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Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Grim Sleeper ~ Sentenced to Death by Judge Kathleen Kennedy

At 8.30am we all gathered on the 9th floor outside of Dept. 109.  I arrived very early as I knew there would be a lot of people there including the victims' family members.

The first people I went up to was the loving and close knit Alexander family.  I shook their hands and gave Donnell a hug.  I have grown to know them over these past 6 years and have had a number of conversations with Donnell.  Porter and his wife Mary Alexander lost their daughter of barely 18 years old, Alicia "Monique" Alexander.  Donnell was her older brother and there were other family members there too.  The whole family have been coming to Court for every Pre-Trial Arraignment and had to live through the details of their precious "Monique's" death and also have to sit in the same room as the monster who brutally murdered her on September 11th 1988.  The Alexander family also had to suffer the antics and delays because of the unprofessionalism of Seymour Amster - Franklin's lead Defense Attorney.  This day is their day today, a day they knew that Justice would be served.... finally.

The next person I went up to was the lady I had wanted to talk to since 2010 when I first started going to the Pre-Trial Arraignments, Ms Diana Ware.  I have watched her over the years make every effort to attend every Court Appearances of her daughter's 'suspected' killer.  On the rare occasion if Ms Ware didn't attend on a day, over the years, it was only because her health was bad.  She is in her late 70's now and would diligently take the bus for every Pre-Trial Arraignments.

Barbara Ware (picture to the left) had only just turned the tender age of 23 when she was so brutally killed at the hands of Lonnie David Franklin Jr.  Ms Ware was wearing a beautiful blue and white floaty top and her hair was done to perfection, this was her day to get Justice for her daughter and she had a different air about her today, almost one of complete satisfaction as she knew in her heart the Judge would agree with the Jury and sentence Franklin to death.

From 8.40am when the doors to Dept. 109 opened, DA Beth Silverman was hugging the family members and they were chatting and hugging her in return.  Ms Silverman looked as elegant as always, wearing a black jacket over a black and white spotted dress.

By 9.15 only 5 of the Jurors had come through the door, but they didn't come in together as they weren't summoned.  It was their choice if they wanted to be there for the final sentencing.

Lonnie Franklin was walked in soon after, handcuffed and in his orange jumpsuit.

He looked like he was chewing something as he sat down and during some of the proceedings.  He
was wearing his black rimmed glasses and faced forward with the same blank stare he has had throughout the Trial.

At 9.21am Judge Kennedy took the bench.  She began by stating that the Defense had made complaints about 'Prosecution misconduct'.

Everyone had been sitting and waiting for a while and then Seymour Amster spoke first and blabbed on and on complaining that the Prosecution shouldn't have brought in 4 new murder cases in the Penalty Phase of the Trial which Amster claimed to be 'Prosecution misconduct'.  If a claim of misconduct should be stated by anyone it should be by the Judge regarding Amster.  Throughout the Trial he did everything he could to delay and disrespect as many people as he could.  In fact Seymour Amster's name should come up in the dictionary next to the word 'misconduct'.
The 'Penalty Phase' of a Trial is usually focused on the Defendant and whether he/she should live or die.

Ranging from one octave to another in just one sentence he implied that 'bringing up these new
murders tainted the mind of the Jury'.  He even said it wasn't fair that 'serial murderers should automatically be given the death penalty'!!  What?  Then who should be given it?  He even brought up another serial killer (who I've interviewed a number of times) - Chester Turner.  Turner was given the Death Penalty, then sent to death row for a few years, then brought back to be tried again for more murders.  He then received the Death Penalty for the second time.  No one really understood what he was bringing this up for, neither did the Judge.  However Amster is always good at one thing and that is always making sense to himself, yet not to anybody else around him.
He of course was going for another Mistrial, so when he'd finished the Judge turned to the Prosecution and said:

Judge: "Ms Silverman".

Silverman stated that she was one of the Prosecutors on the Chester Turner case and the first Jury convicted him of multiple murders and he was sentenced to death for them.   Then finding there were a number of other murders, he was brought back from Death Row to be tried again in front of another Jury to give some sense of justice and closure for the families of those additional victims.

DA Silverman: "It seems that the argument that Defense Counsel is making today is that somehow he thinks that serial killers are a 'special class' and that they should be given special treatment and should be treated differently from any other Capital case".  
She called his argument, 'disingenuous at best' and proceeded to let the Court know how everyone had been impacted by the evidence that was shown in this Courtroom.  She said how conscientious, diligent and professional the Jury had been the entire 6 months of the Trial.  Silverman said she could never have imagined a better Jury.  She stated that there is no real sense of closure for the victims family members yet she feels they will now have a sense of peace that Justice has been served.

After Ms Silverman finished speaking it went back to Amster who raised his voice so much that he was shouting, just like he has done since the Trial began and throughout the Pre-Trial hearings.

The Judge chose to ignore his rantings and turned to commend the Jury on how great they were in every way.  She also stated that no evidence in favour of the Defendant was presented by the Defense.  There was nothing they brought in to the Penalty phase that could show that he had had a tragedy in his childhood.  She stated there is no 'automatic death penalty for serial killers' and that the evidence spoke for itself.  She explained that after she had also independently reviewed all the evidence, along with what was presented in Trial, she firmly believes that the aggravating factors far outweigh the mitigating ones.

We had a short recess then returned and Judge Kennedy asked the Defense if the Defendant would like to speak.  Amster responded that he did not wish to speak.  Then Ms Silverman invited 17 members, of the families of the victims, to speak.  One after another stood up to speak in such heartfelt and emotional words... it brought me to tears and I'm sure I was not the only one.

Starting with a lady by the name of Ms. Laverne (or Lavert) Peters,  she walked to the Lectern and made her statement.  She was the mother of Janecia Peters (picture to the right) who was found murdered on January 1st 2007 at the young age of 25.  She said that the Defendant who had killed and discarded her daughter in a trash bag, would now be living his life in a jail cell which will become his trash bag.
Jovana Peters stood up and with a shaky voice she spoke through her tears about how her sister Janecia was taken in such a tragic way.  They were best friends growing up.

Then Barbara Ware's sister stood up and spoke. Barbara died on January 10th 1987 at the young age of 23.  Her sister spoke of the love she had of her late sister and how they would run through the rain to their father's house before the clock struck 12 midnight on New Years Eve.  It was the first time she had ever seen her father cry.   He never knew that his daughter was murdered by a serial killer as he died before Franklin was arrested.  Barbara was a mother, a daughter, a sister and a niece.  She ended very strongly with  "It's now your turn Lonnie David Franklin.  You're out"!

Henrietta Wright's daughter spoke next (picture of Henrietta on the left)  She said that she has finally found peace.  She said what Franklin did to the community was 'butt ugly' and that the crimes he committed over and over and over again had made his life 'butt ugly'.  She brought up these words because when Franklin was being interrogated he saw a picture of Henrietta Wright and said that she was 'butt ugly'.  This was cleverly used to describe the life and crimes of Franklin by using these 2 words in the correct way this time.
Another family member of Henrietta's got up to speak but it was hard to hear as she spoke quietly.

The lady who grew up with Princess Berthomieux like an older sister, stood up next to speak of her love for Princess.  More family members stood up to speak about Princess.

The Uncle of Alicia "Monique" Alexander stood up to give a heartfelt statement.   He stayed with the Alexander family throughout college.  He called Franklin a monster and said that Franklin's actions deeply changed who he was.  He explained how he is a Christian and a spiritual person and is taught to forgive.  However he cannot forgive Franklin for taking the life of such a sweet and innocent person as "Monique".
Then a lady by the name of Carmela (spelling) stood up to speak of her sister Alicia "Monique"Alexander.  She had no family of her own so they were sisters but not by blood.  Mary and Porter Alexander were her Godparents and therefore "Monique"
became her sister.  

She recalled how they sang together and shared a life together.  She spoke as best she could through her tears of how this tragedy has made her Godparents suddenly get old and their health deteriorate rapidly over the years.  She thanked God, the Jury, the Judge, Beth, and Darren Dupree.  She said to Franklin that he has a daughter, nieces and a granddaughter of his own and how would he have liked this to happen to them.  She said she will never have closure she is just trying to have peace. (Picture of Monique is to the right).

Then the only living survivor, Enietra Washington, stood up to speak.  She was wearing a very glamorous outfit as always.  Today she wore a long bright blue summer two piece outfit.  She said Franklin was so evil and that he is 'right up there with Manson.'  She said that Franklin destroyed her trust in men as Franklin took all of that trust away.

She went on to say in a stern voice that because Franklin has no remorse there is no way that any of us could give him forgiveness. She explained how she is so hurt by what he did to her and she has no closure because every day she is fearful.

Another lady got up and said she was shot 6 times by Franklin, thankfully she lived.  She explained her painful story to the Court.

Donnell Alexander stood up dressed immaculately in a tanned suit, tie and a brown shirt.  The whole family have always dressed so well every Court day for the past 6 years.  Donnell spoke of his beautiful baby sister Alicia "Monique" Alexander.  He explained that being in the Trial was the hardest thing he'd ever done and yet he believes in the system.   "This is the last time that Franklin will take another life".  He said staring coldly at the back of Franklin's head.

Porter Alexander then stood up to speak of his beloved daughter Alicia "Monique" Alexander.  He said to listen to the pain spoken by all the family members and for someone to take the life of so many people is 'mind boggling'.  Franklin is atrocious and the 'day of reckoning is here'.  He said how he hopes they really 'take him out', meaning that he really faces the execution that he deserves.

Mary Alexander slowly stood up to speak of her daughter Alicia "Monique" Alexander and how their lives changed since the tragedy.  She spoke of how Franklin has no conscience whatsoever and how much she misses and loves her daughter and how she wakes up in the night and cries.   She is glad she lived long enough to see this day come.   Then in the most powerful way, she made Franklin turn around and look into her eyes.  She then asked how he could have taken the life of such an innocent person who had never done any harm to him.  He mouthed the words "I don't know why" or "It wasn't me".  It was very hard to see as Franklin's mouth didn't open much when he spoke those words.

Ms Diana Ware had been to nearly every Court appearance over these past 6 years when her health would allow it.  She then rose to a standing position and walked slowly to the lectern to speak of her beloved step-daughter , Barbara, who was taken from this world on January 10th 1987, 2 days after her 23rd Birthday.  "When Mr Franklin killed her, he extinguished the promise of the potential life of a 23 year old single mother who had begun to turn her life around.  He brutally murdered her.   A hole has been left in our family that has never been filled".

Barbara's father, Diana's late husband, passed away in 2002 never knowing that their daughter was a victim of a serial killer.  She looked over at Franklin and asked him why he did what he did, "What was in your mind"? She asked him, with a stern look in her eyes, although he continued to face forward.  She said she forgives Franklin because the Lord says she must.  However she cannot forget.
She called Franklin 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'.  He stole all of her tomorrows.  There will be no wedding, no other children.  There will be no family reunions, no cook outs, no birthday parties no more memories to be made.  She thanked the Prosecution, the Judge and everyone in the Courtroom for their support.  She even said she prays for Franklin's soul and reminded him that he too will have to answer to the Lord our Savior one day.

There were a number of other family members who stood up to speak and I will write all their names in my book.  There were also family members who weren't present therefore wrote a letter, to be read by Beth Silverman, to the Court.  Billy Ware, the sister of Barbara Ware wrote a letter as he resides in another State.  He said he would never forgive the 'little arrogant man' who killed his sister so brutally and left her in an alley.  He also wrote that he hopes Franklin doesn't die of old age as he wants to watch him die.  Also the son of Henrietta Wright wrote a letter and Beth Silverman read both of their heartfelt words to the Court.

The last lady to stand up and speak was another family member who was very Christian and said she forgave Franklin for killing these young women and she said she prays he asks God to forgive him as that's what he needs to do.  She told him he'd caused so much pain to so many people although we feel sorry for him.  She said that beneath his hard, cruel exterior that probably deep down he is also hurting and broken just like he has made all of these family members.
"You really need to be delivered". She then walked slowly back to her seat.

When each of the female family members went up to the lectern/podium to say their statements, Beth Silverman gently stroked their backs giving them strength to be able to speak and clearly showing how much compassion she has for all of them.

The Judge then told the Court that the last family member had spoken and then turned to Franklin and said "Now the time has come..."  She went on to say that these women were all defenseless and not a threat to him in any way.  How there is no justification for what he's done as it is not justifiable under the laws of God or the laws of man.

After saying the names of each and every victim Judge Kennedy then said these words, "It is the judgement and sentence of this Court, you shall suffer the Death Penalty".

She said that the total of restitution that Franklin owes is a total of $22,478.22 and he agreed to this amount.  Restitution is for funeral and burial costs.  She stated, as is always said at the sentencing of a Death Penalty case, the Defendant will be taken to San Quentin State Prison within 10 days of this date.

This concludes the final day of a very emotional 6 month Trial and decades of pain experienced by all family members.  Therefore I am posting this blog in memory of all the innocent lives lost and to make sure that their spirit lives on and will never be forgotten.

There will be much more detail in my book which should be coming out nearer the end of this year.

The End.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Former LA County Sheriff - Leroy Baca - Rescinded Guilty Plea. Facing Trial in September..

One of the most powerful lawman ever in California reverses guilty plea and vows fight for his innocence.

Born on May 27th 1942 Leroy Baca is the Former LA County Sheriff who took over from Sherman Block in 1998 until his retirement in 2014.  He started as a Deputy with the LASD (Los Angeles Sheriff Department) in 1965 and served 49 years protecting and serving the community.
'Lee' Baca is a Republican and has opposed California's Proposition 8.

In August of 2011 a scandal broke out in the Men's Central Jail.  A cell phone had been smuggled in illegally to an inmate who was an FBI informant.  This event went down in history as one of the biggest scandals the LASD has ever had.  Lee Baca was the Sheriff of Los Angeles County at that time.
After a number of investigations took place, trying to find out why and who had smuggled the phone in, the plot thickened.  Since then, there have been trials, arrests, convictions and plea deals.  Today Lee Baca has learned that he will face his own Trial which is due to begin in September of this year.

Without saying anymore here, as I will save that for my book, I will continue with the events of current day:

I arrived at 7.25am, there was a line around the corridors from Dept. 19 of everyone waiting to get in with all the other reporters and spectators.  Close to 8.25 the doors were opened and we started to file in the door.
Lee Baca came in, walking slowly with his very elegant wife and his 2 lawyers beside him.  I looked at him and he gave me a smile of recognition and reached out his hand to shake mine.  I think he could read my face very well and could see that I was there to support him.  I shook his hand with both of mine and said "God Bless you Lee and good luck today."  He smiled and nodded and then said brief hellos to other people in line whom he knew.  He seemed frail but still as kind and gentle as I've always known him to be.  He wore a striped grey suit, white shirt, pink silk tie and handkerchief in his left pocket to match.  He, as always was wearing his Sheriff badge pinned to his left lapel.  He looked like he'd just stepped out of GQ magazine, very well put together.

At 8.30am we were all seated in Dept. 19 of the Spring Street Federal Court.   This Courtroom is assigned to Judge Percy Anderson (picture on the right)
who is nicknamed 'No Mercy Percy' due to his ruthlessness shown to anyone who is not Federal.  I sat in the second row next to Zohreen Adamjee from Fox 11 and an unknown gentleman on my left.

After we 'all rose' when Judge Anderson walked in, the two
Defense lawyers representing Lee Baca - Nathan Hochman and Michael Zweiback (picture below) - stood up and walked over to the podium with Baca.

They had been given 2 weeks by Judge Anderson to make one of two choices:
Rescind his plea of guilt and face Trial
Accept the Sentence that the Judge would give him today.

The lawyers explained how they would like to go to sidebar to discuss one final issue before stating their decision.  Baca returned to his seat, hands clasped in front of him and facing the side wall in front of him while his lawyers walked over to the sidebar with Judge Anderson and the Prosecution/the USA which consisted of Brandon Fox, Liz Rhoades and the same man who was for the Prosecution last time.  I will write down his name when I can remember it.

His wife of almost 20 years, Carol Baca, looked over and smiled at me and I smiled back and put my hand on my heart to show her my support.  Lee Baca just sat there, slightly shifting in his chair and with his profile to the Gallery.  It was clear that he was very uncomfortable as anyone would be in his situation.  All of us in the Gallery tried to hear what was going on and we strained to eavesdrop to no avail.  All we could see was Judge Anderson waving his arms and giving the odd smile.  Never a good thing as his smile would not be a smile reciprocated by the Defense.
After about 4 minutes of Baca facing the wall, he swung his chair slightly to his left, facing the back wall where they were at sidebar.  He was also trying to listen in but to no avail as they were speaking so quietly and it is a big room.   7 or 8 minutes went by and they all returned back to their seats.  Mr Zweiback and Mr Hochman were talking intensely with their client.  Side bar was requested again for the second time and the same thing happened, a lot of whispering that no-one could hear, the Judge was looking at the clock and motioning with his hands in an outward direction and none of us had a clue what was going on.

They all returned to their seats at 9.28am and the Judge then announced that we would be taking a 4 hour recess.... (whatttttt????) ... and will be returning at 1.30pm to resolve the issue of what Baca's lawyers have decided to go with.   I went outside and sat on the wall outside the Courthouse in the shade and talked to some of the media who were also having to hang out for 4 hours.

After about an hour a man in a suit walked down the steps of the Courthouse.  It was Judge Percy Anderson in his own clothes and without the robe.  I hardly recognized him outside of the Courtroom and not wearing his robe.  He was shorter than I would have thought, my height I would guess, probably 5ft 9".  I really wanted to take a picture of him to post on here (and hopefully for my future book).  So,  as he was walking, I stood up from the wall and asked him very nicely, "Judge Anderson could I please take your picture"?  He kept walking and didn't respond for a few seconds, then he shook his head slowly responding with a "No".

I realized  that one of the main reasons that the Judge was so aloof with me was probably because I was wearing my Sheriff badge and also Sheriff necklace very blatantly (and proudly) for all to see.  Not a Department he seems to like very much.  I won't say anymore here.  The Judge was obviously on his way to lunch (later I found out he went to Subway), so I stayed there to catch him on his way back and see if he would change his mind.   After 40 minutes he started walking back, the media person told me that he was about to cross over at the light on our side of the street, then he darted in to the garage part of the Court so he wouldn't have to deal with me asking that question again.  So if you wonder why I posted an older black and white picture of him above, it's because he wouldn't let me take an up to date one of him walking down Spring street.

I wish I had brought my computer with me so I could have typed this in those 4 hours, but I had no idea we would be breaking at all, let alone for such a long time.

At 1.10pm the line had already started and wound it's way around the corridor, so I decided to stand back in the line again and wait to be let in.  We went in, in groups of 10 people.  The press went first and everyone pushed me to go in with the press, but I am not 'the press'!  I am not 'the media'!  I don't want to be either one especially because if I was I would not have been able to get the 'exclusive interviews' that I have been and am able to get by making sure that the interviewee knows that "I am not the media/press"!  Therefore I am more trusted and I have never abused that trust with any of my subjects/interviewees.  In this case regarding the numerous LASD Trials, I am covering them for a variety of reasons, one of them will hopefully be for writing my 5th book, once my Publisher commissions me for it of course.

We were all seated by 1.25pm, I was seated in the second row again towards the left side as much as I could be.  My reason for that is the left rows of seats are family members and friends of Lee Baca and the right side of the room are seats for the Prosecution/the FBI side.  The middle section is usually for reporters, independent writers/journalists/film makers (which is the group I chose to sit with) and various people unknown to me.  I could've sat on the left side of the room too if I had wanted to but the view is much better in the middle section and it is easier to hear because the Judge's voice is so quiet.

Lee Baca came in with his lawyers (picture on the left courtesy of the Daily News) and they all took their seats.  USA/the Prosecution also took their seats on the other side.  Before the Judge came in, Baca got up and walked over to his wife who was seated on the left side in the front row and asked her something to which she responded with a nod.  I haven't a clue what was said.  He sat down again.  We then all rose when Judge Anderson entered the room, led in by his Clerk, Steve, who is a very nice man.   He's certainly been very nice to me over these past few years when he's spoken to me at the various LASD Trials that I have attended in his Courtroom.

Everyone sat back down and each side stated who they were by stating their full names.  We began with Michael Zweiback stating that as they had 'failed in making a resolution and due to Baca's health condition they cannot proceed to sentencing today and that they wish to 'Withdraw the guilty plea'. The Judge looked at Baca, who was standing straight up like soldier at the lectern (podium) with both his lawyers beside him: "Mr Baca do you wish to withdraw your guilty plea"?
To which he responded: "Yes Your Honour"!
The Judge set the date for Trial to begin on September 20th 2016 with the Pre-Trial set for September 12th.
Mr Zweiback went on to state that as 'The Government' (the Prosecution) have given them one terabyte of data to go through by then, more time would most likely be needed.

We adjourned for the day and left the building.  I wanted to film Baca and his lawyers as they left the Courthouse and I did so right up to the part where Baca started to make his statement

He introduced his lawyers and spoke in a very strong yet gentle voice explaining who he is and what he was facing.  His statement is here

What amazed me is the strength Baca showed when admitting/owning his debilitating disease.  Most people I know with Alzheimers are usually in denial.  This, yet again, shows me what an honest man he is and always has been.  After he made this statement he was whisked off in a waiting SUV, with about 5 men and his wife beside him.  I managed to give him a hug and tell him that he has many supporters in the Department and I am here for them as they cannot.  He looked at me in a very genuine way and thanked me knowing that I meant every word I said.

Right afterwards Michael Zweiback spoke about Baca's Alzheimer's Disease and 'how it had progressed'.  Many reporters asked questions regarding his disease to which Zweiback stated that his client is 'impaired'.  "He is beyond mild cognitive impairment and has short term memory loss.  It is a progressive neurological disease therefore his physical and mental capabilities will diminish".  He also stated that he had the beginnings of the disease in March of 2013 when he spoke to the FBI.

I feel a lot of the mitigating factors will be his Alzheimers disease along with the fact that he put Paul Tanaka in charge (and entrusted him) to deal with the cell phone which was illegally smuggled in to the jail to an FBI Informant.

By withdrawing his guilty plea today, Baca might now be facing more charges than the one he had originally admitted to which was: 'making a false statement to a Federal Agent/the FBI'.  On February 10th of this year Baca settled for a guilty plea by admitting that he had lied to Federal Authorities and the US Attorney's Office when he claimed he did not know that the LASD were going to intimidate (some use the word 'threaten') an FBI Agent back in 2011.  This was all part of his original plea agreement so he wouldn't face any more charges.  Now the plea deal is off the table, the other charges he was facing before might resurface again during the Trial.

To be continued....

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Grim Sleeper Trial. Closing Arguments. Day 2

Continuing with the Closing, Closing Arguments from Beth Silverman on May 3rd.

I do have friends in 'high places', well higher than the 9th floor which we were on.  The Courtroom is on the 9th floor and the media are often on the 12th floor if they're not in the Courtroom.  A few of those reporters have suggested I go up there to watch the Trial, on media days over the past few months on a live streaming news feed but I had never done so as I had always preferred to be in the Courtroom.

However on this final day of Closing Arguments, I really needed wanted to be up there with all the close circuit monitors.  There was nothing that would have stopped me from hearing Beth Silverman blow away Amster for one last time and give her final performance of this phase of the Trial.

So I decided to join my media friends up on the 12th floor, and watch Ms Silverman blast away on about 4 live feed monitors.

The Judge turned to her at just after 2pm and said, "Ms Silverman".

She walked slowly and deliberately up to the Lectern.

D.A. Silverman: "Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.  The only deception that has been perpetrated in this case, is by the Defense.  The entire Defense from the beginning of this case through Closing Arguments where we heard for the first time that there was some 'mystery man' with a 'mystery gun' with 'mystery DNA' is now, at the end of the case with no evidence to support it!  What the Defense wants you to do in this case is to engage in speculation and what you heard from the instructions, that were given to you by the Court, is that that's something you can't do.  You have to base your decision on the evidence.  That doesn't mean imaginary evidence.  That doesn't mean evidence that could be based on speculation.  The theory of the Defense is basically equivalent to the skies opening up, a spaceship descending and murdering all of these women.   We have the same evidence of that we do of some 'mystery nephew' who we've never heard of going to nobody that exists".

And she continued.

D.A: "Don't you think if there was evidence of a 'mystery nephew', his words himself,  don't you think we would have heard about this at some point before now?  Do you think that if someone says something over and over for 4 and a 1/2 hours that somehow that makes it true?  Or that if you raise your voice enough times that suddenly that's going to lend it some credibility?   

What the Defense has told you today is that some nephew picked up Enietra Washington and said he wanted to go to his Uncle's house, which we presume is Lonnie Franklin's house.  So is the Defense saying that the person who's a murderer wouldn't also lie?  The fact that the Defendant said to Enietra Washington 'I want to stop off at my Uncle's house to pick up some money'.  What's the logical reason that the Defendant would do that that day?  He was coming out of a store, he sees Enietra walk by and paying attention to his customized Pinto".  

When he sees that he'd caught her attention he tries to ask her if she wanted a ride tand she rejected his offer numerous times.  After about the 3rd time and him saying a rude comment like 'that's what wrong with you black women, noone can be nice to you'.  She started to feel sorry for him and then reluctantly got in his car with him, finally accepting his offer of a ride.

She continued.

D.A: "Why then would he say he had to stop at his home, which he referred to as 'his Uncle's home'?  Because he didn't have his gun!  He had to go back to his house to get the gun!  He didn't know he'd run into a lady that he was interested in and he's angry.  Why is he angry?  For the same reason he told us?  Because initially she refuses his ride.  She didn't want to get into the car with him but he makes her feel guilty.  The power of manipulation that's what we heard from the Defense throughout this case.  Then the Defense told us that the police were brought to the area and that 'they could have taken DNA samples from everybody'.  What year is this?  This was 1988!  There was no DNA! AGAIN.... THEY...ARE... JUST... MAKING... THINGS... UP!  But of course, what do you expect?  They don't have anything!  But what else are they going to do?  They have to make things up because the evidence in this case is so substantial.  

So now, we have a 'mystery man'!  Let's look at what we had throughout this Trial.  A 'red herring'. You know what a red herring is?  A red herring is a smoked fish and back in the days in Europe, specifically in London, England, they would drag a smoked fish across the trail to throw off hunting dogs to attempt to distort, distract and manipulate.   That's what the Defense did this morning and all day yesterday.  They're just trying to distract you.  Not only do they do that in arguments but they've done this throughout the case. 

Let's take a look: The DNA statistics, that's not real science.  Even though even his own scientists use it and he admitted it's used throughout the Country and the world but suddenly 'it doesn't work'.  But it doesn't work if it points to the Defendant's guilt yet it does work if it points to some 'unknown male'.  The firearms analysis in the case was based on faulty science even though it's used across the Country and across the world and has been for 100 years.  Remember the very beginning of this case?  Just to give you a pattern that went on with the Defense throughout the entirety of this case.  Remember the testimony of Dr Fajardo with question after question after question from the Defense saying, 'Well maybe the bodies in this case maybe they were misidentified?  Maybe they were switched at the Coroner's office'? How do you know the toe tie was labeled correctly?  What did we hear about that?  We heard from Dr Fajardo that identification of decedents is one of the main functions at the Coroner's office".

She continued by explaining in great detail how the Defense tried to mislead the Jury from the start.   Even near the end of the case when the family members of the victims went on the Stand and identified their loved ones by saying, 'Yes that was my mother' or 'that was my sister' or 'that was my daughter'.  So although the Defense was happy to mislead the Jury initially it went on and got worse from there.  We then heard about gang members.   Silverman then quoted how Amster wanted to sway the Jury.

D.A: "Let's divert attention away from this case yet again and let's look at the gang graffiti"!
Yes, Silverman reminded us that Amster even used 'gang graffiti' to try and lead the Jury up the garden path.  Meaning to lead them astray and off the scent like the 'red herring' she mentioned earlier.  Really?  Gang members are going to murder multiple people all in the same manner and then 'dump the bodies' right in the same area where they paint their graffiti?  Come on!

D.A: "We heard from Detective Dupree that gangs don't care about that kind of stuff.  Another attempt to mislead."

Then she spoke about the Defense going on about it probably being the murderer/s of these women.  That didn't work so then he even brought up the transients!  "Now he says that the transients are responsible"! 
She continued on with how he went on about an orange peel that was found underneath a body, trying to divert attention again to the orange peel.  Even the Detective testifying had to laugh at how that could even possibly be related.  All of this is to divert attention away from the evidence in this case.

Silverman continued in her powerful articulate way with even more damning truths about the craziness that the Defense came up with.

D.A: "Now, as of today, we have this grand conspiracy theory that happened in this case.  The Sheriffs, the LAPD the D.A's office, everybody conspired against this Defendant.  Even his own nephew!  That's what you're not allowed to do, what he did.  That's the opposite of following the law in this case which is basing your decision on what's presented in this Courtroom.  How many times did we hear Judge Kennedy talk about, you're not allowed to listen to anything outside of this Courtroom?  'Don't listen to the radio, or television.  Don't read the newspaper because you must only listen and go on the evidence you hear in Court'.  

Now today, they come in and say there's a 'mystery man', a 'mystery gun' and 'mystery DNA.'  How long did he take to come up with that story!  And now he has an imaginary nephew!   On top of all of this he manipulated and distorted the evidence"!

She went on to repeat all the areas in which Amster would even try to discredit the testimony of the only living eye witness.  She made his queries of her statement sound ludicrous even here.

D.A: "When the Defense said to you over and over that 'if you don't have enough evidence then you can't convict'.  My question would be: what more evidence could you possibly have when you have
DNA, firearms evidence, circumstantial evidence of all the evidence that was found in his home, an identification, the murder weapon.  What more is there?  What other type of evidence could exist in the Universe that would be sufficient?  Because certainly if you had that, he would be telling you that that wasn't believable, or credible or reliable evidence either"!

The previous day Amster told the Court that 'it's his job to prosecute bad Government,' Silverman was firm in stating that that is completely false. He has no idea what he's talking about.  Carrying on referring to Amster she clarified about more of his embellishments and the imaginary statements he comes up with.

D.A: "There's no 'bad Government here.  There's evidence and we present it!  A selected Jury makes a decision.  And he's not a Prosecutor!  He's a Defense Attorney and it's his job to represent his client.  That doesn't mean that his job is to mislead the Jury.  He repeatedly took evidence out of context throughout this entire Trial.  According to him now, all the evidence amounts to nothing.   The DNA evidence is irrelevant.  The firearms evidence isn't good enough.  The patterns that are obvious are meaningless.  In fact  he even said 'the Government wants to see patterns'.  The Government isn't a person!  The 'Government' doesn't want to see anything!  

The patterns are obvious to all of you and Detective Kilcoyne testified to this at the beginning.  Showing the patterns of the evidence that had the same DNA profiles over and over and over again between these cases.  This is not something 'the Government wanted to find'!  It is something that existed.  The bodies were killed and dumped in the same manner.  The victims were all of the same type, African American young women.  The murder weapon was the same 25 calibre firearm.  We didn't create this!  The Defendant created it!  We just presented it"! 

She smiled and said that he wants to tell you that all those patterns were 'meaningless'.  Even Lonnie's best friend's testimony was also meaningless, if it didn't suit him.

D.A: "And you didn't hear from one DNA expert, not one, between all the laboratories that ever said, 'you know this DNA profile was similar to the Defendant's but it wasn't him.  It must be someone who is related to him'.  That's not what you heard.  You heard it was a match!  And that's the point of the statistics that it is so rare.

Again you didn't come into this Courtroom from under some dark hole.  DNA is used to exonerate the innocent and it's used to convict the guilty".

You also heard from Counsel when he made a lot of comments about the 'randomness of nature' that can cause 2 strands to be the same.  That's not the way DNA evidence works.  If it was someone related to the Defendant it would have showed that and they wouldn't have been 'matches'.  They were all 'matched' to the Defendant"!

She again brilliantly picked apart the Defense's one star Witness, David Lamagna, saying that he had 'no training, no experience, he's not qualified in offering expert opinions and not an expert in firearm and tool mark comparisons.  Yet he explains how he knows how it should be done although that's not how he does it himself as he says he can't afford it"!

Apparently, how Lamagna really makes his money is by traveling around and criticizing the real firearm and tool mark examiners with unsubstantiated claims.   He thinks he's smarter than everybody else and he thinks he's experienced more than anybody else.   His opinions are complete garbage she went on to say and when you hear what he says, 'it's garbage in and garbage out'.  She clarified this with the following.

"That's the only way he can make a living as nobody would hire him"!  Silverman wasn't bashful in saying how dishonest Lamagna is.  It was a battle when she had to ask him multiple times and ask the same question over and over and over again just to get him to answer directly.

D.A: "One of the most embarrassing moments for him was when I'm showing him photographs of his microscope set up in the Jury room, with his hands.  His microscope, by the way, which he purchased off the internet.  Then he Ummed and A'aaad as to whether that was actually a photograph of his hands and also if it was even his microscope.  We all know how that went down.  It went from bad to worse".

Still explaining to the Jury on how to base their opinions, she so cleverly likened David Lamagna to a piece of moldy bread.  A pasty white piece of moldy bread I'm sure!

D.A: "If there's a Witness who is clearly and willfully false and is only there to mislead you, then you must throw out the entire testimony as you would with a piece of moldy bread.  You're not going to pick around the mold and eat the rest of it, you throw out the whole thing"!

She explained how the 'intent to kill' was very clear.  All these women were shot at close range and the stippling and sooting proved this.  They were all shot in the heart.  There was a very deliberate 'intent to kill' and not an intent to just scare someone as if you were just waving a gun around then shoot someone in the leg.

Most times, there are no witnesses to crimes, especially the ones the Defendant committed.  He silenced the only witnesses there could have been by killing these women.  There is no law in the Jury instructions where there has to be a witness to a crime or there would be a lot of criminals walking amongst us.

She explained what 'reasonable doubt' is and how there is 'NO reasonable doubt in this case'!  She told the Jury to base their decisions on the evidence and common sense.

D.A: "The evidence in this case couldn't be any clearer.  What the Defense want you to do in this case is go on a fishing expedition.  They want you to believe that the evidence in this case is really only a bunch of coincidences.  Well what he gave you and what he wants to hang his hat on, are way too many coincidences to even be in the same sentence as the word reasonable"!

She said that the Defense wants you to believe that the Defendant is just the object of some grand conspiracy.  Therefore you would have to believe that the Defendant must be the most unluckiest man on the face of the planet because the entire Universe is conspiring against him!  That is just not reasonable!  Don't buy into the Defense's absurd excuses as the evidence in this case is staggering.

D.A: "It's your responsibility to hold the Defendant accountable for his choices.  For his deliberate and pre-meditated actions of his vicious killings of 10 women and the attempted murder of the 11th victim.  It's your responsibility, based on the evidence and based on the Law, to tell this Defendant that he is guilty of 1st Degree Murder with a special circumstance.  It's time, ladies and gentlemen to bring Justice to these women.  It's time".

And on that strong finish, Beth Silverman closed her notes and gracefully left the Lectern.

Throughout this Trial I have never once heard her say an 'umm' or an 'errr' when either reading from her notes or speaking directly.  Never once has she ever lost her paperwork or searched under the desk for something.  She's never dropped evidence on the floor least of all a gun, we all know which Counsel did that!  She certainly doesn't shuffle back and forth from the Lectern to her seat in fact she usually stays fixed in one area ~ the Lectern/Podium.  She's never had to 'withdraw the question' like the other side who seems to have to 'withdraw his question' on average about 18 - 30 times a day.  She doesn't laugh hysterically like a crazed hyena on methamphetamines.  She doesn't scream and shout at the Judge and threaten to walk off the case or threaten to have a stroke or 'fake a headache because she wants to 'coach the Witness'.   There's a lot more I could say here but the list would be endless.
What I'm getting at here is that to watch Beth Silverman in action is like watching a good powerful movie that has an excellent beginning, middle and end.  To watch Seymour Amster
in action is like watching a bad sitcom.  In fact both Judge Kennedy and Ms Silverman deserve a medal for having had to put up with Seymour Amster for all these years.

The Judge continued to read the rest of the Jury instructions.  I then went downstairs and said my Goodbyes to all of the lovely, kind and respectful Sheriff Deputies who I had got to know for the past 3 months, and some over the past few years.  It's sad when you see people every day that you may never see again.

It was the end of another incredible experience in my life where I worked so very hard at trying my best to document all the testimonies, the emotions, the physical attributes of certain people and really just try to put the reader in the Courtroom with me.  I've only been writing since 2007 and I enjoy it more and more every book I write.  This Blog is a mini version of what my book will be and, as most of you know, the rest of my book will document my 'exclusive interviews' with Lonnie Franklin himself.  Please stay tuned as my book will be coming out very soon.


At 1.36pm May 5th Lonnie Franklin was found guilty of 10 counts of murder in the 1st degree and one count of attempted murder.  Justice has finally been served and I hope this helps in giving some kind of closure to the most important people in this trial ~ the family members of the victims.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grim Sleeper Trial. Closing Arguments. Day 1 and part of Day 2

May 2nd.  Closing Arguments. Day 1.

I arrived right before 8.30am, still pretty upset about my computer completely crashing and losing all of my work from the day before.  I must have come in like a whirlwind as I went straight to the 2 lead Detectives who've been part of this case since the beginning in the 80's, retired Detectives Dennis Kilcoyne
and Paul Coulter, and they asked me how many Red Bulls I had today.  Well, I rarely even drink coffee but today I was overly flustered as I'd been on the phone with Apple care since 6am and had to race to be in Court on time.   It was nice that, Paul Coulter said he reads my Blog all the time because I'm covering this case 'the best'.   I was very humbled by this, even though I've had many people say this to me over the months, but coming from a seasoned Detective who knows this case inside and out, I was very flattered and certainly let him know it.

You see, I'm not really a Blogger at all.  I'm an Author.  However, when my Publisher suggested I should Blog throughout the Trial which will help to lead up to the sales of my book, I took him up on what he said with full gusto.  Hence, I ended up 'covering the Trial in the same details as I speak, which is a lot!  Also, I am not politically correct so I say it like it is unlike most people here in California.

The following part of this Blog, up to the ***** I will be talking personally about things unrelated to the Trial, please skip ahead past the ***** if you want to go straight in to the events of the final day in Court with Closing Arguments.  I don't talk about my personal life much in this Blog as I assume people who are following me here want to know about the Trial and not about my personal life.  Those that follow me on Facebook know that I post more on camera work there.  So please excuse me making the next page or so about me and what I've been through with certain people surrounding this Trial.

We were let into the Courtroom somewhere around 8.40am.  People took their seats, the ones we usually sit in, some people were texting but I was not.  I was holding my phone in my hand and looked at the side to make sure it was off which it was.   The miserable Bailiff with the down turned mouth was just waiting for me to do this.  I will say more about this further down.   This Bailiff has waited every day throughout this Trial for a reason to throw me out.  It's so funny because if this lowly Bailiff only knew how well connected I am with his superiors in the LASD and have been for over 2 decades, he might not have been so nasty to me for all these years in this Courtroom.  With someone like him, I felt the little he knew about me the better I would be.  Plus I am not a vindictive person at all, so I'm not even going to make a complaint about his lousy and cruel attitude.  He has an attitude with everyone, especially me.  So for the past 5 years (plus), since I've been coming to his Courtroom, I have always been on my best behaviour.

It's written all over his face from the start that he's a very angry unhappy man, and his resting face of a down turned mouth, completely sums that up well.   Unhappy and angry people who hate themselves, don't like anyone and they really hate 'happy people' in a big way.  This is something hard to conceal about myself, so I did my best to tone down my positive spirit and toned it down in 'his' Courtroom.

From the very beginning of this Trial he allowed anyone who took notes to use their computers in the Courtroom.  But not me.  In fact although I made no attempt to gain a media pass (as I've never needed one before), I did call media relations to make sure I could use my computer.  The lady on the phone said she didn't think it would be a problem at all especially as she knew I was under Contract with my Publisher to cover the Trial for my book.  When she called me back she said she spoke to the Bailiff (yes the Bailiff) and he specifically said he didn't want me.... yes me... to take notes on my computer.  She even told me that she found it strange that he would not allow me to do this.  The poor Bailiff didn't realize that I can actually write faster than I type as I was trained in shorthand (picture below right)
at secretarial college in London so it turned out to be better for me in the long run.   However, his intent was to make it difficult for me from the very start.  That's just the kind of person he is.

There is a woman who is often in the Courtroom, who also seems very unhappy.  She types away on her computer daily yet she's not even being paid to be there!  She's not there writing a book, in fact I am told that she is a Blogger.  So this woman, who looks like she owns a large number of cats at home, is allowed by the Bailiff to type away and she's only a Blogger with no Publisher behind her.

I don't know what her Blog looks like but I'm told that she writes on various cases here in the CCB (Criminal Courts Building) and just 'roams the corridor' (according to the cops) sitting in on Trials.  Some media people say she likes to write also about her troubled life and her sicknesses and falling down in her home.   Heck, if I were to write about my private life outside of this Trial, it certainly wouldn't be anything negative like that!  I had a lead role in a movie a month ago and had to leave the CCB, change into a long dress in a car, and get driven to the Premier night to walk the red carpet.   Plus every time I wasn't in Court I was working as a spokesmodel somewhere in or out of town.  Again I never mentioned this when I was writing about the Trial.  I feel people are there to read about the case and only the case not my glamourous jobs or events and certainly not about this 'woman blogger' being so ill or falling down.  I wish someone would let me know the name of her Blog as I cannot find it.  I'm not going to mention her name here as I wouldn't want her to see this, but she was a woman, that just hated me from the start.  It makes sense as it seems very clear that she's not the kind of person who looks like she enjoys life very much.  Therefore she is no threat to this Bailiff.  She even wanted to Defend Amster a number of times which I just couldn't listen to.

She looks like just the type of woman who will be voting for Hillary Clinton.   So I had to deal with the Bailiff, this woman and another woman (I won't mention her name either), just giving me evil looks throughout the Trial.  This was very hard for me because, outside of this Courtroom, everywhere I go I am well liked.  The friendships I made when I moved to America 21 years ago, are all still my dear friends to this day.  Business relationships of mine continue to be business relationships to this day and I don't fall out with anyone.  This was tough to be on the receiving end of such jealousy and spite.  The women might have felt this way because they know I'm the only one that Lonnie Franklin will talk to outside of his wife and family.  I know at least one of these 2 women have tried a number of times to interview Franklin and he has declined them.   I have the 'exclusive' interviews with him and those interviews will be used in the other half of my book.  I fail to see why anyone keeps trying to interview with him because it's not going to happen.

Continuing on with what happened when I was thrown out for looking at my phone, which I was placing into my handbag and the Bailiff said to me, "You. Out"!  I told him that I was just making sure it was off and it was.  He pointed to me, still with his mouth in a downward position, and said again firmly, "You get out"!   So I thought it was a bit rude as clearly my phone was off and now in my bag, so I assumed he meant for me to go out and really make sure my phone was off before I could come back in.  I followed his instructions and went outside.   There was dear Detective Dupree in the corridor waiting for Enietra Washington to arrive.  He reassured me that the Bailiff would probably not be throwing me out for the whole day especially as we weren't due to start for another 20 minutes. Detective Dupree is such an incredibly good hearted person that he would have had no idea what I had dealt with with this monster of a Bailiff from the start.  I don't talk negatively so I didn't tell him. At times when I've been picked on continuously, I certainly try to explain the situation which is what I am trying to do now.

It's strange as people have had their cell phones ring in Court and he always makes the person go outside to turn it off and then they are allowed to go back in.  Others have been seen to be texting, he shouts at them and makes them put the phone away immediately and never throws them out.  But with me, I've never texted in the Courtroom, my phone has never made a sound, I've never even looked at the time on my phone, but at 8.40am, 20 minutes before Court was in session and long before the Judge came to the bench, I just looked at the side of my phone to make sure it was off and I was thrown out and not allowed back for the rest of the day.

I immediately burst into tears (as I wear my emotions on my sleeve) but I don't think he saw me cry because I held it together until I was by myself and away from everyone.   Unhappy people love to crush the spirit of those who are happy and he did just that to me but it lasted only a full 10 minutes.  It was clear that everyone was rallying around to either get me back into the Courtroom or help me in hearing what was going on inside.  I'll get to that in a minute.

The really nice Sgt, gave me a chair to sit on right outside the door so I could hear the Proceedings.   He even said to me "I wish I could do something to help you but the Bailiff went to the Judge and she gave the Order.  I'm so sorry but not even I can go above the Judge".  It's not Judge Kennedy's fault as she must have trusted what the Bailiff said that I did when she wasn't even there.  After sitting for a while and taking notes, I stood up to see (and hear) what was going on through the little window as I really wanted to see how crazy Amster would be on the Closing Arguments Day.  He was.  He was shuffling back and forth between the Lectern and his seat as he always does.  He was looking for documents under things as usual and he would flail his arms around a lot and hit very high octaves when he was describing fairy tale analogies of how he feels The People are basing their evidence.


Let me get back to the details of the Trial now and I will bring in his first crazy analogy which he used at the end of the previous day of Closing Arguments, regarding a rancher.

Amster:  "You know there's a story of a rancher who wanted all his neighbours to think that he was a great marksman.  So he went to his barn and took out his gun and he fired several bullets against the barn.  So there were bullet holes in multiple places in his barn.  He then went to the bullet holes in his barn to draw the bulls eyes around those bullet holes".

Then he suddenly screamed in a high pitched voice, "Maybe he was a good marksman"! Ouch that hurt all of our ears and we all looked at each other (this was the first day of Closing Arguments so I was sitting in the Courtroom that day), "and maybe he wasn't.  But the bullets were there first and then he drew the circles around them.   Then he called his neighbours and said, 'Look at my barn'.  He didn't give them all the facts, he didn't tell them what came first.  They didn't ask questions.  They said 'Wow, he's a great marksman'.  And maybe he's a good marksman and maybe he's not, but without the proper inquiries you really don't know.  And that... is the problem... with a pattern.  If you don't have all the information, if you don't make all the proper inquiries, then you don't know:  Is it a true pattern or is it an illusion?  Is The Peoples' case a true pattern or is it an illusion"?

Oh God, that was what he was getting to!  After all that drivel he was leading up to a point?  What utter nonsense that we had to listen to as if we were listening to a nursery rhyme from a dreadful teacher in kindergarten, just waiting for them to finish.  Then he gets to his point and it made absolutely not a blind bit of sense to anyone.

Amster: "Is there something of deception that is not the science that it should be?  That looks like something that it should be, but it is not.  That is the inquiry.  Those are the questions we would like you to do.  Don't be like one of those ranchers.  Just because you see bulls eyes you must ask the questions:  Is he truly a good marksman or is this an illusion that is not what we think it is? 

"Because ....."  Amster raised his voice very loudly and went up at least 2 octaves with this line, for whatever reason, none of us knew.  "Because Lonnie's a , I mean the Defendant, works as a sanitation engineer then he's not... he works... ummm... because... I mean he works with a garbage truck therefore he knows where all the dumpsters are!  But wait a second, he worked from around 1985 to 1989.  He knew where all the routes were and the dumpsters were, yet he's leaving bodies in alleys?  Not in dumpsters for them to be collected by the routes of the sanitation trucks?  You can't say you've got a pattern but exclude parts of the pattern"!  

He reached a vocal peak now, squawking like an angry bird with his hands flailing as he shouted this at such an elevated level.  He continued...

"..... So if you're working as a sanitation engineer and you know the routes and you want to get rid of the bodies, well it's easy to just put that body in a dumpster and then put it in the garbage truck and take it to the dump then that's the end of it.  No!  This is an illusion.  Doesn't mean he didn't do it..."
Again 2 octaves higher with this one word: "Noooo"!  

Back to normal level of speaking finally. "But it doesn't mean he did it either.  It's just a part of a pattern that really doesn't exist.  And then they say it's a 'body dump'.  So what!  All that tells us is that this crime occurred someplace else.  It doesn't really tell us who did it.  Then there are differences in the crime scenes, some are under mattresses, some are not.  But it really doesn't make a difference because it could be just sufficient evidence for culpability or lack of culpability.  The issue is not that it was a 'body dump', the issue is what do we have to show who did the crime.
A 'body dump' doesn't matter, because the Government has chosen to try this case under the theory that the Defendant is the actual killer.  That means to find him culpable, to find him guilty of 1st or 2nd degree murder, you have to prove that he's the actual killer.  So you have to abide by their decision and find him guilty of the actual murder".

Amster went on talking about the Defendant's DNA being found on some of the bodies yet so were other peoples DNA also found on those bodies.  He talked, or rather shouted, about the fact that "So what if the Defendant is obsessed with sex and a lot of women made it easy for him to have sex.  He wanted to take pictures of various women in states of undress but it doesn't make him a murderer".  Eluding to the fact that this had nothing to do with the fact a lot of them were found to be murdered and/or shot and lived like Enietra Washington.  He mentioned his friend Ray Davis, who was put on the Stand last month,  he had said that he saw Lonnie with lots of girls.   He didn't call the police on Lonnie because he never saw anything wrong with what was going on.

Amster: "These were Lonnie's girls.  Lonnie would give clothes to girls".  You cannot believe this, he even said that the DNA was probably transferred on to the nipple from the bra that these women wore after Lonnie gave them the bras to wear.  Wow, that was a ridiculous statement I might say.

Amster: "How can you determine that malice aforethought  existed in each of the cases when you do not have an eye witness?  Or you don't even know where the actual crime occurred or who all was present?  If multiple people were present, you have to determine.. who... pulled.. the... trigger.. in ... this... case"?

I don't know of any time in history when there was an 'eye witness' that saw a serial killer kill his victims.  It just doesn't happen.  It is always based on all the evidence collected but Amster was trying to dismiss this by saying another crazy statement.  He went on emphasizing to the Jury that they must base their decision on all the evidence in this case, they must make sure it is beyond a reasonable doubt.  When Amster started to shuffle around, for no reason, the Judge asked if it was a good time to end the day.  So we ended the day a few minutes before 4pm before returning at 9am the following day on May 3rd.


May 3rd ~ 2nd day of Closing Arguments

This was the day I was thrown out by the Bailiff as I was holding my phone.  I explained this event above.

Taking notes from right outside the door, I could hear Amster was going on and on about Enietra Washington where she described the suspect as approximately 20 years of age (Franklin was in his 30's at the time).  He said that this case is simply a 'circumstantial evidence' case.  He spoke of there being a phantom nephew who picked up Enietra Washington and drove to her to his 'Uncle's house' to get something.  Amster made up an imaginary person who drove to Franklin's home and that it really wasn't Franklin at all.  How far fetched can he possibly be!

He brought up yet again about the neighbours of the rancher in his marksman analogy.  Asking the Jury, "Are you going to be the neighbours of the rancher and make your decision based on illusion and deception"?  He even had the audacity to then say "The Government didn't use proper science"!  What a bloody nerve!

He went on and on about this 'mystery man' and also referring to 'the nephew'.  He said the picture of Enietra Washington, which was found behind a wall in Lonnie Franklin's garage, was probably 'accidentally' dropped there.  He even said because there were so many items seized from Franklin's home over those 3 days in July 2010, that maybe the picture was placed there or maybe it wasn't even found in the garage at all!  Really?  Maybe it's that 'mystery man' again who likes to spend time in Franklin's garage and place pictures behind walls and use his guns.  In fact, maybe the 'mystery man' stole Lonnie's DNA and put it on the bodies of the victims.  He said that with Enietra Washington there was the DNA of 9 different individuals but none of them were from Lonnie Franklin.

Then Amster suddenly started screaming again, in a high pitched wail like a dying cat, while trying to discredit the 9 law enforcement officers and investigators from the Coroners office in the Janecia Peters case.


He continued to yell and scream, flap his arms around, pace and shuffle around the floor, saliva shooting out of his mouth and going red in the face.  His yelling just started to blend in after a while along with his statements making very little sense.

We went for lunch recess and when I returned I was told by the Sergeant that my situation just got worse.  Apparently I was seen talking to a Juror and now I am not allowed back on any day of this Trial.  What?  When did I talk to a Juror?  So many people asked me why I was standing outside and I responded to each of them the same way, "I was thrown out"!  That's 4 innocent words.  There are so many people in that Courtroom, especially on important days, that people just blend into me unless I know them.  Apparently one of the people who asked me why I wasn't inside, was a Juror.  I wouldn't even know if it was a male or female Juror who spoke to me, as I don't remember because so many people asked me why I was outside.  Either way, I sincerely doubt that with my 4 word answer it's highly unlikely that it will sway their decision as to whether or not Lonnie Franklin is a serial killer or not!  Really, for 5 years and 10 months I haven't been in trouble once in that Courthouse, yet today I was in trouble twice!  I felt like I was back at boarding school in England, when I was always in trouble.  Not a good feeling at all.

Apparently my name was brought up so it's all 'on the record'.  How would any of the Jurors even know my name?  I never spoke to any of them, at least to my knowledge I didn't.  In fact, because I don't have the transcript and I also wasn't in the Courtroom, I really don't know who stated my full name but I'd like to find out.  I bet this made the Bailiff's day.  However when I caught glimpses of him, he still had his mouth turned down, even on a day like today when he should be happy that I was not allowed back into the Courtroom.  How sad that not even having everything go his way (with me now being permanently 'thrown out') could he turn his mouth up the correct way.

Amster went on and on about the 'reasonable doubt' there should be in all of the evidence which The People brought in.  He even had the nerve to say, yet again, about the Scientific evidence was 'inferior and not up to standard'!  He then recapped on all of his nonsense with the following.

Amster: "One, we have stated the DNA evidence in this case leads to reasonable doubt.  Furthermore we have stated that reason why Enietra Washington's testimony leads to reasonable doubt.  Furthermore we have given you our reasons why ballistic evidence leads to reasonable doubt.  

It is our position, that the Scientific analysis, done by the Government in this case is based on inferior technology in Science and we've given our reasons concerning the ballistics and the DNA evidence.  Furthermore it is our position that mistakes made during the search of Lonnie Franklin's home does not cause the evidence ceased there to be absolutely viable.  That is for YOU to use your inquiring minds to ask the questions as to how much weight you put on the evidence that was gathered during that search".  

And he went on and on and on...

"This is a 'circumstantial evidence' case you must consider all these interpretations of the evidence.  It is the Governments' job to eliminate all these interpretations that point to Mr Franklin's innocence.  This they cannot do.  Why?  Because the mystery man, with the mystery DNA and the mystery gun.  Your job as stated so many times is to follow the Law.  It's not easy.  Do your job by analyzing evidence and the testimony you heard and following the instructions you have been given.  Make your decisions based on the law.  You have been a dedicated Jury and I thank you for taking the time out of your lives.......".

This utter nonsense went on and on and on.

I will end here today.  Tomorrow I will cover, in great detail, the most compelling and powerful summing up of this whole Trial which was done by District Attorney Beth Silverman in her Closing, Closing Arguments.  Unlike the other side, Silverman has been a class act throughout this whole Trial.

To be continued...

Grim Sleeper Trial. Closing Arguments. Day 1

Lonnie Franklin was walked in at 9.10am wearing black glasses, a light blue shirt, a blue tie and black trousers.

At 9.18am Judge Kennedy walked in and took the bench.

It was a completely full Courtroom, you couldn't even squeeze a mouse in today.  On the left side of the gallery, retired Detective Paul Coulter and retired Detective Dennis Kilcoyne were both sitting next to each other near the front.  There was a  lot of media presence and 2 cameras.

Before the Jury came in, the Judge talked about the exhibits she will and won't be allowing in to evidence.  She ended saying that that the "Objection is sustained regarding these items".

Before the Jury came in she let the Counsels speak and Beth Silverman was the first one to do so:

D.A: "Your Honour, The Defense took the books that were meant for the Jury and took them apart and then put them back together and now they are not in the order which we had marked them in.  Half of them are upside down and backwards and it hasn't been corrected".

Amster: "It's my understanding that it was corrected.  Maybe The People can let us know exactly what the problem is so we can correct it".  

This was about it from Amster's side, no craziness because, according to his statement from last week, he is a 'changed man'!  Ha! We will see about that.

The Jury came in from the proper Jury entrance today at 9.23am.

The Judge welcomed the Jury as she always does and explained the Jury Instructions.  This took just under 40 minutes and there was more which she said she would say later.  She turned it over to Beth Silverman to begin her Closing Arguments:

D.A: "Morning ladies and gentlemen.  10 young women, all of them brutally murdered by that man - the Defendant Lonnie Franklin - and one woman, Enietra Washington, who barely escaped that tragic fate.  Now I told you in Opening Statements exactly what  the evidence would be.  And that is exactly what has been presented to you over these past few months.  Now here in Closing Arguments I'm going to talk to you about the evidence that was presented, the Law that the Judge provided to you just now and how those fit together.   It's your job in this case to decide whether the Defendant is guilty of the crimes and special allegations charges described in this case regarding the 11 victims who are the subject of this Trial.  So how do we know who committed these crimes?  None of the victims can tell you.  They can't tell you themselves because they have no voice. No voices to tell us.  The Defendant took their voices when he brutally murdered each of them.  So who or what can tell us what happened?   The evidence in this case.  And the evidence in this case speaks very clearly.  You just have to listen to what the evidence tells you.  The evidence in this case is the voice of the victims who can no longer speak for themselves.  So listen to the evidence.

....... (testimony here will be in my book)  You also heard that from 2007 - 2010 more and more evidence emerged all pointing to one person as the killer.  This Defendant.  As you heard an LAPD surveillance team including Detective Art Stone and Detective Frank Trujillo followed the Defendant in July of 2010.  On July 5th they followed him to John's pizza in Buena Park and you heard that Det. Stone went into the restaurant, and after speaking to the manager first, they seroptociusly collected items from the Defendant.  Those items were then transported to LAPD's Crime Lab where they were analyzed by Surpria Rosner.  She developed full single source DNA profiles, one was from the Defendant's napkin and another was from a piece of his left over pizza.  This DNA profile matched in every location with the DNA profiles developed from the oral swab from Barbara Ware and sperm fraction and the Defendant's record sample.  The statistical calculation for this match was 1 in 11 quintillion that's 1 with 18 zeros.

All but one had cocaine and alcohol in their system except for the youngest, Princess Berthomieux.  They were all found with their clothes in diss-array, partially clothed usually.  They were all found in alleys or in dumpsters surrounded with trash.   They were all within 3 1/2 - 4 miles of the Defendant's home.  

As you learned throughout the course of this  Trial, the Defendant is a serial killer and  hiding in plain sight.  He blended in.  He lived in the community.  He lived at this address where a search warrant was served 1728 West 81st street since 1986.  He worked in the South Los Angeles community driving trash trucks for the Department of Sanitation.  Prior to that he worked at LAPD's garage down in Los Angeles, right under their noses.  He dumped his victims like trash in alleys and trash bins.  Almost all of the bodies in this case, as you saw,  were concealed and hidden under debris, gas tanks, under mattresses, behind bushes in dumpsters inside trash bags.  Several of the victims, as you saw, were missing their underwear or their bras or their shoes.  Some, like Princess Berthomieux, Alicia Alexander and Janecia Peters were found completely naked!  There was no identification on or around any of the bodies at any crime scene.  All of them were shot with a 25 automatic firearm or strangled to death.  The ones who were shot were shot in the chest except for Janecia Peters who was shot in the back.  The women who were shot in the chest, the bullet wounds were all with the same trajectory - left to right, front to back and straight down.  8 of them were shot with the same 25 automatic firearm. 

You've heard that Janecia Peters who was shot also with a  25 automatic firearm and it was found in the Defendant's home during a search warrant along  with boxes and boxes of 25 auto ammunition.    Yet no 25 calibre cartridge cases were found at any of the crime scenes which you would expect.

All but Princess Berthomieux tested positive for cocaine.  Most had consumed alcohol prior to their deaths and we called the testimony of one of the Defendant's best friends, Ray Davis, who testified that the Defendant told him that he would always keep alcohol and drugs on hand for 'his girls'.  And, of course, all of these crimes were connected to the Defendant by forensic evidences.

We saw that the Defendant concealed and hid his victims bodies over and over and over and over and over again.  Barbra Ware under a gas tank and other debris.  Bernita Sparks in a trash dumpster. Mary Lowe behind bushes.  Alicia Alexander and Lacrecia Jefferson under a mattress.  Princess Berthomieux in bushes and Janecia Peters inside a dumpster and a trash bag".

She went on to talk about the difference between first and second degree murder.  She emphasized that these victims "they are not just dead bodies that you've seen throughout this Trial who have been depicted in photographs, because we can never do them Justice.  These victims were all human beings, they suffered from the same frailties, the same imperfections that all humans do.  They also had the same hopes and the same dreams for their futures that we all have.  Each of them deserve to be treated like human beings.  None of them deserved to be murdered and dumped like trash as if their lives had no meaning". 

She went on to talk about 'implied malice' and the fact that these murders were 'deliberately performed'.  There's a difference between 'implied malice' and  'expressed malice'.  She gave a perfect analogy.

D.A: "Someone who goes to a park with a crowd of people and has no intention to kill anybody but he thinks it would be fun to shoot his gun into the air.  This person shoots his gun into the air and a bullet comes down and hits and kills someone.  That would be an example of 'implied malice'.  The person didn't intend to kill anybody.  The act that he performed was clearly dangerous.  There were people in the park and he disregarded those lives.  At a minimum, strangulation and/or shooting the victims in this case in the  chest definitely fits the description of 'implied malice' but clearly these acts demonstrate 'express malice' as well.  So let's talk about what that is".

She went on to explain in great detail what 'express malice' is.

She focused on how he leaves every night and prowls the area of South Los Angeles to look for women.  He would 'creep' out to find his victims.

D.A: "He got away with murder 8 times between 1985 and 1988.  That's 8 times in 3 years"! 

It seems that science was the only thing to stop this serial killer.

Ms Silverman put each of the victims and the crime scenes up on the Elmo, one by one.  It was devastating to the victims' family members and sometimes became to much to bear and a number of them broke down in tears at having to relive, yet again, the brutal murder of their loved ones.  She explained that there was sooting and/or stippling found on the clothing of these women which explains the fact that these murders were all pre-meditated, willful and deliberate because they were all done at very close range.  Some murders and crime scenes were only one block apart yet they were sometimes 20 years apart.  They were associated with the same gun and DNA which linked the murders.  "Is that merely another coincidence"?  She said with a true sense of confidence in her voice.

D.A: "This Defendant was shooting to kill he wasn't playing games".

She talked about the only surviving victim, Enietra Washington, who had lost 20% of all the blood in her body when she became the Defendant's victim.  However she lived.  Enietra provided the blue print for all the other murdered women who cannot speak for themselves.
She explained in great detail, when Lonnie Franklin was interviewed by Detective Kilcoyne and Detective Coulter on July 7th 2010, that the Defendant was smug and laughed them off.  A few times he would make rude disrespectful comment saying one of the women was 'fat' and the other was 'butt ugly'!  She pointed out that the same disrespect and disregard was shown "when he dumped their bodies in filthy alleys, under dirty mattresses or in trash bags and thrown in dumpsters".  He also did what nobody who is innocent would do, he laughs!!! He makes jokes even when there are pictures of 10 women in front of him who had been brutally murdered!  In the face of that, he laughs!  There are 10 dead women staring up at him and he's laughing in their faces"!   

"He demonstrates over and over again in that interview, such callous disregard for their lives.  When he was asked if he'd seen the billboards around Los Angeles and on Western, near the Defendants home, that his friend Ray Davis talked about, he jokes about the media calling him the Grim Reaper (I think she meant the Grim Sleeper here), he thinks it's funny.  As if being given a monicker of being a serial killer is something that you would laugh at"?  And he's amused when Detective Kilcoyne refers to him as a 'Billboard celebrity'.  Because that is of course what he wants to be, right?

When asked if he owns any guns, he listed several.  Such as the 22 rifle, the 38 revolver, the 9mm revolver and a 22 pistol.  He said he has no other guns, those are the only guns he has.  Yet he conveniently forgets to mention the 25 auto.  The gun he used to kill Janecia Peters.  When he was asked specifically about the 22 pistol he even joked and played dumb.

She closed her powerful Closing Arguments and thanked the Jury and Courtroom and then sat down.  The Judge then called for Mr Amster to start his Closing Arguments.  This will be interesting I thought.  Nobody could top what Ms Silverman just did, least of all the most unprofessional lawyer that has ever lived.

Amster:  "Your Honour, Ladies and members", ooops I mean, ladies and gentlemen".  Yes he even made a blunder on his opening line!

Amster: "I want to say that... I want to thank each and every one of you for the commitment you have given this case.  It has not been easy.  I would also like to apologize on behalf of myself and the Defense team..." 

What??  Why the Defense team too?  What did Dale Atherton ever do wrong or the other lovely lady that sits their daily who is also putting up with his crap???  Her name is Kristen Gozowa.  She and Dale have both behaved brilliantly so how dare he bring them in to his craziness!
He went on.

Amster: "... but I think mostly on behalf of myself for any drama, maybe inproper things that you witnessed.  This has not been an easy case.  It has been our job to get the evidence that we felt is necessary to present to you.  Now it's your job to utilize this evidence as you deem fit.  Each of the evidence in this case had a role to play:  The Defense to present one side of the case and obey the law and the Government to present their side of the case.  Many individuals believe that it is the Defense teams job to get the Defendant off.  No, it's our job to question the Government's ethics.  Tomorrow we could be legislated right out of existence.  There might not have to be Defense Attorneys in the Courtroom.  But we have chosen as a Country to have that.  And as long as we, as a community, have chosen to do that, it is up to us as Defense Attorneys to do our job within the Law.  It might not always be pretty but it's what we are obligated to do because we too also have taken an Oath to the Constitution.  So all that we have done in this case is.. WE... JUST... WANTED... TO... DO... OUR... JOB!

As I stated it is our job to challenge the Government to make sure that they have proved their case, so that you can make a determination on this case, its only you.  It's only you that can make that determination, your interpretation on what matters, it's nobody else's, it is yours.  

No entity or person likes to be criticized.  Those who are part of the Government, they don't like to be criticized.  You heard the Government make their position on how the evidence should be interpreted.  But it's only one in one interpretation and it really doesn't matter in this case what their interpretation is because this is a case that is based on 'circumstantial evidence'.  Let me start off by explaining to you what 'circumstantial evidence' means".

Oh here we go.... he's going to go off now on how all the incredible amount of overwhelming evidence  which has been brought in to evidence in this case, proving that the Defendant is the Grim Sleeper, is all just 'circumstantial evidence'.  If he tries to do this then he really is the blundering buffoon that we all knew he was from the start.  He should start a business with David Lamagna as they would make the most perfect team.

There was silence, then more silence as he shuffled and paced across the floor back to his seat and then back to the Lectern.  He was obviously looking for something.  So we all waited.  Whatever h was looking for, it took a long time to find   All of us were looking at each other as if to say, "Really?  Again, with his total unprofessionalism"?

Amster: "I'm sorry, I can't seem to find it".  Laughing hysterically!
Judge: "Well why don't you just give them the instructions on whatever number it is?  2.00"?

Amster: "2.00 states...." and he went on "Evidence is either direct or circumstantial evidence...." This went on and on explaining the difference.  Yet we are talking about a serial killer!  Someone who committed the same crime, on different women, time and time again with the same M.O!!  Arghhhh!  

Amster: "Other than Enietra Washington, the rest is 'circumstantial evidence'"  What?  Where has he been this entire Trial?

He even made a ridiculous analogy:

Amster: "One example of 'circumstantial evidence' is you are in a Courtroom and all of a sudden you see a lot of people walk in with umbrellas which are wet.  Wet umbrellas?  That's a pretty good idea that it's raining outside.  That's 'circumstantial evidence'.  You don't see the rain, but you know from seeing umbrellas and seeing that they are wet, it's probably raining.  So the evidence are wet umbrellas that lead to the conclusion that it's raining.  That's 'circumstantial evidence'.    

He's off again, somewhere looking for something again....  He comes back with his tuneful voice which raises at least 2 octaves on certain words for absolutely no reason at all, then immediately 'withdraws his statement'.  Huh, we waited all that time with him shuffling from the Lectern to his seat, under his seat, back to his Lectern to then 'withdraw his statement'.  Ok, so we wait for the next riveting statement that comes out of this mouth.

It's funny because Beth Silverman has never had to: withdraw any statement or question.  She has never said 'umm or errr' when asking a question or making a statement.  She certainly doesn't lose her paperwork, EVER.  There are never any silences when she is holding Court.  She never laughs in inappropriate times and the list goes on, but let me get back to Amster.

Amster: "The Defendant's guilt must be proved beyond a 'reasonable doubt'.  Is this Lonnie Franklin's DNA 'proved beyond a reasonable doubt'?  
Is this Lonnie Franklin's DNA?.... 'proved beyond a reasonable doubt'?  Is this 'proved beyond a reasonable doubt'?  Each of those factors that are necessary to show the Defendant, is the actual killer, must be proved beyond a 'reasonable doubt'.  

There are 2 interpretations of the evidence:  one that said he didn't do it and one that said he did do it, you have to accept that he didn't do it!  THAT'S.... OUR.... LAW"!


Amster: "We can change this law tomorrow, we don't have to have it, but we do.  So that means the Yes the Government has given us one interpretation.  You must find that AAALLLLL the unknown DNA is unreasonable to those individuals to defend the actual killing to find Lonnie Franklin guilty.  

The Government wants to see patterns:  They want to see over a long period of time that this body was found in an alley and that body was found in the alley....

You know what..... Let me stop here for a moment....

There is one thing that both the Defense and the Government can completely agree on.  Every single one of the victims in this case life mattered.  There's nothing we will ever say that will persuade to you that their life wasn't important or their life didn't matter.   Every single one of them had a right to live.  They had a life.  It makes no difference why they were on those streets or not, that's not the issue in this case as far as what happened.  It makes no difference in this case, so please if I talk about the circumstances that occurred and I talk about the terrible things that happened we are not NOT.. TRYING ... TO...DIMINISH.. THEM... IN... ANY... WAY.. THEIR.. LIFE.. MATTERED!  EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.  

But the Government wants to see patterns here, over a long period of time.   Saying that because 'This body was found in an alley, this body was found".

And this went on and on with his Defense being 'Circumstantial evidence and 'proof beyond a reasonable doubt'.  I think we all got it, he made his point very clear.  Then he went on with a story.

Amster:  "You know theres a story of a rancher that wanted all his neighbours to think that he was a great marksman.  He went to his barn and told his neighbours that he was a great marksman.  So he fired his gun and he fired several bullets against the barn.  there were bullet holes in the barn...."..

This went on and on but I won't go on here.. the rest will be in my book.  Yesterday was the 2nd day of Closing Arguments and the miserable Bailiff with the down turned mouth, Tony, threw me out for just holding my cell phone in my hand.  Yes it was 8.40am, long before we began and other people who were sitting next to me had their cell phones out too.  But this hateful man who clearly hates himself has always hated me the most and had waited for the time he could throw me out.  I will continue this Blog today with the events of the final day of Closing Arguments from yesterday, May 3rd.  Although this Bailiff tried to affect my writing, he didn't as I didn't miss a word as the lovely Sergeant, Sgt. Westphal, let me sit on a chair outside the door then I went and sat with my friends in the media upstairs to see everything on 4 television screens.   These updates will be posted today bye the end of today, May 4th. 

To be continued.....