Murder Trial Resumes In Los Angeles 'Grim Sleeper' Case


The case of the Grim Sleeper serial killer in Los Angeles has haunted the city for three decades. Now, a former police garage attendant and trash collector is facing a jury trial for multiple killings.

Lonnie Franklin Jr., 63, was charged with killing one girl and nine women between the ages of 15 and 35 over the course of 30 years, CNN reports. The "Grim Sleeper" name comes from the fact that the killings came in spurts that were 13 years removed from each other, highlighting the lack of activity during this time.

On Feb. 17, Jurors heard about the autopsy report of Debra Jackson, a 29-year-old waitress who was found shot dead in an alley, and that of Henrietta Wright, similarly found with gunshot wounds a year later, KTLA reports. 

Franklin was first arrested in 2010, after police raided his home and discovered pictures and videos of 180 different women, the circumstances of around 30 of which remain unknown in 2016, according to CNN.

Detectives in Los Angeles have been trying to solve the case since the first killing spree took place in the 1980s, but were only able to do so after obtaining DNA samples from Franklin.  In addition to this, prosecutors say they were able to tie Franklin to the killings using saliva collected from bodies and ballistic matches between slugs found in the crime scenes and a handgun seized from Franklin's home on the day he was arrested.

Franklin has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, and his lawyer described him as a man neighbors had come to know as reliable, friendly and helpful.

"He was just a good guy," said Steve Robinson, who lived across the street from Franklin and said he had known him for more than 20 years before his arrest.

Other neighbors corroborated this sentiment, telling reporters it was difficult to reconcile the fact that DNA evidence implicates Franklin in these murders with the pleasant man they thought they knew.

Sources: KTLA, CNN / Photo credit: LAPD via New York Daily News

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