So it was merely a formality Friday that Turner, already on death row for 10 murders, was given four more death sentences for what a prosecutor called the city’s most prolific serial killing.
Turner, 47, looked straight at Judge Robert Perry as he handed down the penalty for the string of inner-city killings during the crack cocaine epidemic. As Turner was led from court, he cursed at the prosecution and said, “I’ll be back.”
Turner is one of at least three men blamed for a series of killings once thought to be the work of a solo killer dubbed the “Southside Slayer.” More than 100 women in South Los Angeles were killed during the violent era when highly addictive crack made people desperate enough to turn to prostitution to support their habit or led to other crimes.
Turner was convicted of 14 of those slayings, plus the killing of a pregnant victim’s fetus, from 1987 and 1998, making him the city’s most prolific killer, prosecutor Robert Grace said.
Family members of the victims were relieved the case was closed. They joked and laughed as they rode the courthouse elevator with prosecutors after the brief hearing.
Turner was serving time for rape when genetic evidence connected him to 10 killings in South Los Angeles. The victims had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Their bodies were dumped in alleys, a burned-out garage and a portable toilet.
Most were suspected prostitutes, some were crack users and some were just snatched off the streets.