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.
Only Known Survivor Of The Grim Sleeper Described The Attack In Court
A woman believed to have been the lone survivor the Grim Sleeper testified in court today about her harrowing ordeal.
Enietra Washington, 57, testified about her alleged encounter with Lonnie Franklin, Jr. 63, the man believed to be The Grim Sleeper, today. Franklin is charged with murdering 9 women and one teenage girl, as well as one count of attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
When presented with a photo of Franklin from 1989, Washington said she was "100 percent" certain that Franklin was the same man who attacked her 27 year ago, remarking that he looked the same, but with "less hair now, according to City News Service.
Washington's story begins in November of 1988. She was walking in South L.A. to a friend's house when she said Franklin pulled up beside her in an orange Ford Pinto and offered her a ride. She initially declined, but he continued to offer, at one point telling her, "That's what's wrong with you black women. People can't be nice to you." Finally, Washington relented and agreed to the ride.
She said he mentioned that he wanted to stop by his uncle's house to pick up some money, but after that stop, things got weird. Washington said she had though that Franklin had called her by a name that wasn't hers.
"I thought he said Brenda," she testified. "I turned back and said, 'That's not my name.'" Washington said in an interview with LA Weekly in 2009 that the name he called her belonged to a sex worker in the neighborhood to whom she bore a resemblance.
She said things went "eerily quiet" after that, and that before she even knew what was happening, he had shot her once in the chest. Washington said that he told her he shot her because she was "dogging him out," or disrespecting him, but that he seemed to think she was someone else.
"At that point, he started rambling, confusing me with someone else," she testified.
She said she begged him to take her to a hospital, but he did not. She began to fade in and out of consciousness, but remembered him climbing on top of her and at one point waking up to find him with his head between her thighs.
"I remember trying to fight him, pushing him away," she said.
She also recalled him using a Polaroid camera to take photos of her. Eventually, he pushed her out of the car.
Washington told the Weekly that despite her injuries, she managed to walk to the friend's house she had intended to walk to in the first place. She said her friend had already gone out, figuring her for a no-show, but her friend's husband found her on the porch. She was rushed to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance where doctors had to wait five days to remove the bullet. She spent a total of three weeks in the hospital.
Washington's attack would go unsolved for several years. However, Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said investigators found a photo of a bloody Washington among Franklin's possessions when they searched his home in 2010.
Several of Franklin's other suspected victims were also found shot in the chest.
Franklin is accused of murdering at least 10 people, beginning in 1985. He was given the nickname 'The Grim Sleeper' because he is believed to have taken a break from killing between 1988 to 2002.
Related: HBO's 'Grim Sleeper' Director Says Killings Were A Symptom Of A 'Racially Divided City'
Cruise off the highway and hit locally-known spots for some tasty bites.
Fentanyl and other drugs fuel record deaths among people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County. From 2019 to 2021, deaths jumped 70% to more than 2,200 in a single year.
This fungi isn’t a “fun guy.” Here’s what to do if you spot or suspect mold in your home.
Donald Trump was a fading TV presence when the WGA strike put a dent in network schedules.
Edward Bronstein died in March 2020 while officers were forcibly taking a blood sample after his detention.
A hike can be a beautiful backdrop as you build your connection with someone.