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.?
The 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?
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?
* 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?
Enietra 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 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)