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

Share This


Suspected 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Could Have Been Caught Before Final Known Murder

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. appears with his attorney Regina A. Laughney for arraignment on multiple charges as the alleged "Grim Sleeper" killer | AP Photo/Al Seib

Suspected serial killer Lonnie Franklin was supposed to be swabbed for DNA while he was on probation for a felony, but it never happened. If it did, the alleged "Grim Sleeper" may have been caught, sparing at least one woman her life, finds the LA Times.

In 2004 Proposition 69 went into affect, meaning anyone convicted of a felony and those on probation for a felony crime had to be swabbed for DNA and added to the state's database. Franklin at the time was on probation, but by the time the L.A. County County Probation Department was finally ready to collect DNA, a judge had already changed Franklin's status to be no longer under supervision of a probation officer.

"Guidelines published by the California attorney general’s office in March 2005 said probation departments were to collect samples from offenders then under their supervision," noted the Times. The final known victim of the "Grim Sleeper" was found dead on New Year's Day in 2007.