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In brief: Murder suspect was arrested often

Sun., July 11, 2010

Los Angeles – The man charged with 10 murders in the Los Angeles “Grim Sleeper” case was arrested at least 15 times over four decades but never sent to state prison despite recommendations of probation officers, including one who urged he receive a maximum sentence because it was a bad sign that a man in his 50s still committed crimes, court and jail records show.

Lonnie Franklin Jr., 57, was arrested for burglary, car theft, firearms possession and assaults. But his crimes never were considered serious enough to send him to state prison or to warrant his entry in the state’s DNA database, authorities said.

“He’s danced to the raindrops for a long time without getting wet,” said Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, head of the task force investigating the killings.

At a Saturday community forum on the murders, city councilman and former police chief Bernard Parks said law enforcement and police should not be faulted for their past handling of Franklin.

“That’s not unusual,” Parks said of Franklin’s short sentences and frequent quick releases. He said jails are “constantly evaluating who can be let go to make room.”

Mobster’s son falls six stories to death

New York – The son of murdered Irish mobster Mickey Spillane tumbled out the window of his sixth-floor apartment in a fatal fall Saturday, police and his uncle said.

Robert “Bobby” Spillane, 45, an actor who had roles on television’s “Rescue Me” and “Law & Order,” fell from his midtown Manhattan apartment in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood near Times Square where his father, not to be confused with the pulp fiction writer of the same name, had run rackets back in the 1960s and 1970s.

No criminality was suspected in Bobby Spillane’s death.

Spillane, with one arm in a sling, had leaned on the screen of an open window to call out to his brother, Michael, who was on a street below, said Jim McManus, Spillane’s uncle. The screen collapsed and Bobby Spillane fell, McManus said the brother told him.


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