Los Angeles' notorious serial killer the "Grim Sleeper" was sentenced to death Wednesday for the murders of nine women and a teenage girl that spanned more than two decades, the Washington Post reports.
“I can’t think of anyone that I’ve encountered in all my many years in the criminal-justice system that has committed the kind of monstrous, and the number of monstrous, crimes that you have,” Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the convicted murderer, Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
“This is not a sentence of vengeance," Kennedy added, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s justice.”
According to the Times, some of the victims' relatives cried when the judge delivered the sentence. The Times also notes that some of the victims' relatives had chosen to address Franklin before the sentencing.
Mary Alexander, whose 18-year-old daughter was among the victims, addressed him directly.
“I’d like for Mr. Franklin to turn around and face me,” she said, according to the Times. Franklin obeyed the request before Alexander asked him a simple question: “I’d like to know: Why?”
According to the Times, Franklin whispered something inaudible in response.
The grieving mother repeated her question louder: “Why?”
According to the report, Kennedy said that she struggled with the same question throughout the case, trying to understand what motivated Franklin to commit the grisly murders.
In the end, she concluded that “it doesn’t matter why,” adding, “There could never be a justification for what you have done.”