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They show leggy teenagers in bikinis and short-shorts on Southern California's sun-splashed beaches; young women in flowery blouses and hippie necklaces listening to music and smoking languidly; and girls wearing heavy makeup, apparently posing nude.
Releasing the pictures during Alcala's recent trial could have influenced the jury pool or could have jeopardized the verdict and death penalty recommendation on appeal.“If there is a hell, I hope Rodney Alcala burns eternally,” one of Alcala’s victim’s sister told the court, according to CNN.“I wish he would experience the terror that he put his victims through.” Alcala was then sent to San Quentin before also being convicted in the deaths of two New York women.During the latest trial, prosecutors outlined Alcala's penchant for torturing his victims: One had been raped with a claw-toothed hammer, another had her skull smashed in with a 7-inch rock and one was strangled so fiercely the pressure broke bones.Several of the victims were posed nude in sexual positions after their deaths.Police have gotten more than 400 phone calls in a little more than a week.The photos had been in the possession of Rodney Alcala, who has been in custody since 1979 and was recently convicted of murdering four young women and a 12-year-old girl. Prosecutors say Alcala used his camera to lure his victims, and he was seen taking pictures of the girl before she disappeared.Police have been overwhelmed with calls since they released more than 100 photos found in a serial killer's storage locker, more than 30-year-old pictures of unidentified girls and women in bell bottoms, bikinis and Farrah Fawcett hair.They look like long-lost sisters, mothers and daughters to bereaved callers across the country and from as far away as Denmark.Every so often, a woman will call to say she recognizes herself in one of the pictures. In the picture, Leedom poses in a white, strapless summer dress with a gold cross around her neck, looking down and away from Alcala's camera with a faraway gaze.Liane Leedom, a 48-year-old psychology professor and author, had insomnia earlier this week and was watching CNN at 2 a.m. Alcala lived down the street from Leedom with his mother and befriended her in June 1979 — the same month he killed Samsoe, who disappeared while riding a friend's bike to ballet class. He showed me pictures of nude boys and some of them were so striking that they stick in my mind today," Leedom said.