Did Seattle locker hold photos of serial killer's victims?

Did Seattle locker hold photos of serial killer's victims? »Play Video
Five of the hundreds of photos recovered during searches of Alcala's Monterey Park home and a storage locker Alcala rented in Seattle that were released Wednesday March 10, 2010 by the Huntington Beach police.
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Prosecutors said convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala used his camera to gain the trust of young women and now they fear photographs he snapped decades ago could contain images of more potential victims.

Hundreds of Alcala's photographs recovered by detectives during court-authorized searches of Alcala's Monterey Park home and a rented storage locker in Seattle were released by Huntington Beach police Wednesday.

The photos were apparently taken before Alcala's first arrest in 1979, They feature women and girls in candid and posed shots. Some show them naked and engaging in sex acts.

Most of the dozens of subjects in the photos have never been identified and now police are asking for the public's help in figuring out who the women are.

A jury recommended death Tuesday for Alcala, 66, in the murders of a 12-year-old girl and four women dating back to the seventies.

Prosecutors said Alcala, an amateur photographer and UCLA graduate, used his camera to put his victims at ease.

"We'd like to locate the women in these pictures," prosecutor Matt Murphy told the Orange County Register. "Did they simply pose for a serial killer, or did they become victims of his sadistic, murderous pattern?"

Some photos show women posing in remote settings similar to the locale where 12-year-old Robin Samsoe's body was found in 1979. A few are of young men in sexually suggestive poses.


Rodney Alcala is escorted into the courtroom after jury deliberations.

Jurors took just an hour to return the death recommendation after a six-week trial in which Alcala represented himself and took the stand in his own defense.

Alcala was sentenced to death twice before in the 1979 murder of Robin Samsoe, but those verdicts were overturned on appeal.

Prosecutors refiled charges in that case and added the four other murders in 2006 after investigators linked them to Alcala using DNA samples and other forensic evidence. Those cases, which had gone unsolved for decades, went on trial for the first time this year.

Alcala focused his entire defense on the Samsoe case and ignored the murders of the four Los Angeles County women murdered between 1977 and 1979.

Tuesday marked the third time he was sentenced to death in the Samsoe case.

Relatives broke out in applause in the courtroom and Samsoe's brother shouted out, "Yes!" when the jury's recommendation was read.

Prosecutors relied on witnesses who saw a curly-haired photographer taking pictures of Samsoe, her friend and other teenagers on the beach minutes before she disappeared. Photos of one of the girls were later found in his possession.

Also key to the trial was a pair of gold ball earrings that Samsoe's mother said belonged to her daughter.

The earrings were found in a jewelry pouch in the storage locker that Alcala had rented in Seattle.

On Monday afternoon, Huntington Beach police said they had already been contacted by some of the people in the photos who are alive and well, but they want to try to track down all of those pictured.

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You can see all of the photos on the Orange County Register Web site

Anyone with information about the women in the pictures is asked to call Huntington Beach Police Detective Patrick Ellis at 714-375-5066.