The Grim Sleeper: Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin, Jr. Found Guilty By L.A. Court: Prosecution Pushes For Death Penalty

The Grim Sleeper has been found guilty. A Los Angeles jury has convicted 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin, Jr., also known as “The Grim Sleeper,” guilty after a trial which lasted a month.

News station KTLA reports that Lonnie, The Grim Sleeper, raped his victims — all women — before shooting or strangling them to death. When he was finished, he would then dump their bodies throughout South Los Angeles.

The Grim Sleeper was charged with 10 counts of murder, one including a 15-year-old girl, and one count of attempted murder spanning over 20 years.

The Grim Sleeper’s guilty verdict was read by Clara Shortridge Foltz at the Criminal Justice Center in downtown L.A. shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Grim Sleeper was found guilty on all counts as he appeared emotionless during the reading.


L.A. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said there were “legal matters” that would delay the sentencing portion of the trial.

She asked that jurors are still to return on May 12 to finalize the case and ordered not to discuss the Grim Sleeper trial publicly.

The Grim Sleeper took the life of his first victim in 1985. Then came six more leading up to 1988. The rest of the victims were killed sporadically in the years 2002, 2003, and 2007 being the latest.

The women whom The Grim Sleeper is accused of killing are:

  • Debra Jackson – Aug. 10, 1985
  • Henrietta Wright – Aug. 12, 1986
  • Barbara Ware – Jan. 10, 1987
  • Bernita Sparks – April 15, 1987
  • Mary Lowe – Nov. 1, 1987
  • Lachrica Jefferson – Jan. 30, 1988
  • Alicia Alexander – Sept. 11, 1988
  • Princess Berthomieux – March 19, 2002
  • Valeria McCorvey – July 11, 2003
  • Janecia Peters – Jan. 1, 2007

The Grim Sleeper was first indicted in 2011 for his murders. The gap between the Grim Sleeper’s killings earned him the nickname.

L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told the jury,”Once he saw he could get away with murder, literally, he just kept doing it.”

Silverman confirmed that The Grim Sleeper gained sexual gratification out of raping, strangling, and murdering his victims.

“He watched as they struggled to breathe. … He watched as they each died. The defendant is a sexual predator. Sexual gratification was his clear motive here.”

Silverman has not only pushed for The Grim Sleeper to be found guilty, which she has now succeeded in doing so, but she is also fighting for the death penalty in the case.

The Grim Sleeper was first arrested for his crimes in 2010 after DNA results led to a partial match from his son. The LAPD then tailed his father, until he tossed out a piece of pizza crust from a slice he had eaten.

Police retrieved the crust which turned out to be the smoking gun when a genetic test resulted in a perfect match with the Grim Sleeper’s DNA.

He was arrested and held without bail shortly thereafter. At the Grim Sleeper’s home, police found over 100 photos of women, some of whom remain unidentified.


There is only one known survivor of the now guilty Grim Sleeper, a woman by the name of Enietra Washington. Washington ended up being the prosecution’s star witness.

She told the jury that in 1988 she was offered a ride by the Grim Sleeper as she walked to a friend’s house. Accepting the ride, she got into the car only to be shot and sexually assaulted by the Grim Sleeper.

The Grim Sleeper then pushed her out of the car, leaving her for dead. However, Washington still managed to get to her friend’s house before being taken to the hospital.

She identified the Grim Sleeper as her attacker before he was found guilty.

[Getty Images/Pool]