Lonnie was wearing the same clothes as yesterday ~ a blue shirt, beige trousers and a greyish tie that he places over his neck when he sits in his chair and before the Jury arrives.
In the lunch break I very graciously went up to Seymour Amster who was doing his usual pacing of the corridor. I asked him if Richard Harris could please be allowed back in to the Courtroom as he said yesterday that he’d ‘let me know’. Well because he had an audience in the corridor, he immediately raised his voice and shouted “Would you stop interfering with my procedure”. His face was all red as if he was about to explode, but that’s normal for him every time he speaks. I responded with the fact that I’m sorry however I am speaking on his behalf as he is not allowed in the Courtroom. After all he had flown here from Atlanta for the Trial and blatantly refuses to be a witness for the Defense. Amster just shouted again that “Mr Harris has been excused and that’s all there is to it.”
We all walked in at about 1.38pm followed by Lonnie Franklin, who again was putting his tie on in his seat. Wearing the same blue shirt and beige slacks as yesterday that seemed way to big for him due to the weight he’s probably lost being in jail.
The Bailiff was in a very heated discussion with a black woman who was seated in front of me. She was sitting where the victims’ family members usually sit. The Bailiff was asking her nicely who she is and her association with the Trial. Was she a family member of a victim or the Defendant?
Bailiff: Would you please identify who you are? I am coming at you nicely and professionally and asking you who you are here for? If you don’t tell me who you are I will have to remove you from the Courtroom.”
Woman: I don’t have to tell you nothin’ I’m a family member of someone. I was a kid when she died. I ain’ telling you who she was”
Bailiff: “You are being uncooperative and I’m going to have to remove you from my Courtroom. This is my Courtroom and I need to know who is sitting here.”
She sat there with her arms folded as the Bailiff lent in to her very closely and said “Ok step out of the Courtroom right now.” She resisted and I could see all the other Sheriff’s closing in, including the Defense and Detective Dupree. It looked like a takedown was about to happen but she got up and stormed out being escorted with no less than 4 Sheriffs, one of them being the Bailiff.
At 1.43pm the Jurors walked in the main door.
On the stand again was Cristina Gonzalez who had testified yesterday afternoon and this morning continuing with having to basically keep defending her professionalism and the correct procedures and protocol she uses in collecting and analyzing DNA.
Amster gets up for cross
Amster: Are you saying that it’s not possible in the entire world’s population for there to be the same….
Judge Kennedy cut him right off and said “Mr Amster we’ve been through all this the last time you cross examined”.
With that, he didn’t say a word and gathered his papers and stormed back to his chair sliding his feet as he does with his neck protruding forward at least a foot ahead of the rest of his body.
1.52pm The LAPD Seargant Allan Seeget came to the stand.
Sgt. Seeget works out of Rampart Division now and oversees the training Unit. He’s been with the LAPD for 32 years. He used to work at Newton station in South Central Los Angeles where he was a patrol officer.
This crime scene is where Barbara Ware was found. At 1356 East 56th Street.
DA: Sgt Seeget On Saturday January 10th 1987 at 12.30am, just after midnight, were you called to an alley located in the 1300 block of East 5th Street?
Sgt: Yes I was
DA: Was it a call for a dead body?
Sgt: Yes it was a call for a possible dead body?
DA: What were the weather conditions? Was it dark out? What did you see?
Sgt: It was very cold that night and it was still dark, in fact me and my partner had to use our flashlights and walk up the alley. Robert Diaz was my partner at that time. We saw lots of trash and debris all over the alley.
Judge: Sgt Seeget you can say what ‘you’ saw but you cannot say what ‘we’ saw. He turned to look over to the Judge who was sitting directly to his right.
Sgt: Yes your Honour I understand.
Turning back to Beth Silverman again he said:
Sgt: I then saw a dead body?
DA: Could you show us?
With his laser pointer he showed us the position the body was found which was to the right of the picture on the side of the alley. He pointed to a leg wearing a pair of jeans. He explained that the debris was stacked up on top of her. He called for additional units to come to the crime scene and put up the yellow tape so that no one else could enter that area without signing in and signing out of a log. At least one Coroner and at least one Criminalist and Investigator always shows up to a crime scene that appears to be of a homicide.
Every day, by the way, Lonnie Franklin looks straight ahead. He never looks left or right when he is seated on his chair, he also never looks at the monitor.
DA: Did a serial killer task force arrive at the scene?
Sgt: Yes at least 8 officers arrived at the scene.
Hang on a minute, I thought, the serial killer task force wasn’t even formed until 2007, so how could it have been possible for ‘a serial killer taskforce’ to be on hand all the way back 2 decades before? Something doesn’t make sense here and I planned to ask Detective Dupree about this in the afternoon recess. Plus I will also ask Cliff Shepherd about it too. More to come on this later……
More horrifically graphic crime scene pictures were shown of Barbara Ware and her lifeless body. Her face had blood all over it even though she was shot in the chest, my guess is the blood on her face came from when she was fell to the ground somehow after being shot. I am so glad that Ms. Diana Ware wasn’t in the Courtroom today, she was noticeably missing so I’m sure she was advised not to come in today as it would have been too difficult for her to see. God Bless that lady, I’m sure her daughter is looking down at her from heaven knowing how much her mother loved her.
Silverman asked Sgt Seeget how many homicides crime scenes he’d been called out to over the years, to which he responded, “Well over a hundred, but that’s a tough one to be exact on that!”
Silverman asks the question of ‘What exactly is a body dump’, quite a lot as she wants us, the Jury and everyone in the Courtroom to be perfectly clear on what it means so that without a doubt it shows that each of these bodies were killed somewhere then transported to the various crime scene locations.
Seeget answered the same way as everyone else – She was killed elsewhere then brought to the dumping location.
Amster was due to take the stand, we waited and we waited while he was banging around on his desk with all the large manila envelopes he had piled on top of each other. He was making a heck of a lot of noise yet saying nothing. Then he started looking under the desk for something, then he was slapping documents down on the desk, clearly making a spectacle of himself, however none of us knew why. No one said anything, but we all of us looked at each other, the Judge rolled her eyes subtly as she often does when Mr Amster does something that is so out of character for a normal professional lawyer. If Stan Laurel, from the television show Oliver and Hardy, were to be re-incarnated as a lawyer, his name would be Seymour Amster. He is a caricature of Stan Laurel.
Then he stayed at his seat and stood up and shouted to the witness on the stand in his typical rude manner:
Amster: Did you receive a call to go to that location?
Seeget: Yes I received a radio call which was a possible 187 (penal code for murder). The P.R. (person reporting) stated that it was the dumping of a body.
Amster wanted to focus on the graffiti on the wall near the body and ask if the graffiti appeared to be fresh graffiti. We all know what he was implying and the Sgt responded with a definitive ‘no’.
Graffitti was everywhere all over almost every wall in South Central Los Angeles, especially in the 80’s.
DA Silverman then cross examined the witness with only a few ‘to the point questions’
DA: Did the graffiti appear fresh to you?
DA: Did the graffiti appear to be typical of all the other graffiti in South LA?
DA: Thank you, no further questions.
Donald Hrycyk was called to the stand. A Detective who’d been with LAPD for 42 years.
Hrycyk was stationed at 77th Division for 3 ½ years. He responded to a homicide call on August 12th 1986. His partner was Jay Johnson. He responded to the scene at about 1.15pm. The victim turned out to be Henrietta Wright.
He described the scene to be filled with trash, trash bags, mattresses, looks like a transient could have been sleeping there. It was clearly a ‘body dump’.
Hrycyk has covered well over 60 homicides.
Right before we took the afternoon break the Judge got a little irate with Beth Silverman saying she didn’t want her to use the names of the victims. To which Silverman responded that “every time a slide is show, the victim’s name is always at the top so the Jury see it anyway”.
Judge: When I make a ruling, it stands. That’s it.
And with that heated exchange we were released on a break.
I saw Detective Dupree in the hallway and went up to him. He is so easy to talk to and always has time for people. I told him that I was confused that a ‘serial killer task force would show up to a crime scene in 1987 yet as far as I knew the serial killer task force wasn’t formed until 2007? He knew why I was confused and stated, “That’s what Margaret Prescod would like you to think.” But there were various ones formed earlier on.
Hmmmm I want to get to the bottom of this as I have never heard of one being formed before 2007… I’m calling Cliff Shepard tonight!
We came back after the break and Hrycyk explained that he responded to a crime scene at 9.15am at 9414 South Western Avenue, South LA a parking lot adjacent to an alley way, with his partner Jerry Collins .
When he showed up there were already uniformed officers on the scene. There was a dumpster on the south east corner was adjacent to the alley with two lids, one lid was open and one was closed. It was an overly full dumpster. He saw a foot with a grey sock on the open side of the dumpster.
They made sure to always wear gloves to preserve the integrity of the crime scene. There were ligature marks on the right side of her neck.
DA: Were there similarities between this crime scene of Bernita Sparks and the homicide we spoke about before, Henrietta Wright?
Seeget: Yes, both were shot in the chest. Both were African American women. Both were dumped in the South Central area location. Both were dumped in trash or covered in trash. Neither had any identification. Both were either in or adjacent to an alleyway. Both were covered to disguise the body and there were no 25 calibre casings at either crime scene.
Amster: Good afternoon Detective. On January 10th 1987 you were responding to the crime scene of….. oh… no wait…. Ha ha ha….” Seymour exploded again in hysterical laughter leaving all of us sane people in the Courtroom trying to piece together where the potential joke was. “ha ha ….I must’ve gone back to far.. sorry about that. I meant on August 12th 1986 you went to a crime scene with your partner Detective Collins. Part of your duty is to request a latent fingerprint analyst to come to the scene. Correct?
Seegret: I don’t recall
Amster: Well do you recall seeing an examiner there?
Seegret: I don’t recall
More hysterical laughter as he rummaged through his paperwork frantically searching for something that nobody besides Mr Amster himself could have any idea what he was looking for.
Amster: So you mentioned that when you arrived on the scene that a transient might have been sleeping there?
Seegret: Yes it’s possible that that area might be an area where a transient might sleep there.
Amster: Are you familiar with the types of people that frequent that area?
After much of a mess going around and around in a circle so that he could make his question more clear, the Sgt responded with:
Seegret: Well yes it’s an area where there are people on drugs, it’s an African American area, there are transients there and a lot of graffiti..
That was where we adjourned for the day……
Once I arrived home to write up my events of the day, I decided to call my friend Cliff Shepard to clarify my confusion regarding this ‘serial killer task force’ and when it all began.
Cliff: In 2007 I was working for Homicide supervisor Rob Bub in the cold case unit at that time, he was aware of cases that occurred in the 80’s. When Janecia Peters murder came in (in 2007) Cliff was on a day off and Captain Jackson was let know that the same DNA matched 6 0r 7 other victims, Kilcoyne overheard this conversation and they all decided to form a task force which began at approximately the end of April in 2007.
Where my confusion was is how come it was around in the 80’s as well and Cliff let me know that that was the ‘Southside Slayer task force’. (The Southside Slayer is another serial killer I have interviewed extensively by the name of Chester Turner, he is currently on Death Row. He was killing women in South Los Angeles at the same exact time as the Grim Sleeper so this would make sense). So yes, there was a serial killer task force that came to the scene of the murder of Barbara Ware, however it wasn’t the ‘serial killer task force’ that was assigned to the Grim Sleeper. This is very interesting as I had no idea that there were 2 serial killer task forces.