The Grim Sleeper
Lonnie Franklin is one of the most prolific serial killers in California history, possibly one of the most prolific killers in recent American history. Yet he is not a household name like Ted Bundy or Dahmer. This killer was active in LA from the mid 80's until 2010, and given his nickname of "the grim sleeper" because it appears he took a 14 year break (or "cool down" period) from killing.
Lonnie was a married man, a father, a backyard mechanic, and a trash collector. He was a felon with a penchant for stealing cars, prostitutes, and drugs; but that doesn't mean he wasn't well loved in his community. Though he was a drug dealer, Lonnie hated "crackheads"; his first wife was an addict who broke his heart. He would tell his friends he wanted to "clean up the streets", looking back It's believed this was what he was doing when he killed. Maybe that's how he justified these killings in his mind.
There were signs that Lonnie was the killer: he hired a friend to set fire to a vehicle with bloody clothing inside, was seen with a .25 firearm which matched the one wanted in connection to the murders, many saw multiple photos of women in degrading positions, and Lonnie was seen with handcuffs. All this but he wasn't really suspected by those who knew him. Even with a huge cash reward nobody ever thought to turn him in. Everyone knew he was a freak, that Lonnie liked to party and have sex with prostitutes. That's about as far as people thought it went; but there was a whole other side to the man.
When Lonnie went looking for female companionship alone, he'd convince the women of his choosing to enter his vehicle with promises of crack or money. Once inside either his van or pinto, she was a sitting duck. His victims were raped, then killed by strangulation, their throats slit, or they were stabbed. Then her body would be dumped in various alleys, trash cans, dumpsters, etc. Some of the missing women have never been found at all.
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