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Aunt of Grim Sleeper's last victim feels 'joy' over arrest in serial killer case

July 7, 2010 |  4:22 pm


Three years ago, Janecia LaVette Peters was found dead at Western Avenue near 92nd Street in South Los Angeles. She had been shot in the back and stuffed into a trash bag. She is considered the most recent victim of the Grim Sleeper serial killer.

Since that day, Peters' aunt has been waiting for police to make an arrest.

On Wednesday, hours after LAPD detectives announced they believe 57-year-old Lonnie David Franklin Jr. is responsible for Peters' death and those of nine others, the aunt went to his home.

"He killed my niece," Diane McQueen, 55, said as she stood behind the crime tape, clutching a program from Peters' funeral.

"She was found on Western and 92nd Street, in a dumpster," McQueen said. "She was 25. It hit my family real hard. I had lost hope this day would come. I feel a lot of joy it did at last."

DNA and ballistics evidence have connected the killings of 10 women and one man from 1985 to 2007, police said. After 1988, the killer did not commit any known homicides until 2002. Peters was the killer's last known victim. Franklin has not been charged in the slaying of the man.

The victims the killer targeted were all black and most appear to have been prostitutes or drug addicts who were sexually assaulted. A 12th victim escaped after being shot and raped.

Franklin is charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder on Nov. 20, 1988:

Aug. 10, 1985, Debra Jackson

Aug. 12, 1985, Henrietta Wright

Jan. 10, 1987, Barbara Ware

April 15, 1987, Bernita Sparks

Oct. 31, 1987, Mary Lowe

Feb. 1, 1988, Lachrica Jefferson

Sept. 11, 1988, Alicia Alexander

March 19, 2002, Princess Berthomieux (Inglewood)

July 11, 2003, Valerie McCorvey

Jan. 1, 2007, Janecia Peters

-- Hector Becerra

Photo: Victims whom police say DNA and ballistics evidence have linked to Lonnie David Franklin Jr. Credit: LAPD

Click to learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims
Learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims on The Times interactive Homicide Report map