SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — Lonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in a California prison. He was 67.
Corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.
Franklin had been on death row since August 2016 for the deaths of nine women and a teenage girl. Franklin was linked at trial to 14 slayings, including four women he wasn’t charged with killing. Police have said he may have had as many as 25 victims.
He was granted a reprieve a year ago when California Gov. Gavin Newsom halted the execution of more than 700 condemned inmates on the nation’s largest death row for at least as long as he’s governor.
California hasn’t executed anyone since 2006, under then-Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and inmates are far more likely to die of old age.