Grim Sleeper – Important questions


Eventually the trial of suspected Grim Sleeper killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. will commence after a thoroughly protracted series of pre-trial hearings. Mystery callers, a male victim,  a Pinto that vanishes into the night and a huge ‘smoking gun’ Dodge van lead that the authorities appeared to have botched up big time in ’87 are some of the tantalising questions we hope will be answered as the trial unfolds.

Question 1 -  Was the 1987 anonymous caller an independent eye witness or the suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr.?

Hear the 911 call

Grim Sleeper Dodge VanThe mystery 911 caller gave confident and accurate details of the crime he’d see take place 30 minutes before he called the police. He gave a perfectly accurate description of a Dodge van, licence plate and all, as well as describing the dump site exactly as the police later found it. The caller’s ID is unknown but there is speculation that the killer himself had made the call. If so then the Dodge van link may be a red herring used to confuse the police. If, however, the caller was a legitimate eye witness with accurate details, it means that there MUST be a link between the Killer and the Cosmopolitan church who owned the Dodge. No link has ever been established.

911 call UPDATE: “Though it jogged no one’s memory when it was released, several residents [Franklin's Neighbours] are now convinced the voice is Franklin’s. Cold case Detective Dennis Kilcoyne isn’t so sure but is looking into it.” LINK

Question 2 – Has suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. owned or had regular use of  an orange/rust Ford Pinto?

Ford PintoThe orange Ford Pinto plays a prominent role in this investigation with several witnesses claiming to see a suspect driving such a car during some of the assults.

Question 3 – Did suspect Lonnie Franklin have access to the Cosmopolitan church Dodge van allegedly used to dispose  Babara Ware’s body? (see above)

Question 4 – Did suspect Lonnie Franklin have a connection to the Cosmopolitan church?

Question 5 Why does the photofit sketch of  ’88 look so unlike Lonnie Franklin?

Grim Sleeper photofit

* Question 6 – Does 1988 survivor Enietra Margette Washington recognise her attacker as the younger Lonnie Franklin Jr. Moreover, does she recognise the VOICE on the 1987 911 call as being the same as her attacker?

* Question 7 Does Washington recognise Franklin’s house as the one she was taken to on the night of her attack?

Franklin's HouseEnietra Margette Washington was 29 years old when she was was attacked on November 20, 1988 by a black man aged around 30. He was  driving an orange Ford Pinto. The attack occurred in South Los Angeles.

The attacker shot her in the chest with the same .25 caliber gun, photographed and sexually assaulted her and “left her for dead. She survived and is the only known eyewitness of the Grim Sleeper.

She described her attacker as a 30-ish smart ‘preppy’ black man driving a rust, red or orange Ford Pinto. The bullet removed from her chest was matched to the gun used to kill the first eight victims.

Question 8 How does victim Thomas Steele figure in the investigation? Does he have links with any other victims? Are there links with Lonnie Franklin?

Thomas SteeleThomas Steele, 36, was found August 14, 1986, near 71st Street and Halldale Avenue. Cause of death: one shot behind right ear (ballistics matched the gun used in other Grim Sleeper murders). He was dumped in the road fully clothed in what looks like an indiscriminate killing . He is the only (known) male victim that has been positively linked to the Grim Sleeper series of murders.

* Questions 6 & 7 already have an intriguing and tragic answer. See the next post (above – coming soon)

6 responses to “Grim Sleeper – Important questions

  1. Thank you to the administrator of this site for continuing to update the public!

    I would ask that you add to your list of questions relating to the Grim Sleeper case the following crucial topic:

    Look at the three photos above:

    The man in the police drawing made from Ms. Washington’s eyewitness description has distinct pock marks on both cheeks.

    Franklin had a remarkably smooth baby face in his 20s with no trace of pock marks. cheeks. He didn’t have pock marks then and he didn’t have them later in life. Even today at age 60 his face is notable for its lack of scars.

    Why has this vital point never been addressed by the LAPD, by the media?

    I believe that the real killer it out there. He has pock marks on his face, across both cheeks. Franklin is no saint but he is not the Grim Sleeper: he has no pock marks on his face.

  2. WTF, thanks for your comments and thanks for your continued interest in this investigation. Obviously Washington’s recollection of her assailant is at odds with the police sketch but one would assume that at the time she agreed that the sketch was a close match. We don’t have any photos of Franklin at 35 so we can only speculate on how he might have looked. The photo above supposedly of Franklin in his 20′s has not been verified as actually being of Franklin. I can’t find any verification or a reliable source that confirms the photo is of him.

    The photos we do have of Franklin (mostly mugshots) show him as a well fed, round faced individual. There are (in my opinion) signs of bad skin on his cheeks. If he had acne in his teens then these obviously will fade over time and with the added weight I would expect the skin to be tighter and therefore smoother. However, you may well be right. Perhaps the pock mark description was just a figment of Washington’s imagination or simply how she remembers the face of her attacker in her mind’s eye.

    What is NOT in dispute is that Washington was able to take LAPD to within three doors of Franklin’s house three weeks after her attack. That ballistics examinations have shown links between the gun used to shoot Washington and several other Grim Sleeper attacks. That Franklin (allegedly) possessed dozens of Polaroid photos of women and that there is positive proof that at least one photo recovered from Franklin’s home is that of a confirmed Grim Sleeper victim (Janecia Peters) who was also shot with the same gun used to shoot Washington.

    Pock marks aside, there is some pretty compelling evidence that links Franklin to these crimes.

    Of course a possible scenario is that Franklin has an accomplice. Maybe the attacker DID take Washington to the address three doors from Franklin’s. Maybe they shared the same gun. Maybe the accomplice did have bad skin. It’s a long shot but conceivable.

  3. @ Site administrator:

    DNA can be fabricated. Sounds crazy, but read this article in the NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/science/18dna.html?sq=dna tel aviv&st=nyt&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1313887484-DMzZ49vbzobN+sAV00AeuQ

    Evidence can be planted. It wouldn’t be the first time. (in this case a gun and photos)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal

    No connection has been made between the Ford Pinto and Franklin: ownership, rental, borrowing, stealing, work done on the car.

    Franklin does not have the very distinct pock marks on his face as described by Ms. Washington. Her attack happened in 1988 but there is no way in hell that she would ever forget or imagine something as unique as pock marks on her would-be killer. Her testimony in the trial, whenever it begins, will be absolutely crucial.

    The photo of the young Franklin is indeed him and was widely published in 2010 after his arrest but seems to have “disappeared” from the Internet: where on the web did you locate it?

    For the record: I am not anti-LAPD or pro-Franklin. My only concern is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  4. Don’t know why your comment didn’t show WTF. It was put in the ‘pending’ queue. Might be this WordPress system being over zealous when checking for spam. It’s published now. Thanks I will reply in a bit.

    N.B. Not many visitors to the site at the moment. Probably due to a mixture of my lack of updates and the lack of movement and new news as the investigation moves toward trial.

  5. ———————————————- Quote ————————————————-
    WTF says
    @ Site administrator:

    DNA can be fabricated. Sounds crazy, but read this article in the NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/science/18dna.html?sq=dna tel aviv&st=nyt&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1313887484-DMzZ49vbzobN+sAV00AeuQ

    Evidence can be planted. It wouldn’t be the first time. (in this case a gun and photos)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal

    No connection has been made between the Ford Pinto and Franklin: ownership, rental, borrowing, stealing, work done on the car.

    Franklin does not have the very distinct pock marks on his face as described by Ms. Washington. Her attack happened in 1988 but there is no way in hell that she would ever forget or imagine something as unique as pock marks on her would-be killer. Her testimony in the trial, whenever it begins, will be absolutely crucial.

    The photo of the young Franklin is indeed him and was widely published in 2010 after his arrest but seems to have “disappeared” from the Internet: where on the web did you locate it?

    For the record: I am not anti-LAPD or pro-Franklin. My only concern is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    ———————————————- Quote End ——————————————-

    My first thoughts on your premise that things have been fabricated/planted is Why? But I know what your answer will be. People are thinking the LAPD are looking for a “quick” fix to this case, they need to be seen doing something positive to combat accusations of not moving the case forward during the preceding 2 decades. LAPD were accused of failing to act because the victims were poor and black so now they are in to damage limitation and positive PR. Sounds plausible but improbably IMO.

    Re: The Pinto connection.. We don’t know as yet if there IS a connection between Franklin and the Pinto which isn’t surprising since the trial has yet to begin and details will be kept from the public until the trial in order to maintain a fair judicial process.

    Re: Pock marks.. See my other reply above.

    Re: The ‘young Franklin’ photo. There are one or two places that this photo appears on the internet but the websites are not official and thus unverifiable. I did have this image and a link to a trusted source some time ago but alas I lost it so I have to mark it as ‘unverifiable source’ .

    My question to you WTF is, aside the pock marks, what else gives you cause to suggest that Franklin is NOT a viable suspect?

    Also, if what you say is true (fabrication/planted evidence / PR spin) then what chance do we (the general public) have of ever finding the truth? We only know what we are told by the police and ‘trusted media’. If they feel so inclined to ‘fix things’ we will only be fed what they want us to digest.

    Finally, if this is a police ‘fit up’ then perhaps they should have picked a ‘patsy’ that more closely resembled the Washington police sketch!

  6. I stumbled across this site last night and read up on the case. Im a local to the area for the past 42 years, minus a couple years inbetween. The LAPD (and in general any LA County city police force or Sheriffs prior wrong doings aside) would be in a pickle for the first era of the case. Thing is LAPD does NOT encompass the entire area of LA county. Most cities have their own police force such as Hawthorne, Gardena, Torrance….

    That being said, and as unbelievable as this sounds, I strongly believe I regularly had seen the thin man with pock marked skin driving a light colored import car. He would regularly be out at night and cruised around looking for people to pick up, men included as he tried to pick me up multiple times walking down Prairie ave in Hawthorne around 135th. The reason I recall this is two fold, an odd memory for nonsense and the fact this guy was said to have attempted to abduct multiple young ladies in the area including an acquaintance of my girl friends at the time near 132nd and Florwood ave near Prairie ave and El Segundo Blvd.

    Not to get into it but I did carry a small gun at the time (late 80′s) being a white male and having been assaulted and shot at times prior.

    Sometime around midnight he had offered a ride as I was walking down Prairie near Jim Thorpe Park towards 135th where I had lived at the time. Half expecting to shoot the guy and expecting him to pull a knife, I got in his car. He asked where I lived, where was I going and such, then asked if I wanted to “stop over” at his place and we could get something to drink at the liquor store around the corner of his house. I then informed him I have a gun and pointed it at him, if I ever was to see him again I would shoot him. After this I did see him driving around again but he would imminently speed off when he noticed me. I recall him speaking in a short speech pattern with wide eyes and thin facial hair. I assumed him to be in his mid 20′s or very early 30′s.

    Prior to the above I had flagged down both Hawthorne PD and Lennox Sheriff’s to verbally complain about the guy. In Lennox a friend had lived on 105th st and I would walk home down Prairie Ave, again all prior to the above face to face threat. At least twice he was pulled over and questioned by Hawthorne Police yet allowed to drive off. This is mainly why I wasnt afraid to get into his car at a later date when I was armed. I assumed he wasnt carrying and if he had been it would be a concealed knife.

    Many around the neighborhood had heard of or seen the creeper. I was locked up and sent to CYA around 1990 and hadnt spent much time in the area the year prior as I was off riding motorcycles and spending much of my time between Torrance and Westwood Village. This is where my recollection of the guy falls off as I went away to lock up for a couple years. BUT, upon returning home and still living on 135th my neighbor had mentioned some guy driving around and trying to pick up girls as he had three daughters. I had heard this again from a friend that lived on Doty whom I was to move in with. His sister was harassed by a guy fitting the same description at what I suspect was (at the time) the Pic n Save on Rosecrans and Crenshaw as her husband was across the street at the burger joint.

    Again this all may sound convoluted and fabricated. Most of this all came back upon reading this website and as I typed. I still live in the area even though outside his main mapped radius, its very close especially in a vehicle. Jim Thorpe Park was a known hang out for gang bangers and a place to score both drugs and prostitutes. Seems every neighborhood at the time had a place like that both on the radar and under. Im not intending any disrespect to the victims both known and unconfirmed but seems to me a decent local detective would know of these hot spots at the time, they just wouldnt delve into them. It would be very, very, very easy for someone to disappear if they placed themselves in that surrounding on a regular basis. This could well be why there would be a number of victims photographs that have remained unamed to this day.

    For anyone not from the area, adding to that above I regularly get hit on by women in the area north east of Rosecrans and Hawthorne Blvd, more so by black women than any other. This I only mention to further the fact of how easy it is to meet women in certain areas and their willingness to get into a strangers vehicle. Now take that back to the 80′s where there was no internet, people still went out to meet people and the shut in type social fear people are more and more being accustomed to and consider normal was not an everyday issue. What we mentally accept now was considered odd or a fantasy just 20 years ago.

    Im not saying who is and isn’t this killer, I am convinced however the creeper is the same thin pock marked face guy. Its just too coincidental not to be.

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