Nearly 30 years after the bodies of mostly Black young women began showing up in alleyways in South Los Angeles, California, lawyers began on Tuesday to give opening statements in the “Grim Sleeper” trial, according to The Associated Press.
Lonnie Franklin Jr., one of the nation’s most prolific known Black serial killers, has pleaded not guilty to killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007.
The killer was nicknamed the “Grim Sleeper” in one of the city’s most notorious serial killer cases. He earned the moniker after an apparent 14-year gap in the murders between 1988 and 2002, the report says.
Sixty-three-year-old Franklin has been awaiting trial behind bars for nearly six years since his arrest in July 2010.
Via The AP:
Other than the 15-year-old girl, all the victims were women between the ages of 18 and 35. They were strangled or shot and dumped in alleys near Franklin’s south Los Angeles home, usually after some kind of sexual contact.
The initial killings occurred during a time of chaos and extreme violence in parts of Los Angeles. Many young women, including most of the victims, were falling prey to crack cocaine and other drug addictions. Several had resorted to trading sex for drugs or money.
Family members of the Grim Sleeper victims and a survivor of the attacks have been frustrated by repeated delays in the case and are eager for the opening statements.
The trial is expected to last up to four months.
SOURCE: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty