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Man convicted in ‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killings sentenced to death

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LOS ANGELES -- A jury has returned a death sentence for a serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper," who murdered nine women and a teenage girl over several decades in South Los Angeles.

KTLA reports the verdict Monday came nearly a month after 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin Jr. was convicted of 10 counts of first-degree murder. He will be formally sentenced at a later proceeding.

Most of the killings fit a similar pattern. Victims were either shot in the chest, choked — or both — and their partly clad or naked bodies were dumped in alleys and trash bins near where Franklin lived.

Police didn't connect the crimes to a serial killer for years.

Victims' family members and community residents complained the killings weren't thoroughly investigated because victims were poor and black, and some were prostitutes who had been using cocaine.

The case earned the "Grim Sleeper" nickname because of an apparent gap in the serial killings between the 1980s and 2002.

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