A story for every victim

Grim Sleeper killings: Princess Berthomieux, 15, in 2002

Princess Berthomieux (2002-03-19)

Princess Berthomieux, a 15-year-old black girl, was found strangled and beaten March 19, 2002, in an Inglewood alley, authorities said.

Her nude body was found by a passerby in the shrubs, according to coroner's records. Although the coroner gave the date her body was found as March 9, 2002, officials from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said her body was found 10 days later.

Berthomieux had last been seen by her family on Dec. 21, 2001, police said. 

Los Angeles police believe she is the ninth of 11 victims of a serial killer known as "the Grim Sleeper."

Map shows location of Franklin's home [purple marker] and locations where Grim Sleeper's victims were found [in red]. Click for more details.On July 7, 2010, authorities arrested Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a 57-year old black man, at his home in South Los Angeles after police said they made DNA matches linking him to Berthomieux's killing, as well as others dating between 1985 to 2007. 

Prosecutors said they have charged Franklin with 10 counts of murder, noting that he is eligible for the death penalty. He has not been charged in the 1986 shooting death of Thomas Steele, a 36-year old black man, although authorities believe Steele's killing is connected to the other cases.

Franklin is a former city trash collector who at one time worked as a vehicle mechanic at an LAPD station, sources said.

-- Times staff reports

Map shows location of home of Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. and the locations of where the Grim Sleeper's victims were found. Click for more details.

Share a memory or thought about Princess Berthomieux

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.


16 reader comments