US & Canada

LA's 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer sentenced to death

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. appears for an arraignment on multiple charges as the alleged "Grim Sleeper" killer in Los Angeles Superior Court. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lonnie David Franklin Jr killed nine women and one teenage girl between 1985 and 2007

A former rubbish collector convicted of the "Grim Sleeper" serial murders in Los Angeles has been given the death sentence.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr killed nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007, before dumping their bodies, often in alleyways.

The sentence against the 63-year-old was decided by a jury. Franklin was convicted last month.

He will be formally sentenced at a later hearing.

Prosecutors said Franklin stalked vulnerable young black women before shooting or strangling them.

He began by targeting drug addicts during LA's crack cocaine epidemic.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of an 11th victim who survived being shot, raped and pushed out of a car in 1988.

He was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because of an apparent 14-year gap in attacks after that incident.

Franklin was eventually caught after detectives began working on the final killing in 2007 when DNA from his son, who was in prison, showed similarities to genetic evidence found on some of the victims.

A detective posing as a worker in a pizza parlour later collected utensils and crusts from Franklin while he was attending a birthday party. DNA tests connected him to evidence found on several of the bodies.

The jury called for the death penalty on all 10 murder counts.

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