Los Angeles Investigators are re-examining more than 30 cold case files to see if they can be tied to a suspect in the “Grim Sleeper” killings, the police chief said Friday.
The cases, dating back to 1984, will be scoured for leads in light of new information gleaned since Wednesday’s arrest of Lonnie Franklin Jr. on 10 counts of murder and other charges.
“Now that we know who he is, where he lives, the cars he drove, have people to interview, we will go over all those old cases and look for connections,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. “This is a city that was no stranger to homicides in the ’80s and ’90s, and we will be looking at all of those, especially the ones where the victims were female.”
Investigators will upload Franklin’s DNA profile into a national database to see if it matches other samples where the DNA had degraded and scientists only were able to get a partial sample, Beck said.
Franklin was dubbed the Grim Sleeper after a string of murders of young black women had south Los Angeles on edge in the mid-1980s. Then the killings suddenly stopped, only to resume again 14 years later.
Now, investigators say they have possibly uncovered the reason for the long respite: He may have been spooked by a near miss by police in 1988.
Franklin made a first court appearance Thursday on the murder counts as well as one count of attempted murder and special-circumstance allegations of multiple murder that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole.