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In all, about 200 Alcala photos were released to the public by Huntington Beach police in 2010, after Alcala was sentenced to death for five sexual assault slayings committed in the 1970s.
Detectives said Tuesday that they released the photos for that exact purpose – to be seen by people who might be connected to other possible victims.
It’s unclear if Alcala will be extradited to stand trial in Wyoming or what his plea might be if he is.
After years of saying he was innocent of murder, Alcala pleaded guilty in 2013 to killing two young women in New York state.
Alcala, 73, a former child photographer convicted in Orange County for a string of murders in Southern California, remains at California’s Corcoran State Prison and is sentenced to death.“I had a gut feeling there were more out there,” said Huntington Beach police Detective Patrick Ellis, who said he played only a small role in the initial investigation but was part of the decision to make the photos public.The pictures, Ellis added, came with an unspoken message: “Here it is, and here we are.” HOW SHE WAS DISCOVERED One of those photos was of a pretty 20-something woman, wearing a yellow top and flip-flops and looking to be about six months pregnant, sitting atop a Kawasaki 500 motorcycle.THE PHOTOS In 2013, Thornton’s sister, Kathy Thornton, saw an online display of photos taken by Alcala decades earlier, and recognized the subject of one of those photos as her sister.After that, investigative work by police in Huntington Beach and Wyoming – and a link to a federal database, Nam US, which matches DNA evidence to remains of unidentified people – helped connect the alleged crime to the picture.