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Grim Sleeper

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.
July 15, 2010 | By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
Authorities missed an opportunity years ago to catch the suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer before a final victim was slain, because his DNA was never collected as required under a 2004 law, according to interviews and records reviewed by The Times. Lonnie David Franklin Jr.'s genetic profile was supposed to be added to the state's DNA databank of offenders because he was on probation for a felony when voters approved Proposition 69, a sweeping expansion of the state's DNA collection.
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.
August 11, 2010 | By Sarah Ardalani, Los Angeles Times
Elizabeth and Leo Anderson distinctly remember when Debra Jackson walked out of their home on the evening of Aug. 10, 1985. It was the last time they would see their friend, the first known victim of a South Los Angeles serial killer who came to be known as the Grim Sleeper. Elizabeth Anderson was in the kitchen cooking chicken for dinner when Jackson told her she needed to run an errand: meet up with someone to repay a loan. For five years, the Andersons had taken in Jackson, a trained beautician who was working as a waitress at the time.
November 6, 2010 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies found a copy of a newspaper announcing the arrest of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer suspect in the car of a Harbor Gateway handyman charged with killing four people during three home-invasion robberies. The newspaper is one of the clues detectives are studying in the case of John Wesley Ewell. "It was really the only paper we found inside his car," Det. Peter Hecht said. "The subject is certainly telling. " Lonnie Franklin, accused of being the Grim Sleeper, was arrested July 7 on suspicion of at least 10 murders since 1985 across South L.A. The killings with which Ewell is charged began Sept.
July 14, 2010 | James Rainey
How deep did reporter Christine Pelisek get into the Grim Sleeper serial killer case? So deep that the victims' families demanded she sit in on one mass meeting with police. So deep that people she had never met delivered hunches and, in one case, a napkin smeared with a semen sample. So deep that the mystery figure killing young black women in South Los Angeles seemed to pop up everywhere, even in her dreams. When police finally identified and arrested Lonnie David Franklin Jr. last week in connection with a string of 10 killings dating to the 1980s, the credit went largely to an innovation that allowed criminals to be tracked through their relatives' DNA. But that the terrible, slow-motion slaughter even became known to the public owes to the obsessive reporting of Pelisek, a star investigative reporter for the LA Weekly.
July 16, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police confiscated hundreds of items from the suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer's South L.A. house and vehicles after his arrest last week, including firearms and ammunition, car seats possibly stained with bodily fluids, and pornographic photos and videos, according to court records. Police said Thursday they are continuing to build a case against Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, who has been charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. "We still have a lot of work to do," said Det. Paul Coulter, one of the leading investigators on the case.
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.
July 14, 2010 | By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times
Two Los Angeles police detectives arrived one day in 1987 to inform Bill and Diana Ware that their daughter Barbara had been found fatally shot, her body dumped in a back alley in South Los Angeles. The detectives carried hard presumptions about why she died, Diana Ware said, and so did her husband. It was 1987, during the height of the crack epidemic. Barbara, 23, had battled drugs for years. Bill Ware assumed she was killed in some type of dispute over drugs. It would be more than 20 years before the truth came out. Barbara Ware had been the third known victim of a serial killer now called the Grim Sleeper.
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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