Murdered girl's sister in shock over serial killer probe

Murdered girl's sister in shock over serial killer probe
SEATTLE - A murder victim's sister is breaking her silence after learning that Seattle police are focused on a California serial killer as the man who might have killed her sister 33 years ago.

Antoinette Whitaker was killed in the late 1970s when she was only 13 years old. Two years later, Rodney Alcala rented a locker in Shoreline where investigators eventually found jewelry belonging to one of his California murder victims.

Now detectives are looking to see if Alcala also killed Antoinette - and the victim's sister is speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview with KOMO News.

Antoinette's sister Selena still sheds a tear three decades after the murder of her 13-year-old sister, whom she called "Toni."

"Loss, sadness. You know - I never stop thinking about her," Selena says. "It's funny after all these years how it all just still seems so fresh."

Selena is in disbelief after finding out Seattle police are looking to see if Alcala murdered her sister, a young girl who loved the outdoors and writing poetry.


 Antoinette Whitaker
"I yearn for her. I never got to say goodbye to her. She was just gone. So there is an incredible sense of loss," Selena says.

Alcala, 66, was sentenced to death for killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in California during the '70s.

The former photographer and contestant on TV's "Dating Game" kept a storage locker in Shoreline where police found 120 photos of women, young girls and boys.

Many have never been identified and now police are trying to determine whether any of them could be victims, too.


 Convicted serial killer Rodney James Alcala is escorted into the courtroom after jury deliberations.
"As a family member, you're pretty much kept in the dark regarding any information about your deceased relative," says Selena. "You're not allowed to see records, reports or anything like that."

But Detective Mike Ciesynski of the Seattle police confirmed Thursday that Alcala is a "person of interest" in the case, although he didn't say whether a photo of Toni was found in Alcala's locker.

Investigators say Toni's body was found near a vacant lot in Lake City. They say she had on all her clothes and was stabbed to death. Her body was propped up on her hands and knees.

Now detectives are trying to figure out if Alcala was in the area when Toni was killed. And they're reportedly requesting a DNA comparison.

"For me, what I would really like is truth, and I would like to know and see the person who murdered my sister brought to justice," says Selena.

So far, police have not linked Alcala to any additional murders.

And Selena said she has received no word yet on when police will release any DNA results in her sister's case.

Authorities are also looking to see if Alcala murdered 17-year-old Joyce Gaunt in the 1970s. Her body was found in Seward Park.