Saturday, August 28, 2010

Grim Sleeper and BTK; Hostages taken at Discovery Building

Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin plead not guilty in court last week.
Between the 14-year rest the Grim Sleeper took and the fact that Franklin was convicted with familial DNA (Franklin's son was arrested and swabbed, leading police to the father), strongly recalls Dennis Rader, aka Kansas' BTK killer. Rader was convicted, in part, due to a DNA sample obtained from his daughter, which was compared to DNA from an old murder case ascribed to the BTK killer.
Franklin's attorneys argue that the DNA evidence is "not as concrete" as it seems. Familial DNA is not as exact as DNA from the suspect himself, but, in Rader's case, the DNA compounded on top of other evidence, including records of him using the church computer on which a BTK letter was composed. I don't know what other evidence LA police have against Franklin, other than that he lived in the area where several of the murders took place, and I don't know Franklin's background, leaving me unsure whether he fits the serial killer profile. Of course, no one would have expected Dennis Rader as BTK before he confessed.

In my area, a gunman has taken hostages in the Discovery Building in Silver Spring, Maryland. Most of the employees, as well as the building's day care center, have been evacuated, but, according to the last update I read, a few hostages remain. The suspect, James J. Lee, from San Diego, previously protested Discovery over objections to their environmental programming. The Washington City Paper published an unverified list of Lee's demands, and, as seen in the article, they can only be described as insane. We can only hope that Lee is captured and everyone in the Discovery Building is safe.

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