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Grim Sleeper serial killer suspect expected to answer charges at arraignment

July 27, 2010 |  7:52 am

A South L.A. man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer is expected to answer charges against him at an arraignment Tuesday morning.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, was charged earlier this month with killing 10 women over a period spanning  more than two decades. He has been held without bail since his arrest July 7, which came after undercover officers surreptitiously collected a sample of his DNA that authorities say matched evidence found at several of the crime scenes. If convicted, Franklin could face the death penalty.

The former city sanitation worker and Los Angeles Police Department garage attendant allegedly murdered seven young African American women between 1985 and 1988 in South Los Angeles. He resurfaced in the same area 14 years later, striking three more times and with the last killing coming in 2007, according to police. 

Until now, neither Franklin nor his attorney has made any statements.

Authorities said they have linked Franklin to the killings through a combination of DNA and ballistics evidence. Investigators are reviewing dozens of other unsolved murder cases from the long period when Franklin was apparently dormant and the years when he was active for indications he might have been involved in other killings. Police Chief Charlie Beck has said that he expects Franklin will eventually be tied to more victims.

Los Angeles police confiscated hundreds of items from Franklin's house and vehicles he owns after his arrest, including firearms and ammunition, handcuffs, car seats possibly stained with bodily fluids, and pornographic photos and videos, according to court records reviewed by The Times.

Along with a few hundred dollars, identification cards and a brown paper bag, police also found an LAPD officer’s notepad on top of a cabinet in Franklin’s house, as well as a flier about a person who had disappeared in the area. They also took a ski mask that had been hanging on the wall of the garage, mattress covers and a pair of gloves.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: LAPD's Dennis Kilcoyne, lead detective in the Grim Sleeper serial-killer case, with an age progression of mug shots of suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr. on July 8, 2010. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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