The 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Will Officially Face the Death Penalty

Image via AP.
Image via AP.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was convicted in May on ten counts of murder, one count of attempted murder. His victims were killed over a 22-year period in south Los Angeles, where Franklin Jr. worked as a garbage truck driver and a garage attendant for the Los Angeles Police Department.


The actual number of women killed by Franklin Jr. is estimated as higher, though he had a period of non-activity that gave him the moniker Grim Sleeper. Franklin Jr. was arrested in July of 2010, when DNA testing technology that had been unavailable at the time of his initial killings connected him to a murder. Police obtained a sample of his saliva by sending an undercover officer to steal a pizza crust.

The jury recommended the death penalty when giving their verdict. CNN reports that in closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman argued why Franklin Jr.’s crimes deserved no leniency:

“He did it over, and over, and over, and over and over, and over,” Silverman told jurors. “All of the murders in this case are first degree. They are all willful. They are all deliberate. They are all premeditated.”


Enietra Washington is the only known survivor of Franklin Jr. She says that in 1988, she got into his car. He shot her without warning. In her memory he climbed on top of her, took her photo, then pushed her out of the car assuming she was dead. Pictures of Washington were found at Franklin Jr.’s house, hidden behind a wall. Judge Kathleen Kennedy upheld the jury’s recommendation and denied the defense’s motion to reduce the punishment to life in prison without parole.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Corgis Rule Canada

I remain 100% against the death penalty.