case. “Phase one is over. Now it’s on to phase two — learning everything we can about him.”
Bullet trajectory tests and information from a woman who police say survived an attack have led detectives to believe Franklin shot and then sexually assaulted several of his alleged victims in the front seat of his car.
Police took samples of fabric from the front seats of at least two of the four vehicles belonging to Franklin and his family members, according to the court filing. They also seized a ski mask, a brown paper bag, a Los Angeles police officer’s notepad, a flier about a person who had disappeared in the area, and pornographic videos and photographs.
Franklin, 57, is charged with killing 10 women over a 22-year period. His attorney, Regina Laughney, has said she expects the former city sanitation worker to enter a not guilty plea at his Aug. 9 arraignment.
Franklin is accused of murdering seven young African American women between 1985 and 1988 in South L.A. He allegedly killed three more women 14 years later. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Detectives are reviewing many unsolved murder cases for connections to Franklin. Coulter said ballistic tests on several small-caliber handguns taken from Franklin’s house and a motor home could provide crucial evidence linking him to other killings.