DNA analysis leads to arrest of serial killer in L.A.: police chief

08:45, July 09, 2010      

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Los Angeles Police Department ( LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck said on Thursday that DNA analysis led to the arrest of a serial killer in the city, indicating a change in the way policing is done in the country.

Beck called the arrest of serial killer Lonnie David Franklin Jr."a landmark case ... (that) will change the way policing is done in the United States."

Franklin, 57, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of being linked with 11 killings over a span of more 20 years. He was dubed "Grim Sleeper" because of the 13-year break between killing sprees.

Beck said investigators used a state database that indicated Franklin's son's DNA was similar to samples from one of the Grim Sleeper crimes.

"This will bring us on a par with the way that DNA searches are done in some parts of Western Europe," Beck told reporters at a news conference. "This will bring justice to victims to which it has been denied."

Beck said this was the first time such a trail was followed by detectives investigating unsolved crimes.

Before Franklin was identified as a suspect, investigators used forensic evidence to link eight murders between 1985 and 1988, and three murders between 2001 and 2007, to the same killer, Los Angeles police Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said.

Franklin, a South Los Angeles car mechanic, was charged with 10 counts of murder, along with a single count of attempted murder. The murder charges included the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, possibly making Franklin eligible for the death penalty.

All but one of the killer's victims were women, and many were prostitutes. Some were raped before being shot to death with a small-caliber handgun. Their bodies were dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles, Inglewood and unincorporated county areas.

Franklin was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in the downtown Criminal Courts Building.

The suspect reportedly once worked for the LAPD.

Source: Xinhua


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