Arrest made in L.A. serial killer case
LOS ANGELES — A one-time police garage attendant suspected of killing 10 people and stumping detectives for more than two decades was arrested Wednesday after police used DNA from his son to track him down.
Lonnie Franklin Jr., 57, was charged with 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and special circumstance allegations of multiple murders that could make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted, District Attorney Steve Cooley said.
“Today is a good day,” Donnell Alexander, the brother of victim Monique Alexander, said as he watched police activity outside the South Los Angeles house where the arrest was made earlier in the day.
Detectives have spent years investigating slayings between 1985 and 2007 in which the killer targeted young black women and one man. The attacker was dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” because he apparently took a 14-year hiatus from his crimes, from 1988 to 2002. The victims were shot, strangled or both, usually after some kind of sexual contact. Several were prostitutes.
The break in the case came after Franklin’s son was arrested and swabbed for DNA, said Alexander, whom detectives briefed on the case. The sample came back as similar to evidence in the serial killings, leading police to investigate relatives of the arrestee.