Search on for Women Photographed by Killer
Jul. 26, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Investigators are trying to find about 50 women who were photographed decades ago by a man now on death row for murdering two aspiring models in the early 1980s, authorities said Tuesday.
Detectives are investigating whether the women were raped or killed between 1975 and 1984 by William Richard Bradford, said Los Angeles County sheriff's officials, who posted photos of the women on a department Web site in the hope that the public could help account for them.
One, No. 28 on the display, was identified as Donnalee Campbell Duhamel, whose decapitated body was found in a Malibu canyon in 1978, a few days after she met Bradford at a bar, said sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy.
``Some of these women we ... identified,'' Peavy said. ``Several of them were his wives, ex-wives. But for the most part the majority of these folks we do not know who they are, who they were.
``Many of them could have likely been homicide victims themselves. Many of them may have just been women that he met in bars and took home and took photographs of.''
In the penalty phase of his trial, Bradford asked the jury to sentence him to death, saying, ``Think of how many you don't even know about.''
After a televised press conference Tuesday where the photos were shown, calls poured in from people claiming to be women in the photos or having information about them, said sheriff's Sgt. Alfredo Castro.
``The phone hasn't stopped ringing,'' he said. ``I'm pretty sure we're going to identify a lot of them soon.''
Other local law enforcement agencies were also looking into possible connections to unsolved homicide cases from 1975 and 1982.
The Santa Monica Police Department was investigating whether Bradford was involved in the slaying of Patricia Dulong, 33, who was last seen there. And the Los Angeles Police Department may have linked him to the death of 23-year-old Mischa Stewart, Peavy said.
It was unclear whether Bradford had an attorney. A message left with an attorney who represented him in the past, Robert R. Bryan, was not immediately returned.
In the 1970s and '80s, Bradford, now 60, posed as a freelance photographer in the West Los Angeles area, taking photos of women he met at bars and ``car race events,'' according to information on the department Web site, which showed photos of women striking poses.
The photos and film were seized from Bradford's home when he was arrested in 1984, Peavy said. They went into a case file and remained largely untouched until now.
``I have a number of detectives that I have hired back to look at old cases for DNA evidence and stuff like that,'' he said. ``One of those detectives came forward with these photographs and said, 'You know, this is something that I think we should take a look at.' And obviously we all agreed that it should have been looked at _ probably looked at before now.''
The case has generated leads in Michigan and Florida, where Bradford once lived or traveled, Lt. Debra Lenhart said.
Bradford was convicted in 1987 of first-degree murder in the stranglings of Shari Miller, 21, whom he met in a bar, and Tracey Campbell, 15, a neighbor. Prosecutors said he lured them into accompanying him with promises to help their modeling careers.
Miller's body was found in a West Los Angeles parking lot in July 1984, while Campbell's decomposed body was found in August 1984 at a campsite in the high desert north of Los Angeles.
The unaccounted-for women were believed to have lived in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, Inglewood and other beach cities.
Shortly after his arrest in the two killings in 1984, Bradford pleaded no contest to an unrelated charge of rape and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Peavy said it was possible the remaining unidentified women are alive and well, though he was not optimistic.
``My gut instinct,'' he said, alluding to a collage of the women's photos at the sheriff's homicide office, ``is that there are probably a substantial number of victims on that board.''
On the Net:
Photographs of missing women: http://lacountymurders.com/wanted/LADIES1.html