Detectives identify some who posed for Alcala
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: April 9, 2010
Updated: April 10, 2010 9:36 a.m.
They have been able to identify 21 young women in the photo catalogue
after they were inundated with phone calls, e-mails and other contacts, but none matched up to a missing persons case or an unsolved homicide from the 1970s
Some of the females who posed for Alcala phoned in and identified themselves, said Huntington Beach Police Capt. Chuck Thomas. A few even remembered the time they posed for a glib-talking photographer.
But detectives are still seeking the identity of more than 100 other females – and at least two young men – who posed for Alcala during the years he was roaming the streets torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering young women.
Many of the phone calls were from relatives of females who were murdered more than three decades ago, or who have been missing since the 1970s.
The callers were seeking answers, or closure, or both, Thomas said, and many of the calls were heartbreaking. He said one call came from a parent who was adamant that one of the photos in Alcala's catalogue was that of their murdered daughter, only to learn that Alcala was in custody in Orange County when the young woman was killed.
"These relatives are desperate for answers," Thomas said.
Other calls rushed in from cold-case homicide detectives around the world, seeking information about Alcala's murderous method of operation to see if he could be responsible for cold-case murders in those jurisdictions. One of those calls came from Denmark after a detective there identified the background in one of Alcala's photos.
Police officials from Seattle, New York, Phoenix, Albuquerque and New Hampshire re-opened cold-case murder investigations because of the renewed interest in Alcala caused by the publication of the photos.
Detectives in some of those jurisdictions have ruled out Alcala as a suspect in some unsolved homicides after they studied a timeline developed by HBPD and learned that their killings occurred during times when Alcala was in custody in other cases.
Will Delker, senior assistant attorney general in New Hampshire, said cold-case detectives in his office have reviewed the photos and are looking at unsolved murder cases there between 1968 and 1971 – when Alcala may have been living in New Hampshire as a fugitive from a rape and attempted murder case out of Los Angeles County.
If you know any of the people in Alcala's photos, contact Huntington Beach Police Detective Patrick Ellis, at 714-375-5066, or email him at [email protected]