Probation and jail records show that the 57-year-old man charged with 10 murders in the Grim Sleeper case was arrested at least 15 times over four decades and was in police custody many times after the killings began.
A report in Saturday's Los Angeles Times says the arrests of Lonnie David Franklin for crimes including burglary, car theft and assault were never considered serious enough to send him to state prison or to warrant his entry in the state's DNA database.
One of the murder victims was killed in July 2003, when records show Franklin should have been in county jail for receiving stolen property but was released early because of overcrowding.
Franklin was arrested Wednesday. His attorney has declined comment while she reviews the case, and his arraignment has been postponed.