Jurors consider death row for 'Grim Sleeper' after clues of other possible victims

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Jurors in the Grim Sleeper trial heard details about two other murders linked to the 64 year old defendant Lonnie Franklin and how his acts destroyed victims' families. (AP / KABC)

Jurors in the Grim Sleeper trial heard details about two other murders linked to the 64-year-old defendant Lonnie Franklin and how his acts destroyed victims' families.

"I didn't even have a chance to grieve for my sister. I think I am doing it more so now," said Tina Saunders, sister of victim Sharon Dismuke.

Prosecutors now believe Dismuke was the first murder victim of the South Los Angeles serial killer whose reign of lasted 26 years.

Dismuke's death in 1984 bore the trademarks found on 10 others who Franklin was convicted of killing, according to investigators.

The jury was hearing testimony to decide whether Franklin should die in prison or die on death row.

Saunders said Franklin already destroyed her family.

"I lost my sister, but I almost lost my mom, too. I was 15 years old. It almost killed my Mom," she told Eyewitness News.

On Monday, a Los Angeles Police Department forensic specialist described a false wall in Franklin's garage hiding a gun linked to bullets in the body of still another victim.

The body of 43-year-old Georgia Mae Thomas was found on Dec. 28, 2000.

Her sister, Vivian Williams, told Eyewitness News that when Franklin was arrested 10 years later, she recognized his house on TV being swarmed by detectives.

She said she had dropped off her sister there more than once so that she could go out dancing with Franklin.

As she watched the news story unfold, she said, "I started screaming. I know he did it, I know it."

Investigators said photos found at the house indicate some women may have visited there several times only to wind up dead.
Related Topics:
newsserial killertrialmurderLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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