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Grim Sleeper: Firearms found at home of alleged serial killer; detectives examine landfill slayings

July 9, 2010 |  7:50 am

Los Angeles Police Department investigators found firearms in the home of a South L.A. man charged with being the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer who took the lives of 10 women over three decades, a law enforcement source told The Times.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing, said detectives plan to test the weapons to see if there is a match to the ballistics evidence from the crime scenes.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, was ordered held without bail Thursday, and his arraignment was postponed to Aug. 9. His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Regina A. Laughney, said in court that she had not had time to review the evidence in the case. She could not be reached for comment.

Franklin is accused of killing seven women between 1985 and 1988, when his crimes seemed to abruptly stop, authorities say. The slayings resumed in 2002, with a killing that year, another in 2003 and a third in 2007, police said.

Because Franklin once was a sanitation worker, one source said police would be examining any unsolved homicides in which bodies were dumped in landfills.

Detectives have spent the last two days scouring Franklin's home, collecting photo albums, documents, business cards and other records that they hope can provide a better picture of the suspect and perhaps provide links to other victims.

Los Angeles police detectives are reexamining at least 30 unsolved killings of women in South Los Angeles, seeing if they can link any of the homicides to Franklin. 

Meanwhile, neighbors offered a complex portrait of Franklin. To say that Franklin had been hiding in plain sight would be vast understatement. Effusive and outgoing, Franklin attended the graduation ceremonies of neighbors' children and brought gifts to elderly neighbors on their birthdays.

-- Joel Rubin, Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton and Jack Leonard

Photo: Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr. appears in Los Angeles County Superior Court on July 8, 2010. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Click to learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims

Learn more about the Grim Sleeper's victims on The Times' Grim Sleeper map.