Police work to tie more homicides to 'Grim Sleeper'
Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Eight more women may have been killed by the 'Grim Sleeper,' an alleged serial killer charged with killing 10 women in South Los Angeles as far back as the mid 1980s.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck plans to discuss the case and release images of possible victims at a 4 p.m. news conference.
Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, a one-time city employee, has been locked up since his July 7, 2010 arrest. He is suspected of killing at least 10 women, many of them prostitutes and crack addicts, and dumping their remains in alleys and trash bins around South Los Angeles.
In December, police made public dozens images of women found in Franklin's home near 81st Street and Harvard Boulevard in order to identify or eliminate other possible victims.
Detectives are trying to find eight women. Six of them were reported missing; one is an unsolved murder victim, and one is unidentified. They are connected to Franklin, police said.
Detectives are expected to show photos of six missing women whose names are known. They are connected to the suspect by "strong circumstantial evidence recovered at Franklin's residence,'' police said.
The other three missing women had "several things in common with the confirmed victims,'' police said. "They shared similar lifestyles, and each of them had frequented Franklin's neighborhood prior to their disappearance.'' The women were reported missing as far back as 1982, and the most recent was in 2006.
The seventh woman is unidentified, and was found to have a "direct connection to evidence recovered at Franklin's residence,'' police said.
The eighth woman of interest was identified as Inez Warren, killed in 1988. Her killing remains unsolved.
Anyone with more information about the women or Franklin was urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7.
Although Lonnie Franklin, the defendant in the Grim Sleeper murders that plagued South Los Angeles over the past two decades, has been in custody for more than three months, the “800” Task Force charged with solving the carnage is still embroiled in the investigation, according to Bill Fallon, one of the eight officers assigned to the investigative unit. The detective granted Our Weekly an interview in between treks to Mississippi and Northern California to tie up loose ends in this ever-expanding multiple homicide case.
Los Angeles police say two suspects have been arrested for the murder of 5-year-old Aaron Shannon, and are being held without bail. Leonard Hall Jr., 21, was taken into custody today (Friday) about at 2:10 a.m. at an apartment in the 200 block of West. 27th Str. Marcus Denson, 18, was arrested Thursday evening by Sheriff’s deputies in the 1100 block of East 83rd Street. Law enforcement officials say both suspects are active gang members.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man suspected in the “Grim Sleeper” serial killings, a deputy district attorney announced today.
A jury will be asked to recommend a death sentence for 58-year-old Lonnie Franklin Jr. if he is convicted, Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said. Franklin has been indicted on 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
Franklin, a one-time city employee, has been locked up since his July 7, 2010, arrest.
During an OurWeekly interview back in November of last year, “800” Task Force member Det. Bill Fallon suggested that more victims of suspected “Grim Sleeper” mass murderer Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. might materialize, adding to the 10 already ascribed to one of the most prolific serial killings in Los Angeles crime history.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Looking over his first year as police chief today, Charlie Beck said it had been a professionally rewarding but emotionally difficult 12 months.
"I am very very optimistic about this organization,'' Beck said in a briefing in police headquarters attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
"Los Angeles is safer today, one year after the appointment of Charlie Beck ...,'' Villaraigosa said.