A Los Angeles jury convicted Lonnie David Franklin Jr., dubbed the “Grim Sleeper,” of 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder on Thursday, May 5, bringing closure to a series of killings that has spanned more than two decades, according to the Associated Press.
Franklin was found guilty in the murders of nine women and one 15-year-old girl after an emotional three-month trial that opened old wounds for the victims’ families.
“They suffered from the same frailties and the same imperfections that all humans do, and they had the same homes and the same dreams for their futures that we all have,” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors of the victims during closing arguments in the trial, according to the Los Angeles Times. “None of them deserved to be brutally dumped like trash as if their lives had no meaning.”
Franklin’s victims were all young and black and lived in the same south Los Angeles neighborhood where he formerly worked as a police garage attendant and city garbage collector.
Lone survivor Enietra Washington proved to be critical to the case. According to the L.A. Times, she testified that she was raped and shot by a man nearly 30 years ago, but managed to escape.
Washington testified that she remembered the assailant taking a photo of her with a Polaroid camera shortly before she fell unconscious.
Authorities found dozens of similar photos of women at Franklin’s home after his arrest in 2010, which helped the public to identify his victims.
The penalty phase of the trial will begin on May 12. It will then be determined whether Franklin will be executed or serve a life sentence in prison.
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