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'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Suspect Guilty in 10 Deaths

Image: 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Suspect Guilty in 10 Deaths
(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

By    |   Friday, 06 May 2016 10:06 AM

The "Grim Sleeper" serial killings may have been put to rest after Lonnie Franklin was found guilty Thursday in the deaths of nine women and a teenage girl over the course of 22 years in the south Los Angeles area.

Franklin, 63, could face the death penalty when he is sentenced May 12 for convictions on 10 first-degree murder charges, reported KNBC-TV. He was also found guilty of attempted murder in connection with a woman who escaped from him.

"It just dawned on me, it's been nine years since (the final victim) Janecia Peters was murdered," retired Los Angeles detective Dennis Kilcoyne told KNBC-TV of the killings that ranged from 1985 to 2007. "These families, it's not a club you want to belong to. I think the world of these families."

Franklin worked as a city garbage collector and, ironically, as an attendant at the Los Angeles Police Department, said the Los Angeles Times, while explaining how authorities nicknamed the suspect the "Grim Sleeper" because of a 14-year gap between murders from 1988.

There were several other unsolved killings in the area that couldn't be conclusively tied to Franklin.

"I can't even begin to explain," Samara Herard, sister of Princess Berthomieux, told the Times after the verdict. Berthomieux was 15 when found strangled and beaten in 2002 in an Inglewood alley.

"You wait so long and you don't think it will come. You knew in your heart it would be this, but it's surreal. She deserved to live a full life. I'm here for her." 

The Times noted that all the victims were African-American and many were found partially dressed or naked in Los Angeles' Manchester Square neighborhood. The women were left without identification and all were initially labeled by police as Jane Does.

Los Angeles deputy district attorney Beth Silverman told KPCC Public Radio said that prosecutors detected a pattern in all the murders that tied them together.

"In multiple murders, Franklin picked up women who were on the streets using drugs or prostituting, sexually assaulted them, shot them at an angle from the driver’s seat, and dumped them in an alley and covered them up with mattresses, debris, or trash cans." 

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The "Grim Sleeper" serial killings may have been put to rest after Lonnie Franklin was found guilty Thursday in the deaths of nine women and a teenage girl over the course of 22 years in the south Los Angeles area.
grim sleeper, serial, killer, suspect, guilty
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2016-06-06
Friday, 06 May 2016 10:06 AM
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