Investigators are re-examining more than 30 cold case files to see if they can be tied to a suspect in the “Grim Sleeper” killings, the Los Angeles police chief said on Friday. \nThe cases, dating back to 1984, will be scoured for leads in light of new information gleaned since Wednesday’s arrest of Lonnie Franklin Jr on 10 counts of murder and other charges. \n“Now that we know who he is, where he lives, the cars he drove, have people to interview, we will go over all those old cases and look for connections,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. “This is a city that was no stranger to homicides in the 1980s and 1990s, and we will be looking at all of those, especially the ones where the victims were female.” \nInvestigators will upload Franklin’s DNA profile into a national database to see if it matches other samples where the DNA had degraded and scientists were only able to get a partial sample, Beck said. \nFranklin was dubbed the Grim Sleeper after a string of murders of young black women had south Los Angeles on edge in the mid-1980s. \nThen the killings suddenly stopped, only to resume again 14 years later. \nNow, investigators say they have possibly uncovered the reason for the long respite: He may have been spooked by a near miss by police in 1988. \nFranklin was arrested on Wednesday at his lime-green house, just three doors down from a home that was searched extensively by police 22 years ago after the killer’s only known survivor led cops there. \nBeck also said that billboards plastered with a US$500,000 reward and the suspect’s police sketch were posted just eight blocks from Franklin’s house and he drove by them every day. \n“We think that impacted the suspect’s behavior in one of two ways: Either he became more careful or he stopped his behavior for a number of years. That’s an evolving theory,” Beck said. “It’s going to be difficult to be absolutely certain absent his confession.” \nFranklin’s public defender, Regina Laughney, said she was still reviewing materials in the case and it was too early for her to comment. \nLaw enforcement said that despite more than two decades of old-fashioned police work, they were eventually able to crack the case using a brand new — and controversial — technique of “familial DNA.” \nEarly last month, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) submitted DNA evidence found on victims to the California Department of Justice, where geneticists ran it through a database of 1.5 million samples. \nThe database found no identical matches, but did find a “familial” match to a convicted felon whose DNA indicated he was either a brother or the son of the killer. An earlier search in 2008 had found no familial matches, but Franklin’s son was added to the database in recent months for a felony weapons conviction. \nState investigators alerted the LAPD of Franklin’s identity on June 30 after verifying the match through birth certificates, incarceration records and comparing Franklin’s address to locations where the victims were found. \nHowever, police still needed a sample of Franklin’s DNA to definitively match it to the genetic material found on the victims. \nAn undercover officer pretending to be a waiter in Los Angeles collected tableware, napkins, glasses and pizza crust at a restaurant where the suspect ate, allowing detectives to obtain a DNA match. \nFranklin made a first court appearance on Thursday on the murder counts as well as one count of attempted murder and special-circumstance allegations of multiple murder that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole. \nHis arraignment was postponed until Aug. 9 at the request of his attorney.
BEIJING BAILOUT: Pyongyang’s economic woes would not lead to famine because China will not let that happen due to its fear of a pro-US unified Korea, experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for another “arduous march” to fight severe economic difficulties, for the first time comparing them to a 1990s famine that killed hundreds of thousands. Kim had previously said his nation faces its “worst-ever” situation due to several factors — including the COVID-19 pandemic, US-led sanctions and natural disasters in the summer last year — but it is the first time he has publicly drawn a parallel with the deadly famine. North Korea monitoring groups have not detected any signs of mass starvation or a humanitarian disaster, but Kim’s comments still suggest how seriously he views
SUBMERGED 6,500M: The 115m-long ship was sunk on Oct. 25, 1944, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf as the US fought to recover the Philippines from Japanese occupation A US Navy destroyer sunk during World War II and lying nearly 6,500m below sea level off the coast of the Philippines has been reached in the world’s deepest shipwreck dive, a US exploration team said. A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the wreckage of the USS Johnston off the coast of Samar Island during two eight-hour dives completed late last month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said. The 115m-long ship was sunk on Oct. 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf as US forces fought to recover the Philippines, then a US colony, from Japanese occupation. Its location in
‘VOSTOK 1’: The first flight attempt is planned to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first space flight by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin NASA’s Ingenuity mini-helicopter has survived its first night alone on the frigid surface of Mars, the US space agency said, hailing it as “a major milestone” for the tiny craft as it prepares for its first flight. The ultra-light aircraft was dropped on the surface on Saturday after detaching from the belly of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on Feb. 18. Detached from the Perseverance, Ingenuity had to rely on its own solar-powered battery to run a vital heater to protect its unshielded electrical components from freezing and cracking during the bitter Martian night, where temperatures can plunge as low as
LOSING CONTROL? Fitch Solutions said that a revolution pitting the military against the anti-coup movement and ethnic militias was likely due to the rising violence Burmese security forces yesterday arrested Paing Takhon, a model and actor who had spoken out against a military coup, his sister told reporters, as people placed shoes filled with flowers in parts of Yangon to commemorate dead protesters. Troops on Wednesday opened fire on protesters, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, protesters and media said. Nearly 600 civilians have been killed by security forces since the junta in February seized power from the elected government of Aung San Su Kyi, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said on Wednesday. The advocacy group said that 2,847 were being held in detention. A spokesman