A "CSI: Miami" Actress Crosses Paths With A Real Serial Killer

This broadcast first aired on Nov. 11, 2006. It was updated on June 29, 2007.

Over 20 years ago, police in southern California were investigating the homicide of a Jane Doe, when a tantalizing clue - and another murder - would unmask a serial killer.

Fast forward to 2006 and a star of the hit CBS show "CSI: Miami" finds herself working on an episode that draws from her true-life story, of how she came face to face with that very same serial killer.

Bill Lagattuta reports.

On the set of the hit "CSI," everything may look normal but, says star Eva La Rue, it's not. That's because an episode she is working on is based on a true story - a story that is painful and personal.

Over 20 years ago, in the early 1980's, Eva and her sister Nika came face to face with a real life serial killer.

"They used to have in southern California these amateur photo days," Eva remembers.

Thousands of girls would show up at these events, all chasing their dreams. "Any guys could come up and say, 'I'm a photographer and I'm gonna make you a star,' and young girls tend to believe that," remembers Alina Thompson, who like Eva, was a regular at these open model shoots.

"Anybody could come and pay the fee, just a small fee and then they had the right to photograph any of the models in any of the settings," says Tina Teets, who was also a regular.

Tina also remembers meeting the serial killer, Bill Bradford. "The scary part is he was not a bad looking man. He was very approachable, clean cut for the most part, not the persona of what you would expect the bad guy to look like," she recalls.

Bradford was one of the many amateur photographers who showed up at those photo shoots and came away with pictures of pretty young girls. He was approachable and clean cut, but he was after something else: Bradford was a serial killer, looking for victims. And when he killed - he strangled his victims - he took body parts as souvenirs.

"It turns out that there are quite a few women in this world who were last seen with Bill Bradford," says former district attorney Pam Bozanich. She says Bradford operated in Los Angeles and other parts of the country from 1975 to 1984. Police think it's possible he may even have been operating as early as 1966.

One woman who was lucky enough to get away is Bradford's ex-wife Cindy Sue Horton, who met him when she was only 15 years old. "He was gonna make a model out of me, I was gonna go places and do things," Cindy tells Lagattuta.

But once she became pregnant, Cindy says everything changed. "He'd kick me down the street, he tried to slam my stomach in the door, he was beating me up and raping me," she says.

Pam Bozanich was a young district attorney when she first heard Bradford's name. The year was 1984 and cops had just discovered the body of a naked woman who had been strangled and dumped in a lot in west L.A.

Bozanich says the badly decomposed body was found wrapped in a dirty old blanket. The body had been mutilated in a number of places, including a patch of skin on the woman's left ankle.

John St. John, a homicide detective and LAPD legend better known as "Jigsaw," got the case but initially even he was stymied by the case: the woman was classified as Jane Doe No. 60.

"So her body's found July 6th. Six days later, Tracy Campbell disappeared. The last person she's seen alive with is Bill Bradford," says Bozanich.

Campbell, 15, was Bradford's next door neighbor.

Bozanich says police went to Bradford's house to talk to him and decided to get a search warrant. Police soon discovered hundreds of photographs and undeveloped negatives of young women and one in particular caught the eye of "Jigsaw John" and his partner John Rockwood.