The Grim Sleeper: August Pre-Trial Hearing

Lonnie Franklin Jr.From KPCC: It looks like court proceedings for Lonnie Franklin, the man accused of being the South Los Angeles “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, will be slow. In what was sure to be one of many pretrial hearings Thursday, defense attorneys reported they’re hiring an independent analyst to look at ballistic evidence in the case.

Franklin was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and appeared relaxed during the pre-trial proceedings. He is accused of murdering seven women between 1985 and 1988 and an additional three women between 2002 and 2007. Franklin could be given the death penalty if convicted.

Lonnie Franklin Jr. next appears in court on October 24th for another pre-trial hearing.

4 responses to “The Grim Sleeper: August Pre-Trial Hearing

  1. @ Site administrator: Are you no longer updating the site when there is news about the case? That would be a real shame.

    Here is the latest (March 21, 2013) from Christine Pelisek who covered the case in the L.A. Weekly. She is now a staff writer for The Daily Beast/Newsweek.

    I feel a deep compassion for the families of the victims but – separate from that – I still believe Franklin is NOT the Grim Sleeper. I’ve repeated it again and again in this forum: he does NOT have the pockmarks across both cheeks described by the sole known survivor Ms. Washington after she was attacked in 1988 and seen in the original 1988 police composite drawing made to fit her description. Franklin is no angel (running a chop shop, frequenting prostitutes, etc.), but that does NOT make him a serial killer by default.

    The LAPD desperately needed to close this long running case to look good and to placate the black community. They found the perfect guy to pin the murders on. Plus there was politics involved: L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley was running for Attorney General in CA in 2010 and then Mayor of Oakland Jerry Brown was running for Governor (Cooley lost, Brown won). They both made sure to be at the press conference after Franklin was arrested in July 2010.

    As for the lame ass defense lawyers: they seriously need to get their shit together!

  2. Pelisek’s latest update this month includes NEW details about Princess Berthomieux’ horrorfying early life with her biological family before she was placed in foster care with Dolores and David Smart of Claremont, CA at age 3:

    “Berthomieux was placed in foster care when she was 3 years old after she was beaten, hogtied, and forced to have sex with her father’s friends.”

    OMG! From a hellish early life, to a good life with Dolores and David Smart and stepsister Samara, to a second foster family at 14, to being a runaway in late 2001, to being murdered by a serial killer in 2002. She would have been 25 or 26 this year.

    Details from a from a July 14, 2010 L.A. Times story:

    Princess Berthomieux had been raised by a retired nurse, Dolores Smart, and interior designer, David Smart, in a well-to-do Claremont neighborhood, said Samara Herard, 39, her foster sister. Her family had taken the girl in when she was only 3 years old, a victim of brutal physical and sexual abuse who still could not walk or talk, Herard said. In 1997, her foster mother died of heart problems, and David Smart was increasingly unable to care for his foster daughter because of his own heart trouble. Herard said that by then she had three small children of her own, so she urged her aging foster father to make a decision that would haunt her for years. At age 14, Princess ended up with a foster family in Inglewood. She was killed the next year, but Herard said her father tried to shield her from the news. “He told me she overdosed,” Herard said. “But I knew she didn’t OD. I knew someone hurt her. I just had a feeling.”

  3. I found Princess’ birthdate on the web recently: she was born August 13, 1986. Her full name was Princess Cheyanne Berthomieux.

    Strange: according to the L.A. Times crime stats project, the coroner and the D.A.’s office were apparently not able to agree whether Princess was found dead on March 9, 2002 or on March 19. 2002.

    An eerie coincidence: the day of her birth in 1986 was sandwiched between the murder of Henrietta Wright on August 12 and the murder of Thomas Steele on August 14.

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