Connect with us

Breaking News

Los Angeles Man Guilty in 10 ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killings

Published

on

A former Los Angeles garbageman was convicted Thursday of 10 counts of murder in the “Grim Sleeper” serial killings that singled out poor, young black women spanning across two decades.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. expressed little emotion as the verdicts were read and family members started crying and murmuring in the gallery.

“We got him,” exclaimed Porter Alexander Jr., whose daughter Alicia, 18, was shot and choked. Her body was found under a mattress in an alley in September 1988. “It took a long time. By the grace of God it happened. It’s such a relief.”

Prosecutors are considering the death penalty during the second phase of his trial scheduled to start on May 12.

Franklin, 63, was also found guilty of one count of attempted murder for shooting a woman in the chest and carrying her body from his orange Ford Pinto two months following Alexander’s killing. Enietra Washington, the survivor, provided the greatly-needed connection to seven preceding killings and was an important witness in the trial.

The killings from 1985 to 2007 were said to be the result of the “Grim Sleeper” because of the 14-year gap after Washington’s shooting, although prosecutors believe that he was actively killing during that time as well.

Franklin remained at large throughout the decades, due to the lack of action from the police (because of the race of the victims) and the ambiguity surrounding the crimes. The violence occurred primarily during the nation’s crack cocaine epidemic, during a period where at least two or serial killers were on the loose in the area known previously as South Central. The 10 victims, including a 15-year-old girl, were fatally shot or strangled and dumped in alleys and garbage bins. Most had traces of cocaine in their systems.

The cases were reopened after the last killing when a task force was assigned to revisit cases dozens of officers failed to solve in the 1980s. The team compiled ballistics evidence and DNA testing that hadn’t been available at the time of the first killings.

Franklin, a onetime trash collector in the area and a garage attendant for the Los Angeles Police Department, had been “hiding in plain sight,” according to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman. Franklin was tied to the crimes after the DNA from his son, gained after a felony arrest, showed similar genetic material left on the bodies of most of the victims.

An officer concealed as a busboy collected pizza crusts and napkins with Franklin’s DNA while he was celebrating at a birthday party. Shortly thereafter, his DNA was matched with the material found on the clothing of many women and on the zip tie of a transh bag that contained the body of his last victim, Janecia Peters. She was discovered on Jan. 1, 2007, after someone was sifting through a dumpster and saw her red fingernails.

Silverman described the victims as sisters, daughters and mothers who suffered infirmities but had hopes and dreams.

Samara Herard, the sister of the youngest victim, Princess Berthomieux, said there were things she didn’t want to see during the trial and had to hold her head down at times, but was ecstatic to discover that the killer was caught. “I wanted to remember the sweet little girl who had her whole life in front of her,” Herard said. “She had a heart of gold and she deserved to live a full life.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.20.26 PMDefense lawyer Seymour Amster challenged what he called “inferior science” of DNA and ballistics evidence. During his closing argument, he introduced a new theory: a “mystery man with a mystery gun and mystery DNA” was responsible for all the killings. He said the man was a “nephew” of Franklin’s who was jealous because his uncle had better luck with women, though he did not mention any names or evidence to corroborate this theory. Silverman rebuffed the “mystery nephew” statement, saying it was as “rational an explanation as a space ship dropping from the sky and killing the women.” She said Franklin had lied to Washington and was probably stopping at his house to get his gun. Washington later led police to Franklin’s street, but not his house.

 

Jesse Anderson has written extensively about legal matters and current events. She offers fresh perspectives on controversial issues and consistently reports objectively on notable political cases. Anderson grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and frequently volunteers for organizations like Civic Works, RAINN and Kids Against Hunger. She hopes to change the face of politics and make a positive impact on the world around her.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

International

Syria al-Qaeda Leader Attacked, Unsure of His Survival

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Published

on

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Syrian opposition forces, the Local Co-ordination Committees, posted a photo of the car which was targeted for the attack, as stated by them.

Car with roof shattered is shown in photo taken from Syrian opposition activists

The car, in the town of al-Mastuma, was targeted by “international coalition aircraft”, the group said.

Additionally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an al-Qaeda official was killed in a strike, but did not confirm it was Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

The Egyptian, whose real name is Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, was reportedly released from custody by Iran in 2015 as part of a prisoner swap.

Last year, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was reported to have given his blessing to a decision by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to cut formal ties with the global jihadist network.

The Syrian jihadist with ties broken with al-Qaeda had renamed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, as reported by CNN.

According to Ahmad Hasan Abu al Khayr al-Masri, al-Qaeda has embraced the split. The man Masri would replace as an upranking to No. 2 of the leadership position in the terror group, is al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri expressed his opinion on the split in a supportive manner and called for infighting between jihadist groups to end.

Although Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was no longer linked to an external entity, the U.S. still kept it on its list of foreign terrorist groups and continued to target air strikes.

Therefore, in January, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham dissolved itself and formed an alliance with four smaller Syrian jihadist groups called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The move seemed to deem an attempt by the group to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

Tahrir al-Sham as since then fought rebel groups for control of the Idlib province in Syria, implying that it was them who had instigated suicide bombs on Saturday against the military in the government-controlled city of Homs.

Although the death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri is uncertain, the Guardian has stated that he has been killed based off of what jihadists are stating.

The immediate circumstances of Masri’s death were unclear. Video online showed a tan four-door Kia sedan destroyed at a roadside with a large hole in its canopy but its windscreen mostly intact. The location of the attack was unusually far west for a US drone strike.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Developments in Presidential Race, Trump does Terribly at Forum as Clinton shines

November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States…

Published

on

November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States.

First of all, Donald Trump, according to Kristina Vong’s article at Thehill.com, wrongly corrected a veteran Marine during a forum. The veteran, a woman named Rachel Fredericks, asked Mr. Trump how he plans to stop 20 veterans from committing suicide, daily. Trump tried to correct the woman, who needed no correction. He said it is actually 22, trying to emerge correct, when he was essentially incorrect.

Mr. Trump also does not have a real plan to defeat ISIS, as “his plan is to have a plan” according to Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post. He also insulted military leaders calling them embarrassments to the country when they were under President Obama. He wants to give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS.  Of course, this even makes it more obvious that Mr. Trump does not have a plan to defeat ISIS. Why, then did he call our current president the founder of ISIS? How can you give your vote to someone so unprepared and unfit for the presidency that constitutes a whole country? Sorry to say, but Donald Trump is not someone to vote for, at least not as US President!

According to Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.com, a presidential forum highlighted how prepared Trump and Clinton are compared to each other, with Clinton appearing as the more prepared one, very easily. Clinton was engaged with questions, expressed gratitude, and was very prolific and intelligible in her responses. To reiterate, Trump has not a plan to defeat ISIS, where Hillary has a well thought-out plan. She outlined her plan, entailing it could take any form and she iterated and supports the idea that terror suspects should not be able to purchase firearms. Clinton also covered issues like mental health, illuminating the fact that it is overlooked, and mental health should no longer be stigmatized and victims of mental disorders should have access to resources. On the other hand, Trump gave generic answers like that he knows what is going on in the world. Also according to Colarossi’s article, Trump showed as an “empty suit” and “showed he is not prepared to be commander-in-chief” and that the contrast between him and Clinton could not be clearer”; this essentially means Clinton showed to be immensely more prepared to lead and did not focus on attacking others, like Trump’s approach does.

Lastly, Donald Trump has insulted women, children, ethnic groups, religious groups, his opponent, our current president, the military, and the list goes on. He is patronizing and unprepared to preside over our country as well. He constantly attacks others, with no action in mind. Consider if you want to have him as president, seriously!

Continue Reading

Politics

Senator Elizabeth Warren Highlights that Trump is a “Racist Bully” and that a Vote for Jill Stein Would Only Help Trump

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently, and I must say, very appropriately, called Donald Trump a “racist bully.” She said also that a vote for the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Jill Stein, is essentially a vote for Donald Trump…

Published

on

Senator Elizabeth Warren Highlights that Trump is a "Racist Bully" and that a Vote for Jill Stein Would Only Help Trump

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently, and I must say, very appropriately, called Donald Trump a “racist bully.” She said also that a vote for the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Jill Stein, is essentially a vote for Donald Trump.

Adding to her speech at Roxbury Community College, the senator said,  Trump has constantly proven to be a “thin-skinned, racist bully.” She then said his approach is hateful, with parts of his campaign being based on hate and that it is not characteristic of our country: that our country “is better than that.”

Warren then took the stance that, no, voters should not vote for Dr. Jill Stein over Secretary and Democratic Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton. Her reasons are simple. Anything can be precocious in getting Trump even inches closer to the White House, as she said in essence. Warren then suggested directly that a vote for Stein is a vote that brings Mr. Trump closer to the White House.

Also today, Dr. Stein even voiced more apprehensions and warning about Donald Trump. She did so by calling him a neo-fascist, basically. She generally suggested in her interview with Democracy Now, that Trump resonates fascist qualities of leaders of the past. This makes it clear that a vote for Trump is a vote for misfortune and peril in the United States.

Recently, on “Hannity” on Fox News, Trump generalized minorities once again, fabricating a vibe that illegal immigrants have been acutely responsible for deaths and fatalities in the country. One woman came forward, saying this is not an isolated issue. Trump, once again, has me disappointed in him and terrified if he gets elected.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending