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"Grim Sleeper" Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. gets Death Sentence Recommendation

believed responsible for murders of at least 10 women over a 22-year period


Lonnie Franklin Jr. Appeared Calm as the Jury Sentenced him to death.

On Monday an LA jury recommended the death penalty for Lonnie David Franklin, Jr, also known as the "Grim Sleeper." Franklin was already conviced on May 5 of all 10 counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders.

He is believed responsible for the gruesome murders of at least nine women and one teenage girl over a 22-year period, from 1985 to 2007. Prosecutors presented evidence in the penalty phase that suggest he could be responsible for an additional five killings. In addition, a German woman testified that Franklin and two other U.S. Army men kidnapped and raped her in Stuttgart in 1974. Prosecutors believe Franklin may be responsible for the murders of up to 25 women.

Investigation of the serial murders was hampered for years for a variety of reasons. The victims, frequently culled from drug addicts and prostitutes, were all initially unidentified, making it less obvious that the crimes were connected. In addition, several other serial killers were operating during the same time period in the late 80s, such as Michael Hughes (convicted of 7 murders) and Chester Turner (convicted of 14 murders). Some blamed the police for simply lacking motivation to find the killer of young black women in South Los Angeles.

Franklin, 63, a former sanitation worker, reportedly remained unmoved during the verdict and entire trial. The monniker "Grim Sleeper" was attached to his persona because the police believed he'd gone inactive between 1988 and 2002. Now, however, prosecutors do not believe he ever stopped killing.

At his house, investigators discovered more than 1,000 photos and hundreds of hours of videos of women, many nude and in sexually graphic poses, some appearing to be unconscious. A high school ID card of one victim, the driver's license of another, along with other morbid items were stuffed inside his garage refrigerator. Franklin's victims were often dumped naked or in humiliating positions along roadsides or in dumpsters.

Sentencing for Franklin will take place on August 10 before LA Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy.


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