NEW YORK (CBS) Are New York police standing in the way of justice for a serial killer's possible victims?
Hundreds of photographs allegedly taken by convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala were released by California investigators in March, following Alcala's third - and hopefully final - conviction for the murder of a young California woman and first conviction for three others.
If any of the women and young boys in those photos were missing or murdered, investigators hoped releasing the images would help find them.
At least 20 of the women in the photographs released by officials have been identified, some by the women themselves, and at least four families of missing women have said that their loved ones are in the photographs, although police have not been able to confirm those claims.
But hundreds more photos have yet to be released - because the New York Police Department refuses to make them public.
Former Huntington Beach detective Steve Mack is baffled by the NYPD's resistance to releasing the photos, according to the New York Daily News.
"They should be released. There are people who will identify their missing loved ones," Mack told the paper Monday.
Inspector Edward Mullen, an NYPD spokesman, confirmed that the department's cold case squad received the photos, but declined to say when - or even if - the agency will release the photos.
Alcala is reportedly a suspect in at least two cold cases in New York. One of those is the case of Ellen Jane Hover, 23, a restaurant heiress who disappeared in 1977 after leaving her Manhattan apartment. A year later, her bones were found in a shallow grave in a rugged section of the Rockefeller estate in Westchester County, about 100 feet from a spot where Alcala allegedly brought another young woman for a photo session, authorities told the Orange County Register.
Alcala has long been a suspect in the death of Hover because he was the last person to see her alive.
He is also a suspect in the June 12, 1971, rape and strangulation of Cornelia Crilley, a 23-year-old TWA flight attendant whose body was found in her Manhattan apartment on 83rd Street. Authorities say Alcala's DNA matches genetic material found at the crime scene.
Crilley's then-boyfriend, Leon Borstein, was a prosecutor in the Brooklyn district attorney's office when she was killed. Borstein said he was baffled that the NYPD won't release the pictures.
"I don't know why they are keeping it secret," Borstein told the Daily News.
March 11, 2010 - Are There More Rodney Alcala Victims? Police Reach Out to Public with Hundreds of Photos