E192: SERIAL KILLER – The Grim Sleeper

This week Beth and Wendy discuss the case of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., aka The Grim Sleeper, a serial killer who was responsible for at least 10 murders and one attempted murder in Los Angeles, California between 1984 to 2007.

(note: time stamps are without ads & may be off a little)

First, we dive into the setting (08:20), the killers early life (15:46) and the timeline (17:05).  Then, we get into the investigation & arrest (42:40), “Where are they now?” followed by our takeaways and what we think made the perp snap (52:04).  

As usual we close out the show with some tips on how not to get murdered and our shout outs (58:42). 

This episode was researched & scripted by Wendy & Beth Williams and edited by Minnie Williams.

Thanks for listening! This is a weekly podcast and new episodes drop every Thursday, so until next time… look alive guys, it’s crazy out there!


This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/FRUIT and get on your way to being your best self. Get started today and enjoy 10% off your first month!

Carol Costello Present: Blind Rage. In this podcast, journalist Carol Costello revisits the first big assignment she covered as a 22-year-old, novice reporter: Phyllis Cottles’ brutal attack. Psychologists call them “Triumphant Survivors,” but Phyllis Cottle was more than a survivor, she used this crime to better herself and the world around her.

Shout Outs

High Strange (Podcast)

Rain Dogs (TV Show)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga (TV Show)

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Pelisek, Christine; Hanlon, Greg. (10/15/2022). The ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killer: 7 Things to Know After Lonnie Franklin’s Death. People. Retrieved 04/01/2023 from https://people.com/crime/grim-sleeper-serial-killer-death-7-things-to-know/

Pelisek, Christine. (06/06/2016). Jury Decides Death for ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin. People. Retrieved 04/01/2023 from https://people.com/crime/grim-sleeper-sentenced-to-death-serial-killer-lonnie-franklin/

Pelisek, Christine. (05/26/2016). Convicted ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin Faces Woman He Is Accused of Gang Raping When She Was a Teen. People. Retrieved 04/01/2023 from https://people.com/crime/grim-sleeper-serial-killer-lonnie-franklin-once-gang-raped-a-german-teen/

LAPD believes ‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killer never actually slept. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 04/01/2023 from https://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-grim-sleeper-victims-20160508-story.html

Becerra, Hector; Gold, Scott. (07/09/2010).  ‘Everybody knew Lonnie’. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-jul-09-la-me-grim-sleeper-profile-20100709-story.html

Leonard, Jack; Kim, Victoria. (07/11/2010). Grim Sleeper suspect had long record. La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://lacrossetribune.com/grim-sleeper-suspect-had-long-record/article_885cee90-8d00-11df-85c6-001cc4c03286.html

Wikipedia. (01/11/2023). Grim Sleeper. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grim_Sleeper


Newberry, Laura. (04/15/2020). Coronavirus fears haven’t stopped the sex trade on Los Angeles streets. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-15/los-angeles-sex-trade-coronavirus-fears

Wikipedia. (02/12/2019). South Los Angeles. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Los_Angeles

Sonksen, Mike. (09/13/2017). The History of South Central Los Angeles and Its Struggle with Gentrification. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://www.kcet.org/shows/city-rising/the-history-of-south-central-los-angeles-and-its-struggle-with-gentrification


Pelisek, Christine. (2017). The Grim Sleeper, The Lost Women of South Central. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint.


Author’s last name, First initial (Contributor title). (date of publication). Podcast episode title [Audio podcast]. Retrieved mm/dd/yy from add link to website

Zupansky, D (Host). (08/23/2017). True Murder. The Grim Sleeper-Christine Pelisek. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://www.stitcher.com/show/true-murder/episode/the-grim-sleeper-christine-pelisek-51224374

Cummins, D. (Host). (09/13/2021). Timesuck with Dan Cummins. 261 – The Grim Sleeper Serial Killer and the Southside Slayer murders. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/261-the-grim-sleeper-serial-killer-and-the/id1156343076?i=1000535207363

Ramsey, W. (Host). (07/25/2022). William Ramsey Investigates. The Grim Sleeper: The lost Women of South Central with Author Christine Palisek. Retrieved 04/02/2023 from https://luminarypodcasts.com/listen/william-ramsey-investigates/william-ramsey-investigates/the-grim-sleeper-the-lost-women-of-south-central-with-author-christine-pelisek-2019/c3dadd26-d996-424c-beac-b7dd51d6cdb6


Tales of The Grim Sleeper

The Grim Sleeper: Mind of a Monster

The Face of Evil: S1 E4 The Grim Sleeper

I Survived a Serial Killer: S1 E7 The Grim Sleeper

How Not to Get Murdered

National Harm Reduction Coalition

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


“Abyss” by Alasen: ●https://soundcloud.com/alasenhttps://twitter.com/icemantraphttps://instagram.com/icemanbass/https://soundcloud.com/therealfrozenguy
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

“All Units Respond” by Marlene Miller. Used with permission. Find her Facebook and Instagram under SEMNCHY or marlenemiller138@gmail.com

“Flaming Mansions” by Jorge Hernandez
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

“Blue Scorpion” & “Furious Freak” by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3791-furious-freak
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


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