The 'Grim Sleeper': 5 Things to Know About Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin

The 'Grim Sleeper': 5 Things to Know About Alleged Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin
Lonnie Franklin
AP Pool/Nick Ut,Pool

updated 05/05/2016 AT 05:10 PM EDT

originally published 05/04/2016 AT 04:05 PM EDT

Editor's note: On Thursday, Lonnie Franklin was found guilty in the murder of ten women and the attempted murder of another in a 23-year killing spree in South Los Angeles.

The victims were all young vulnerable black women who lived in South Los Angeles and struggled with drug addiction. Their naked or partially clothed bodies were all dumped in the filthy neighborhood alleyways, left to rot under garbage and debris. They were shot at close range with a .25-caliber pistol, or strangled, or both.

After three months of testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court, closing arguments have wrapped up in the trial of Lonnie Franklin Jr., the alleged "Grim Sleeper" serial killer who prosecutors say stalked South Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Franklin is charged with the murder of 10 women and the attempted murder of another woman.

Here are five things to know about Franklin:

1. Prosecutors Say Franklin is a Sexual Predator
During the trial, prosecutors painted Franklin, a former corporal in the United States Army, as a sexual predator who killed women who "weren't submissive enough." "These crimes were about power and control," prosecutor Beth Silverman told the jury during closing arguments Monday.

"It is clear the defendant got pleasure from killing these young women because that's how they all ended up," Silverman said. "He definitely wanted to degrade these women by dumping their bodies like trash. He got off on that too and that is why he did it over and over. It gave him gratification. "

2. Franklin Allegedly Bragged About His Sexual Conquests
Franklin's longtime friend Ray Davis testified that Franklin’s conquests were a common topic of conversation between them. Franklin took photos of various women and joked that he had names for all the girls in the photos depending on what their breasts looked like, Davis told the jury. He also said that even though Franklin didn't smoke marijuana, he kept a supply on hand for his various girlfriends.

3. The Charges Against Him
Franklin is accused of the murder of 10 women and the attempted murder of another during a 23-year- murder spree that began in 1984 with the alleged murder of 21-year-old Sharon Dismuke.

His last alleged victim was 25-year-old Janecia Peters on January 1, 2007. His youngest alleged victim was 15-year-old runaway Princess Berthomieux, who was found strangled in an alley in Inglewood in 2002.

4. Police Arrested Him Via DNA Evidence
The Grim Sleeper alleged murders stumped detectives for more than two decades. It wasn't until the LAPD started its cold case unit that they realized that the killer of seven women in the 80s was allegedly linked through DNA and ballistics evidence to murders in 2002, 2003 and 2007.

However, the alleged killer's DNA profile was not in CODIS, the national database for DNA. Franklin was finally caught in July of 2010 through familial DNA testing after his 28-year-old son, Christopher, was arrested for carrying a weapon in the summer of 2009 and had to give up a DNA swab.

Once it was determined that Christopher was related to the alleged killer, detectives followed the elder Franklin to a pizza place in Buena Park. As Franklin finished his meal, a detective who posed as a busboy collected a fork, two plastic cups, a plate and a pizza slice left by Franklin. A few days later, DNA taken from the pizza slice came back as a match to DNA found on alleged Grim Sleeper victims.

5. Authorities Allegedly Found 'Souvenirs' of Victims in Home
During the three-day search of Franklin’s property, investigators allegedly found womens necklaces, rings, earrings, and watches and, more than 500 photographs of women – many of them naked or engaged in sex acts. They also allegedly found pornography, including homemade pornography made by Franklin.

In one of Franklin's bedrooms, criminalist Rafael Garcia discovered a F.I.E Titan .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun, otherwise known as a "pocket pistol." It was later allegedly determined to be the gun used to kill Janecia Peters.

In a backyard garage, an LAPD firearms examiner found a Polaroid photograph of Grim Sleeper survivor Enietra Washington.

Also found was a photo of victim Janecia Peters. In the same envelope, they also found the school identification card of 18-year-old Ayellah Marshall and the Nevada driver’s license of Rolenia Morris, 29. Both women had been reported missing in February and September 2005, respectively. Their bodies were never found. Both women were last seen in the vicinity of Franklin’s home at 81st and Western Avenues.
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