If you live in the Los Angeles area and especially on the South Side, you know of The Grim Sleeper. If not, The Grim Sleeper ‘aka’ Lonnie Franklin was arrested in 2010 and charged with the brutal murder of nearly 200 women. While remaining behind bars, his trial date had been postponed three times. The Tales of the Grim Sleeper was one of big documentary hits at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival.
However, a few days ago Lonnie Franklin was sentenced to death after a trial that lasted for months. A death sentence for a man who clearly had no regard for human life.
Initially, based on DNA evidence, the police believed Franklin’s son Christopher was guilty. Only after finding DNA on a cup obtained in the trash at a pizza joint, was it determined the DNA in fact matched Lonnie Franklin – not his son.
When asked how Christopher feel about his Dad being a murderer, he replied “I lost my best friend…I’m still his son”. On whether or not he thought his Dad would be convicted, “…He has a lot of fans in law enforcement and freaks in the street that think what he did was cool”.
Told from the eyes of Pamela Brooks (former drug addict and acquaintance of Franklin’s) we learn that the Lonnie Franklin, the man described by neighbors and friends as a “really nice guy” had a mean streak…especially with women.
Franklin, a former sanitation worker and ex-con was known to troll close to his neighborhood (Western and 81st) for hookers who ranged in age from 14-36.
Apparently, according to several women who know him, Lonnie liked to take naked pictures of women and have sex with them – all with the aide of his “friends” in the neighborhood. Those same friends tell investigators that they believed Lonnie hated women because of a tumultuous relationship with his first wife (a crackhead).
Directed by Nick Broomfield (a filmmaker from the UK) many things are brought to life through the eyes of various individuals who seemingly knew two very different sides of Lonnie Franklin.
At the Q& A following the film, Margaret Prescod from the Black Coalition Fighting Black Serial Killers informed the audience of a 911 call which had been suppressed as evidence for nearly 20 years and that only 18 of the 90 women murdered were on the books at the time the crimes originally occurred. Police allegedly believe that many of the victims wound up in a landfill.
Ms. Prescod brought up a good point noting that when Natalie Holloway went missing, it was international news, but women of color AND from South LA are especially ignored and deemed unimportant. Things that make you go hmmm….
Check out this trailer…