Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Capture of Suspected 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer 'Will Change the Way Policing is Done in the United States'

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The Los Angeles Police Department today released various booking photos of suspected "Grim Sleeper" serial killer Lonnie Franklin, Jr. In addition to his booking photo taken yesterday after his arrest, there were three others, all from previous arrests.

"We have our suspect," declared Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a press conference this morning. "He is our man," lead Detective Dennis Kilcoyne told reporters with confidence.

Franklin was arrested twice for receiving stolen property in 1993 and 2003 and for assault with a deadly weapon in 1999, according to the LA Weekly. But DNA, the critical clue that tied at least 10 murders together, was not collected from Franklin because he served time in local jails, not state ones.

"In this case, in our 1.5 million data samples, there was no evidence of a suspect in the case," said Attorney General Jerry Brown. To catch Franklin, Brown's office had to carefully tread constitutional law to embark on the process of familial DNA testing, which searches the database for family members. 10 days ago, Franklin's son's DNA was discovered in the database, leading authorities to Franklin, who began staking him out last Friday.

Support for LAist comes from

"This is a landmark case," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "This will change the way policing is done in the United States." He explained that familial DNA testing will bring the United States up to par with Western Europe.