Verdict: The 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Finally Gets What He Deserves

Verdict: The 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Finally Gets What He Deserves

Lonnie Franklin Jr. targeted low-income Black women.

Published June 7, 2016

Justice was served cold to a man who preyed on Black women in a low-income Los Angeles neighborhood.

The serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" has been sentenced to death after finally having his day in court. Lonnie Franklin Jr., 62, is a former city trash collector and garbage attendant for the Los Angeles police. He received his cryptic nickname from a 14-year gap in his crime spree, preventing police from connecting the dots between all his murders.

Franklin's victims were all Black women that lived close to him in South Central Los Angeles, including one 14-year-old girl. Most of the murders fit a similar pattern: women were either fatally shot, choked or both and then dumped in alleys and trash bins. Franklin, sadly, often targeted low-income Black women (often drug abusers), knowing that their deaths would garner less attention and less thorough investigation by law enforcement. For a murderer, that’s a pretty bold political statement.

Franklin was convicted of 10 counts of first-degree murder last month for crimes dating back more than 30 years. He has actually been linked to even more murders, however the DA chose not to charge him with the extra cases because that would have delayed his trial by an additional six years. Family members of the victims cried Monday as the verdicts were read.

A prosecutor had asked jurors to show Franklin the same compassion he showed his victims and give him the "ultimate penalty." Even his defense lawyer asked jurors to sentence him to life without parole to hasten the healing process for victims' family members. It’s clear that everyone desperately wanted to get the Grim Sleeper put away as soon as possible and give him the appropriate punishment for his many heinous crimes.

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Nick Ut/ AP PHOTO)


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