Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Serial Killer "The Grim Sleeper" Suspect in Custody

A suspected serial killer was arrested today in connection with the killings of at least 10 female’s over two decades in the southern Los Angeles area. Known as The Grim Sleeper, suspect, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., is a retired LAPD mechanic who allegedly targeted 10 black women and one black male for murder from 1985 until 2007. From 1985 to 1988, The Grim Sleeper killed eight people. The most elusive serial killer to ever haunt the western United States, he did not kill again until December of 2001, which earned him the nickname the grim sleeper.

During several of his crimes the Sleeper had left his DNA behind, but working as a police mechanic at the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Division station, he knew how to keep his nose clean; and he had never been arrested before. With no fingerprints and no DNA in the databases, police had no one to match the DNA found at each crime scene to anyone with any prior arrests. That was until his very own son was arrested and a DNA sample taken from him that led police right to Lonnie.

The Grim Sleeper’s sole survivor, Margette Enietra, recalls her nearly fatal encounter with The Grim Sleeper. She was shot in the chest by him and lost consciousness for a moment. When she came to, the Sleeper was snapping Polaroid photos of her and had sexual assaulted her. He threw her in the car and sped away in his orange Ford Pinto. Margette struggled with him and pleaded for him to take her to the hospital, but he refused.

The Sleeper finally pulled over, beat her senseless with his gun, opened her door and pushed her onto the darkened street. Somehow, battered and bloodied, Margette got to her feet and walked the many blocks to her best friend’s house, leaving a bloody meandering trail along the street and smeared on parked cars.

Los Angeles police confiscated hundreds of items from the suspected Grim Sleeper’s house and vehicles after his arrest, including firearms and ammunition, car seats possibly stained with bodily fluids, and pornographic photos and videos. With more than 650 items booked into evidence, police believe that they have the right man. They have charged Franklin with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, and they are continuing to build a case against him.

Sleeper’s M.O.

.25 caliber hand gun - Bludgeon. The Killer does not seem to be attempting to conceal his activities. The gun is a .25 caliber hand gun and it has been used in 10 out of 12 confirmed attacks and murders. He picks up victims either forcibly or willingly (in the case of prostitutes). He rapes/sexually assaults his victims (male victim excluded) and usually shoots to the chest (male victim was shot in head). Two victims were strangled with no gun involved. Survivor claims her attacker took Polaroid photographs as he sexually assaulted her. Victims are then dumped on the South side of Los Angeles in close proximity to each other.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Knox’s Parents Facing Jail Time

Amanda Knox turns 23 on July 9, 2010. It will be her third birthday in Capanne prison just outside Perugia, Italy. Today, however, Amanda Knox’s parents were not pleading for Amanda’s innocence, but they were pleading for their own. Edda Mellas and Curt Knox (Amanda’s biological parents) appeared in court today for their preliminary hearing. Twelve Perugia police officers had filed defamation-charges against the pair well over a year ago after they told the London Times in June 2008, that their daughter was struck by police during her November 5, 2007 interrogation. Surprisingly enough, the officers were represented in court today by Francesco Maresca--the lawyer who represented the Kercher family during Amanda and Raffaele’s murder trial.

The purpose of this hearing was to determine whether their was enough evidence against Amanda’s parents to proceed with a full trial. The hearing today did not bring good news, as it was determined that there is enough evidence to proceed. The trail is scheduled to begin in mid-October. Knox’s parents have been very outspoken critics of the Italian justice system. Italian law enforcement pushed back heavily today, and no doubt want the pair silenced. Regardless, Curt Kox is not backing down, saying that “With respect to Edda’s and my slander charges, I believe those will get thrown out and this is nothing more than a harassment.”

If convicted, Knox’s parents face heavy fines and up to 3 years in jail. It is unlikely that her parents will go to jail, although if up to the twelve police officers, they would. However, it is more likely that they will be slapped with heavy fines, and considering their financial hardships (regarding their constant traveling back and forth to see their daughter as well as Amanda’s extensive lawyer fees) these fines may be just as debilitating.