UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
ALIVE
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
ALIVE
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
ALIVE
ALIVE
ALIVE
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
MURDERED
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
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ALIVE
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
ALIVE
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ALIVE
UNKNOWN
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ALIVE
ALIVE

For three days, Alina Thompson says, she was numb with horror. In late July her father called to say that he had just seen pictures of her on TV, taken 20 years before when she was a teenager. The photos were among hundreds recovered from the home of a notorious L.A. killer, William Bradford. When Thompson, 36, got in touch with investigators, she was shocked to be shown some 70 photographs of herself, shot by Bradford at various times when she was young. "I think he was targeting me," says Thompson, a homemaker who lives in Long Beach, Calif. "It made me sick to think that I could have been one of the girls he killed."

Authorities are now trying to figure out how many of those there were. In 1987 Bradford, now 60, was convicted of the murders of Tracey Campbell, 15, and Shari Miller, 21, whom he apparently lured to the desert with the promise of taking their photographs. He was later sentenced to death and he remains at San Quentin. During the penalty phase of his trial, an unrepentant Bradford muttered to the jury, "Think about how many [murders] you don't even know about." Nonetheless, satisfied that Bradford was off the street, police did little to follow up—even though there was evidence linking him to three other murders. One of them involved Donnalee Duhamel, who was last seen with Bradford at a bar in 1978 and whose decapitated body was later found wrapped in plastic. "Our thinking was, 'It would be nice to solve these other cases, but we don't have the time,'" says retired Sgt. Dick Adams, a member of the original investigating team.

Even in retirement, Adams remained haunted by the Bradford case, especially the trove of photos of unidentified young women found in his closet at the time of his arrest. Earlier this year, Adams—who had been rehired as a member of the department's cold-case squad—stumbled upon the photos, which had been misfiled, and lobbied the department to try to identify the women in Bradford's album and determine if any were the victims of foul play. From that gallery, detectives have flagged Duhamel as the only other potential victim, though they are trying to track down women in 32 photos whose fates remain unknown. (The number to call with any tips: 800-618-6707)

At a press conference on Aug. 1, Duhamel's two grown daughters, who were 7 and 11 when their mother went missing, came forward to demand that Bradford be prosecuted for their mother's murder if there is enough evidence against him. "I don't know that there is any closure," says one of the daughters, Lisa Mora, 36. "But I want to know what happened to my mom."

One of the women whose photo was found in Bradford's collection, Tina Teets, also believes the effort to clear up the uncertainty is long overdue. "Why did he keep these pictures?" says Teets, 39, who runs a dog-grooming salon in Riverside, Calif., and who remembers posing for Bradford as a teen, though always in the company of her mother. "My mom said he gave her the creeps." Thompson recalls encountering Bradford repeatedly at amateur photo shoots and how once, at a shopping center when she was 14, he got her to go with him into an alley on the pretext of better lighting. "He took me to a place where there was no one else," says Thompson, who went on to have a successful modeling career. "He was kind of weird and I was a little nervous." Her father quickly showed up and Bradford left.

Thompson hopes that in addition to identifying the women in the photos, the publicity over the case will serve as a cautionary tale. "If young girls go to these photo shoots, they need to bring their parents," she says. "I feel just so lucky to be alive."

  • Contributors:
  • Howard Breuer/Los Angeles.