Department worked to solve a series of 11 murders that occurred between 1985 and 2007 that were linked to the same suspect by DNA and ballistic evidence. Because the killer took an apparent 14-year hiatus between 1988 and 2002, the media dubbed him the “Grim Sleeper. ” Sept. 5, 2008 Los Angeles detectives hope a $500,000 reward set by the city council last week will produce some new leads in the case of a serial killer they believe is responsible for 11 deaths over a two decade period.
All of the victims, 10 women and a man were black and were found near South Los Angeles. Because the killer stopped killing from 1988 until 2002 the LA Weekly newspaper dubbed him the “Grim Sleeper. ” Investigators said seven women and a man were killed with the same handgun between August 1985 and September 1988. All of the women had been sexually assaulted and most of their bodies were dumped in the same alley in South Los Angeles. Then the killings stopped for 13 years. In March 2002, police found the body of 14-year-old Princess Berthomieux was found in an alley in Inglewood.
She had been beaten and strangled, but DNA evidence linked her murder to the earlier serial killings. There was another murder linked to the same killer in 2003 and the latest murder in the series was that of 25-year-old Jenecia Peters who was found shot and covered in a garbage bag in January 2007. Investigators are comparing prison records with the 13-year gap in the murders to see if violent criminals were locked up during that exact period. They are also searching DNA databases for possible matches. Nov. 24, 2009
The Los Angeles Police Department has released a sketch of a man they suspect in at least 11 deaths since the 1980s in hopes of tracking down the serial killer. The suspect is known only as the “Grim Sleeper” due to the fact that he apparently took a 14-year hiatus. The victims were all black and most were prostitutes or drug addicts, police said. They were sexually assaulted. A 12th victim managed to escape after being shot and raped in 1988. It was that victim’s description from which the police developed its latest sketch.
The suspect is described as 5-10 and 160 pounds. He is oft-spoken, articulate and has neatly trimmed hair and a pockmarked face. In February, the police released a 9-1-1 tape of a call made in 1987 of a witness reporting the killer disposing of a woman’s body in an alley in South Los Angeles, hoping to identify the caller. July 7, 2010 Using DNA from his son to identify him as a suspect, the Los Angeles Police Department has arrested a man suspected in 11 serial killings going back to 1985. Lonnie Franklin Jr. , who once worked as a police garage attendant, was charged with 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder with special circumstances of multiple murders.
The special circumstances charge makes him eligible for the death penalty under California law. He targeted young black women and one man. The victims were shot, strangled or both. Most of the victims, who were prostitutes, were sexually assaulted, investigators said. Aug. 24, 2010 The man accused of killing ten women in South Los Angeles in the “Grim Sleeper” case has entered a not guilty plea to 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Lonnie Franklin Jr. also faces special circumstance charges making him eligible for the death penalty in California.
Franklin was arrested last month for the murders which were committed between 1985 and 2007. There were no murders linked to the killer between 1988 and 2002, but police are investigating 30 other cold cases that may be linked to Franklin. Meanwhile, investigators said none of the hundreds of items seized from Franklin’s home and vehicle directly linked Franklin to the murders. Tests are still being conducted, however, for DNA and ballistic evidence. Franklin did not speak during his arraignment. His attorney entered the not guilty pleas for him.
Superior Court Judge Hilleri G Merrit estimated that it could take three years for the trial process to conclude. Dec. 27, 2010 Suspecting more victims in the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer case, the Los Angeles Police Department released to the public 160 photographs of women found in the possession of the main suspect, Lonnie David Franklin Jr. Although many of them have been identified, none have turned out to be victims. The release of the pictures was criticized by Franklin’s attorney, saying most of them were photos of friends and family members.
Franklin’s attorney, Louisa Pensanti, said the release of the photos is “jeopardizing Lonnie Franklin’s chance for a fair trial. ” “The photographs include members and friends of the Franklin family, all now subject to the intense scrutiny of the public as well as the police,” Pensanti told reporters. She said prosecutors did not include those photos as part of the evidence discovery. Wife Declined to Help LAPD Det. Dennis Kilcoyne said he asked Franklin’s wife to view the photographs to eliminate family members before they were released, but she declined to help.
Since the release of the photos, police have identified more than 20 of the young women in the pictures, but no clear victims have been identified, Kilcoyne said. Several of the photos have been removed from the website after they were identified. April. 7, 2011 Investigators in Los Angeles believe the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, already accused in 10 murders, may be responsible for eight additional deaths. Police are looking for the public’s help in identifying three possible victims of Lonnie Franklin Jr. from photos they found hidden at his home.
Franklin was arrested in July 2010 and remains in jail in Los Angeles. At a news conference, detectives said they believe there is a good possibility that three women were killed by Franklin because they found their photos in a secret stash at Franklin’s home that also contained a photo of one of his known victims. Secret Stash of Photos The photos were found in a refrigerator in Franklin’s garage. These small collections of photographs were kept separately from hundreds of photos of other women kept throughout Franklin’s house.
Because that collection of photos included a picture of Jenecia Peters who was murdered, police believe the other three may also be murder victims. “We feel there’s some significance to that,” Detective Dennis Kilcoyne told reporters, “Obviously, we hope for the best, but the circumstances are gloomy. These women have not been seen in a long, long time. ” Along with the three in the photographs, are four other women who were reported missing in Franklin’s neighborhood. The eighth suspected victim is from a 1988 unsolved ase. Many More Victims? All of the women were involved in drugs and prostitution and they frequented the area near Franklin’s home. However, they have not been linked to Franklin in any other way. Police are seeking any information that could connect them to him, Kilcoyne said. The case has been called the “Grim Sleeper” case because it was believed that the murders stopped in 1988 and did not begin again until 2002. But now investigators believe that there are many other possible victims during those years.
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a California man accused of the serial killings of women in a case known as the “Grim Sleeper” murders. Lonnie Franklin Jr. is facing charges in the murder of 10 women and attempted murder of another. Franklin has been held without bond since he was arrested in July 2010. Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman informed the court that her office will be seeking the death penalty against Franklin. Investigators believe that Franklin may be linked to even more murders in the Los Angeles area.
More Murder Victims Out There? The name “Grim Sleeper” was given to the case because it was believed there was a long gap between some of the murders in the 1980s and when they continued in the 2000s – from 1988 to 2002. But now investigators believe it is possible that the murders may never have stopped and there are many more victims. Also, during the hearing Monday, a judge ruled that prosecutors can take a voice sample from Franklin so that it can be compared to two 9-1-1 calls they believe Franklin made in connection with two of the murders.
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