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Serial Killer Grim Sleeper Caught Napping

Updated on July 15, 2011

 "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                                                               Friedrich Nietzsche

The Prime Suspect, Lonnie Franklin Jr.,
The Prime Suspect, Lonnie Franklin Jr.,
L.A. County District Attorney Cooley
L.A. County District Attorney Cooley
Enietra Margette Washington,
Enietra Margette Washington,
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton

Grim Sleeper Caught Napping

The elusive South L.A. serial killer dubbed as the Grim Sleeper was arrested early Wednesday July 7th, ending a 25 year hunt in the murders of possibly more than a dozen residents.

The Prime Suspect, Lonnie Franklin Jr., is believed to have sexually assaulted women, mostly prostitutes, before shooting and killing them in and around a one mile radius of his L.A. residence.

It is believed this killing spree extended over the course of four decades beginning with Cocktail waitress Debra Jackson, 29. Found on August 10th, 1985, she was shot 3 times in the chest with a .25 caliber handgun and was fully clothed.

Enietra Margette Washington, was also 29 years old when she was attacked on November 20, 1988. The modus operandi and signature fit the previous attacks. As the sole survivor she was able to give a description of the make and model of the vehicle in addition to a description of the Perp. Ballistics confirmed a match with the weapon used in the previous 8 murders.

This seems to be the reason for the 14 year hiatus thus the nickname “Grim Sleeper”. Princess Berthomieux, 14, was found March 19, 2002, in Inglewood. Cause of death: strangulation, which was an alteration of the Perps previous signature.

L.A. County District Attorney Cooley initially charged the suspect with 10 counts of murder. He had been in custody numerous times arrested for various crimes prior to his 2010 incarceration.

“In late August 2008, the same week the Weekly broke the sole survivor's story with information on the Grim Sleeper's body count of 13 victims, an aide to Police Chief William Bratton said he was too busy to comment on the case.[3] In early September 2008, officials in Los Angeles announced that they are offering a $500,000 reward to help catch the killer, who has murdered at least 10 women and one man in two sprees over the past 20 years.[4] On November 1, 2008, a story about the "Grim Sleeper" appeared on the television program America's Most Wanted. “ *Wikipedia

“Medical technology broke the case, when Franklin’s son was swabbed for DNA using, the familial search technique. According to police, a DNA sample taken from his son in an unrelated case was found to bear a close resemblance to DNA found on the victims. Franklin's DNA profile will be loaded into a national database. Hits or partial hits are relatively new and controversial forensic technique known as 'Familial' DNA searching. "Familial" searching allows investigators to look for close DNA matches in relatives when the suspect's DNA profile is not in the state database.”

* KTLA-TV Los Angeles

Police while executing a Search Warrant recovered a weapon which will be tested using Ballistics. Franklin was ordered and held without bail. His arraignment is scheduled August 9th.

The DNA swabbed and matched at the crime scene emerged while the investigators drew up the family tree linking the Father thus implicating him as the Long sought after “Grim Sleeper


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    • gjfalcone profile image

      gjfalcone 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thanks for checking in debbie roberts. Today's technilogical advances have indeed made contributions to previously stagnant cold cases. Thank you as always for your comments.

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      I'm not up on the goings on in America, so I hadn't heard of the Grim Sleeper. Thankfully with todays technology it is easier to catch criminals even years after they commit their crimes. Interesting hub.