Prosecution Rests Case in Trial of Alleged 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer After Showing Homemade Sex Tape and Interrogation of Lonnie Franklin
Prosecutors portrayed Franklin as an opportunistic killer who preyed on vulnerable young women with drug addictions
The prosecution rested its case in the Los Angeles trial of Lonnie Franklin, the alleged “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, after calling more than 40 witnesses.
Franklin, a 63-year-old married father of two and former LAPD mechanic and city sanitation worker, is accused of murdering 10 women and attempting to murder another. He faces the death penalty for his alleged 23-year murder spree. He has pleaded not guilty.
His trial began February 16.
Prosecutors Beth Silverman and Marguerite Rizzo have painted Franklin as an opportunistic killer who preyed on vulnerable young women with drug addictions. His alleged victims were discovered in alleyways in South Los Angeles starting in 1984.
Most of Franklin’s alleged victims were shot with a .25-caliber pistol while others were strangled. Prosecutors say Franklin is linked to the murders through DNA and ballistics evidence.
During the trial, jurors heard testimony from law enforcement personnel who were involved in the three-day search of Franklin’s home and garage after his arrest in July of 2010.
Genaro Arredondo, an LAPD firearms examiner, testified that he discovered a photo of survivor Enietra Washington behind a piece of drywall in Franklin’s garage.
Washington testified earlier in the trial that Franklin shot her, sexually assaulted her, and took a Polaroid picture of her before pushing her out of his car 27 years ago.
Also discovered in Franklin’s cluttered garage were .25 caliber bullets, over $10,000 in cash, a Polaroid camera, bras and panties and a photo of victim Janecia Peters, which was tucked inside an envelope in Franklin’s refrigerator, law enforcement personnel testified.
An undercover detective recounted following Franklin and his girlfriend to a pizza restaurant in Buena Vista on July 5, 2010 for a children’s birthday party. The detective testified that he masqueraded as a busboy so he could obtain a DNA sample from Franklin.
DNA taken from a pizza slice and two napkins matched the Grim Sleeper s genetic profile, prosecutors said.
Yesterday, prosecutors showed a homemade video found inside Franklin’s home showing Franklin having sex with an unknown woman and taking photos of her.
Later that day, prosecutors played a 40-minute interrogation video taken hours after Franklin was arrested.
In the video, LAPD detective Dennis Kilcoyne told Franklin, “You need to man up and start talking to us and tell us what in God’s name caused you to do this.”
Franklin denied that he had anything to do with the murders. He later asked for an attorney.
Franklin’s defense attorneys will begin their case on Monday.