These days, Manfred Manson jogs each morning with his best friend Donnell Alexander, the bereaved brother of Monique Alexander. Donnell Alexander has been much-quoted in the media of late. Franklin has changed the oil in Manson's car and even had a beer with him.
"That was my best friend's sister," says Manson. "My friend, someone I see running every day, lost her. It's unbelievable."
PHOTO BY TED SOQUI
Lonnie Franklin Jr. lived here at 1728 West 81st Street, three doors from home police staked-out.
Wrong address: Police staked out 1742 West 81st Street, never realizing that Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. lived just three doors away.
They are all intertwined: good, decent people. Troubled adults and teenage children who were in need of help because they were drug abusers. Longtime neighbors. Alleged killer.
"To think the guy was right down the street. I felt like I was taunted and haunted," says Lampkins.
Lampkins became convinced that her sister's killer was someone in the neighborhood. She says she felt it was somebody close and never shook that feeling. "I was asking people, 'Do you know who killed my sister?' I believe my sister can now rest in peace."
As of this week, police have gathered more than 400 items from Franklin's cordoned-off home, finding 10 rifles and pistols. They are not saying if they have found "the gun." However, one of the confiscated weapons is a .25 caliber in size. Police also discovered more than 100 Polaroids and other photographs of "unknown females," some in unusual and provocative poses.
One neighbor, angry at the media onslaught that has brought camera crews and global attention to West 81st Street, tells L.A. Weekly that a few nights ago somebody shot at the suspect's home from a passing car.
Police say Franklin's apparently unsuspecting wife, an administrator with Inglewood Unified School District, has moved.
A Doberman pinscher has been installed in the fenced yard, and the dog has knocked over the garbage can. Children's toys have fallen from the trash, and are believed by onlookers to be the recently discarded toys of Lonnie David Franklin Jr.'s grandchildren. Until last week, they were regular visitors to the bright-green house. Now, the toys are strewn around the well-tended front lawn.
"The fact that he was right down the street — the bastard," says Lampkins. "How could you live with yourself?"