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March 20, 2010

Police find serial killer's cache of pictures, want help identifying subjects

Prosecutor worries Alcala might have killed others | alcala, women, murphy - News - The Orange County Register Alcala was caught, tried, and imprisoned in 1980, but even then the D.A. was sure he was a serial killer. Thirty years later police have found a trove of pictures Alcala took and worry that some of them may be unknown victims. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a video of Alcala as a contestant on The Dating Game.
Alcala – a freelance photographer – approached some of his victims and asked them to pose for his camera as a way of getting them to lower their guard. Murphy also contended that Alcala positioned the bodies of his victims into horrific poses and may have shot pictures of them afterward. Detectives recovered hundreds of photos of young women – apparently taken by Alcala before his 1979 arrest – during court-authorized searches of Alcala's Monterey Park home and a rented storage locker. Some photos show women or young girls in the nude and engaging in sex acts. Some show women or young girls who appear to be unconscious. Others show women posing, staring into the lens of a camera held by a man who was a serial killer, in remote settings – similar to the locale where Robin Samsoe's body was found in 1979. A few are of young men in sexually suggestive poses. And most of the subjects in the photos have never been identified. Murphy said he can't help but wonder: are these people still alive? "We know that he used his camera many times in the past to gain the trust of several of his victims," Murphy said in an interview. "And then we found dozens of photos of unidentified young women who posed for him.

Evidence Found Rotting in Closed Ill. Police HQ

FOXNews.com - Evidence Found Rotting in Closed Ill. Police HQ You can file this next to the story that Los Angeles still has several years worth of rape kits they gathered from victims and have never tested, and in San Francisco a woman who worked at a lab that tested drug evidence for the cops used all of the evidence drugs herself, leaving none to be tested. We need better police.
CHICAGO - A sheriff's department in suburban Chicago has been shocked to find a roomful of evidence left behind by a village police department that shut down two years ago -- including a moldy sexual assault kit that authorities said linked a man to the 2006 rape of a 13-year-old girl, nearly 200 guns and hundreds of bags of narcotics, officials said Friday. In all, seven rape kits had been left rotting in an unplugged refrigerator in the former Ford Heights Police Department, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. The guns had not been registered with the state as having been seized by police, and Dart's spokesman Steve Patterson said none of the DNA evidence found matches anyone in the state's database. "You're not talking about ineptness, neglect, you're talking about outrageous conduct of a police department that didn't care about the residents out there," Dart said. His deputies have been patrolling Ford Heights for the past few years after financial problems forced the village to lay off most of its 16 police officers. The sheriff's department took over completely in 2008, after two years of sharing duties with what was left of the police department, because the last few Ford Heights officers simply stopped showing up for work, Dart said.

Mexican police call on spirits, santeria, voodoo for help in drug war

Mexican police ask spirits to guard them in drug war | Reuters
(Reuters) - Police running scared from drug gangs in one of Mexico's deadliest cities are using bizarre rituals involving animal sacrifice and spirit tattoos to seek protection from raging violence on the U.S. border. In secret meetings that draw on elements of Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santeria and Mexican witchcraft, priests are slaughtering chickens on full moon nights on beaches, smearing police with the blood and using prayers to evoke spirits to guard them as drug cartels battle over smuggling routes into California. Other police in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, tattoo their bodies with Voodoo symbols, believing they can repel bullets. "Sometimes a man needs another type of faith," said former Tijuana policeman Marcos, who left the city force a year ago after surviving a drug gang attack. "I was saved when they killed two of my mates. I know why I didn't die."