Lonnie David Franklin Jr., Alleged Grim Sleeper Serial Killer, Arraignment Postponed
By Steve La, J. Patrick Coolican and Clarissa Wei
The arraignment of the alleged "Grim Sleeper," Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., has been postponed until August 9.
Cameras were barred from the courtroom by the L.A. Superior Court Judge, who ordered the 57-year old alleged serial killer held without bail until next month's arraignment.
Franklin allegedly killed as many as 10 people plus an additional attempt over the span of two decades. The latest on the arrest, including today's press conference, after the jump.
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"God is good," said Porter Alexander at the press conference. He's the father of Alicia Alexander, who was a 1988 murder victim -- her body dumped, like the others, in the same area of a working class neighborhood of South L.A.
Alexander said when they heard the news of the arrest, his wife screamed, newly unburdened of the weight of the decades-old mystery.
Donnell Alexander, 47 and brother of Alicia Alexander, told the Weekly he was "overjoyed at the feeling that they caught him. I have so many emotions right now."
Various elected officials made their way to the microphone at a time of civic triumph, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is running for governor; District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is running for attorney general; Councilman Bernard Parks; and Sheriff Lee Baca.
Several speakers noted the unique method that led to the arrest, called familial DNA and outlined yesterday by the Weekly.
Police used evidence found at crime scenes and then searched a database of 1.5 million felons and came up empty. A year ago Brown authorized a familial DNA search -- one that would find a son, uncle or brother of the alleged killer. Brown thanked the forensic scientists who developed the software.
Chief Charlie Beck thanked his detectives, specifically Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, and then lauded the use of the familial DNA technology.
"This is a landmark case," Beck said. "This will change the way policing is done in the United States. This will bring us up on a par in the way DNA searches are done in some parts of Western Europe. This will bring justice to victims, for which it was denied."
Beck brushed off questions -- raised in Pelisek's earlier LA Weekly stories -- about how police mishandled the case early on when they failed to reveal to the families of victims that a serial killer was responsible for the murders.
Beck thanked the families of victims for their patience, which in some cases lasted 23 years.
"Those families, the courage that they have displayed have energized the detectives of Robbery Homicide Division -- for the families, this case was solved because of you," Beck said.
Also, today, Capt. Kevin McClure of the Robbery-Homicide Division, told ABC-7 that police sent an undercover officer into pizza shop to retrieve a half-eaten pizza crust, which turned up DNA that police say connects Franklin to the killings. ABC-7 also reported that Franklin had once worked in the 77th precinct as a gas pump attendant for department vehicles.
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