Homicide

Fingernails spotted in trash led to arrest of alleged killer

  • Defense attorney Seymour Amster makes his final arguments during Lonnie Franklin Jr.'s trail in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of Franklin's trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

    Defense attorney Seymour Amster makes his final arguments during Lonnie Franklin Jr.'s trail in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of Franklin's trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lonnie Franklin Jr., left, appears in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of his trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

    Lonnie Franklin Jr., left, appears in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of his trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lonnie Franklin Jr. appears in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of his trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

    Lonnie Franklin Jr. appears in Los Angeles Superior Court during closing arguments of his trail Monday, May 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony. Franklin is charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A serial killer preying on vulnerable young black women on the rough streets of south Los Angeles eluded police for two decades until someone rifling through a dumpster in 2007 noticed red fingernails poking out of a garbage bag.

Inside was the body of Janecia Peters that provided clues connecting her slaying to nine others and eventually led to the arrest of a suspect in the "Grim Sleeper" slayings.

A prosecutor displayed charts, diagrams, photos and DNA test results to jurors Monday to make her case that Lonnie Franklin Jr. was a killer hiding in plain sight as he shot and strangled women, many prostitutes, and dumped their bodies in alleys not far from his home.

Franklin could face the death penalty if convicted of the slayings of a 15-year-old girl and nine young women.