The Grim Sleeper was a moniker coined by the LA Weekly newspaper in 2008 in reference to a real-life serial killer who was being sought for murders going back to 1985. In July 2010 Lonnie Franklin Jr. was arrested. The case took on aspects that were very similar to cases worked by both Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch.

  • Franklin lived in Los Angeles and killed women (mainly African American) on the fringe of society, such as addicts and prostitutes, similar to Norman Church. His killings were combination murder/rape.
  • He had many prior arrests and convictions, similar to Chilton Hardy.
  • There is a single victim who survived an attack by Franklin, and she was able to provide some information to police, as in the Church case. In Franklin's case it would take another 20 years for him to be caught.
  • He disposed of many bodies in dumpsters (as with Bosch's mother) and kept souvenirs from his victims, such as jewelry.
  • Franklin kept a collection of 500 photographs of his victims and other women, similar to Chilton Hardy. This is the characteristic that warranted mention of the Grim Sleeper in The Drop.
  • An attorney represented Franklin pro bono, as Haller did for both Jesus Menendez and Lisa Trammel. The attorney even looks a bit like Haller.
  • DNA evidence played a crucial role in the case.
  • The prosecution and defense clashed in court regarding the admissibility of evidence and similar issues, just as in Trammel's murder trial.
  • Franklin's defense attorney pursued a "straw man" defense, arguing that the real killer had not been caught, just as Haller did in Trammel's trial.
  • While in jail, Franklin was attacked by another inmate in a manner similar to Clayton Pell, although Franklin was not castrated.

Unlike Haller's cases, this trial dragged on for over six years. On 5 May 2016 Franklin was found guilty on ten counts of murder. Police estimate that he may have killed 25 times or more. On 8 August 2016 he was sentenced to death.

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