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Grim Sleeper

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A judge on Tuesday ruled that DNA evidence that led to alleged Grim Sleeper serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. was lawfully obtained via plates and utensils seized by a police officer who posed as a restaurant busboy. Appearing on the stand for the first time, Franklin testified that he was attending a birthday party that day in July 2010 at John's Incredible Pizza in Buena Park with one of his employees and her three daughters when the DNA evidence was gathered. Days later on July 7, he was arrested by Los Angeles police.  MAP: Grim Sleeper killings, 1985-2007 Franklin's attorneys, Seymour Amster and Louisa Pensanti, had argued that the busboy cleared their client's plates before he had finished - first a pizza and then a chocolate cake - and therefore were taken illegally.
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NEWS
March 15, 2014 | By Carla Hall
As any journalist will tell you, most journalists don't end up the star of a story - let alone a TV show or movie.  (“All the Preisdent's Men” - huge exception; unprecedented story.) But that's pretty much the case with the movie, “The Grim Sleeper,” which premieres Saturday night on the Lifetime cable channel and is based on the true story of tenacious reporter Christine Pelisek who spent months tracking the connections among a series of slayings of young black women in South L.A. that started in the 1980s, stopped then resumed in the early 2000s.
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NEWS
December 16, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
In a bold effort to determine whether there are additional " Grim Sleeper" victims, the Los Angeles Police Department is releasing photos of scores of women found in the possession of a man charged in 10 South Los Angeles killings. Police hope the photo display will generate new tips from the public. Since the July arrest of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., the LAPD has received 75 calls from the family and friends of missing women wanting to know the fate of their loved ones. After comparing information in those calls with evidence gathered in the Franklin investigation, detectives were soon able to discount most of the cases, said veteran homicide Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, head of the task force that tracked down the former city sanitation worker and police garage attendant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A judge on Tuesday ruled that DNA evidence that led to alleged Grim Sleeper serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. was lawfully obtained via plates and utensils seized by a police officer who posed as a restaurant busboy. Appearing on the stand for the first time, Franklin testified that he was attending a birthday party that day in July 2010 at John's Incredible Pizza in Buena Park with one of his employees and her three daughters when the DNA evidence was gathered. Days later on July 7, he was arrested by Los Angeles police.  MAP: Grim Sleeper killings, 1985-2007 Franklin's attorneys, Seymour Amster and Louisa Pensanti, had argued that the busboy cleared their client's plates before he had finished - first a pizza and then a chocolate cake - and therefore were taken illegally.
OPINION
July 9, 2010
With the arrest of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a former Los Angeles Police Department garage attendant and onetime garbage collector, a murder spree spanning more than two decades may be at an end. The investigation required extraordinary and painstaking police work, as well as community and political pressure and a unique use of DNA evidence. But before all that happened, Christine Pelisek, the LA Weekly reporter who dubbed California's most enduring serial killer the Grim Sleeper, forced the city to care about a group of victims who had been largely forgotten by all but their families and a few LAPD detectives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
In July, when Los Angeles police arrested Lonnie Franklin Jr., the suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer, they scoured his South L.A. property for evidence. Among the unsettling discoveries was a cache of about 1,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of home video showing women, many of them partly or fully nude and striking sexually graphic poses. It was an eerie find in a case involving a man who is thought to have sexually assaulted his victims before or after killing them. Police also cannot account for large swaths of Franklin's life, including a 14-year gap between his alleged killings, during which investigators suspect he killed other women.
NEWS
March 15, 2014 | By Carla Hall
As any journalist will tell you, most journalists don't end up the star of a story - let alone a TV show or movie.  (“All the Preisdent's Men” - huge exception; unprecedented story.) But that's pretty much the case with the movie, “The Grim Sleeper,” which premieres Saturday night on the Lifetime cable channel and is based on the true story of tenacious reporter Christine Pelisek who spent months tracking the connections among a series of slayings of young black women in South L.A. that started in the 1980s, stopped then resumed in the early 2000s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein, Joel Rubin and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police detectives are reexamining at least 30 unsolved killings of women in South Los Angeles, seeing if they can link any of the homicides to the man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer. Sources with the Los Angeles Police Department told The Times that the 30 cases share similarities to the slayings linked to Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who appeared briefly in court Thursday, where he was charged with 10 counts of murder involving women killed over three decades in South L.A. Some — but not all — of the victims in the unsolved cases lived on the margins of society, including drug users, prostitutes and those suffering from mental illness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2011 | By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police say they have linked two more slayings to alleged serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr., persuading detectives that he never stopped killing during the supposed dormant period that led to his nickname of the Grim Sleeper. The Grim Sleeper allegedly killed seven women between 1985 and 1988 and three between 2002 and 2007. Police have been openly skeptical that the slayings stopped during the 13-year gap. On Thursday, they announced the strongest evidence yet that the killings had not ceased: two homicides during the interim involving women slain in the South L.A. area where the other killings occurred.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2010 | By Maura Dolan, Joel Rubin and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
For well over two decades, the killer had eluded police. His victims, most of them prostitutes in South Los Angeles, had lived on the margins of society, and their deaths left few useful clues aside from the DNA of the man who had sexually assaulted them in the moments before their deaths. A sweep of state prisons in 2008 failed to come up with the killer or anyone related to him. Then, last Wednesday, startling news came to the LAPD: A second "familial search" of prisons had come up with a convict whose DNA indicated that he was a close relative of the serial killer suspected of killing at least 10 women.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The state of California has been a leader in the use of familial DNA searches -- investigations that seek out crime suspects by taking unidentified crime scene DNA, looking in a state DNA database for people who are partial matches to that sample, and then track down those close relatives of the suspect to help chase down the ultimate target. A familial DNA search helped police nab 'Grim Sleeper' suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. in 2010. By and large, according a report released Wednesday, California's system hits the mark: It finds parents, children and siblings in the database dependably, and it's unlikely to match a sample with a completely unrelated person.
NEWS
January 9, 2013
Los Angeles police officials said they plan to comb through scores of old unsolved murders to see whether a reputed 72-year-old serial killer carried out slayings in the city beyond the three women he is suspected of killing in the 1980s. Samuel Little, who authorities allege also killed women in Florida and Mississippi, currently is being held at California's Wasco state prison. He was charged Monday and is expected to return to Los Angeles for arraignment this week on the counts of murder with special circumstances.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Authorities on Monday announced the arrest of a 72-year-old man who they allege is a serial killer responsible for the slayings of at least three women in Los Angeles during the 1980s. Los Angeles Police Department detectives allege that Samuel Little preyed on women in downtown and Central Los Angeles, meeting some at bars before strangling them and dumping their bodies. If the allegations are true, it would mark the discovery of yet another serial killer operating in Los Angeles during the 1980s.
NATIONAL
March 7, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Colorado cold-case investigators have linked a convicted murderer who died in prison in 1996 to four more slayings -- and say he may have been responsible for a score of others as well. Vincent Groves, 57, known for playing on a championship Colorado basketball team in the 1970s, strangled most of his victims, Denver Dist. Atty. Mitch Morrissey told The Times. “In my 30 years experience, he is the worst home-grown serial murderer,” Morrissey said, noting that Ted Bundy , believed to be responsible for several Colorado slayings, was more prolific overall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police detectives have linked six more slayings to the suspect in the Grim Sleeper serial killings after reviewing hundreds of unsolved homicide cases and missing person reports, as well as a cache of photos of unidentified women found at the man's home. Law enforcement sources told The Times that the new cases bring to 16 the number of killings linked to Lonnie Franklin Jr., 59, , who is already charged with murder in the slayings of 10 women whose bodies were found on the streets of South Los Angeles over two decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 2011 | By Andrew Blankstein
L.A. County prosecutors Monday said they would seek the death penalty against the man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer and took the unusual step of seeking a voice sample of the suspect. Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was charged last year in the deaths of 10 women in South L.A. in the 1980s and 1990s, but police have long suspected that he is responsible for more killings. Prosecutors requested permission to allow police to take a voice sample from Franklin for comparison to an anonymous male who called 911 operators in connection with at least two Grim Sleeper killings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police detectives have linked six more slayings to the suspect in the Grim Sleeper serial killings after reviewing hundreds of unsolved homicide cases and missing person reports, as well as a cache of photos of unidentified women found at the man's home. Law enforcement sources told The Times that the new cases bring to 16 the number of killings linked to Lonnie Franklin Jr., 59, , who is already charged with murder in the slayings of 10 women whose bodies were found on the streets of South Los Angeles over two decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2011 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
The case against Lonnie David Franklin Jr., accused of being "The Grim Sleeper" serial killer, was put on an accelerated track toward trial Thursday, when he was arraigned on a grand jury indictment charging him with killing 10 women. Franklin, 58, was arrested in July, and prosecutors filed charges accusing him of killing the 10 women over two decades, beginning in the 1980s. Typically, the next step in the legal proceedings would have been for prosecutors to present evidence against Franklin at a preliminary hearing to convince a judge that there was sufficient reason to order Franklin to stand trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
The gun that police concluded was used to shoot one woman and a photograph taken moments after a second woman had been shot were found at accused serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr.'s South Los Angeles house, according to grand jury transcripts reviewed by The Times. Those two pieces of incriminating evidence, previously not made public, appeared to further link Franklin to the 10 murders and one attempted murder he is accused of committing. Franklin, 58, was arrested in July, culminating a three-year hunt by Los Angeles police to identify and capture the man accused of killing seven women between 1985 and 1988 and three others between 2002 and 2007.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Last summer, when they caught the man believed to be the Grim Sleeper serial killer, Los Angeles police detectives assigned to the case knew their job was far from over. They had tied Lonnie Franklin Jr. to the killings of 10 women in South L.A. during a period that spanned more than two decades. More work, however, was needed to answer the troubling questions that remained: Had he killed others? If so, how many? Who were they? On Tuesday, after months spent combing through dozens of unsolved homicide files, countless missing person reports and eerie photographs of women found at Franklin's residence, police went public with suspicions that eight additional women may have been his victims.
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