A flood of telephone calls and e-mails have provided sheriff's investigators with numerous tips on the identities of 50 women photographed decades ago by a double murderer who implied to a jury he'd killed others.
Meanwhile, a man serving a life sentence in Colorado for murdering a teenage girl hasacross the country dating back more than three decades, authorities said Thursday.
Investigators told The Los Angeles Times that the first round of leads helped tentatively confirm that 24 of the women are still alive. Police also identified one woman as a murder victim.
Now the challenge is finding out what happened to the rest.
Detectives are trying to find out more about the women afterthis week. They are concerned that some of them could have been victims of rape or murder between 1975 and 1984.
"I can't say it's for sure, but we're working toward making some identifications," Sheriff Sgt. Robert Taylor said.
The photographs, some of them pornographic, were found in the mid-80s among the William Richard Bradford's possessions, CBS News correspondent Vince Gonzales reported. Bradford is now on death row for killing two aspiring models in the early 1980s. Authorities say Bradford, now 60, posed as a freelance photographer and shot photos of women he met at bars and elsewhere.
During is trial, officials say Bradford may have made a taunting statement to jurors deciding whether he should be sentenced to death.
"Think of how many you don't even know about," Bradford said.
About 50 of his photos of women, many scantily clad and striking poses like amateur models, languished in an evidence room from 1984, when they were seized from Bradford's home, until detectives rediscovered them last month.
Bradford's own daughter called in to police, The Los Angeles Times reported, saying that photo 48 was his ex-wife and that she is alive.
The Los Angeles County sheriff's Web site had 25,000 hits alone since Tuesday. An e-mail from an unidentified sender listed 12 names.
"It's old news," said Bradford's appellate attorney, Darlene Ricker. "The existence of these photos has been known for 20 years. All of a sudden, for whatever reason, law enforcement has decided to look into them."
"He maintains his innocence," Ricker told The Los Angeles Times. "He has always told me he never killed anyone."
As The Los Angeles Times reports, authorities have long suspected Bradford killed some of the women in the photographs, but the case was pushed aside after he was sentenced to death in 1984.
One woman in the photos has been identified as Donnalee Campbell Duhamel, a 31-year-old mother of two whose decapitated body was found in a Malibu canyon in 1978. A sheriff's official said Tuesday that the body was found a few days after the woman met Bradford at a bar. Bradford was never charged in that case.
On Wednesday, her daughter questioned why it took so long but was relieved that authorities were investigating.
"My mom just disappeared, and now she's getting the attention I feel she deserves," said Lisa Mora, 36, who was only 7 when her mother vanished. The family got confirmation of the death eight years later, she said.
Bradford was convicted in 1987 of first-degree murder in the stranglings of Shari Miller, 21, who he met in a bar, and Tracey Campbell, 15, a neighbor. Prosecutors said he lured them into accompanying him with promises of helping their modeling careers.
Ricker said she hadn't spoken with Bradford, imprisoned at San Quentin State Prison, since sheriff's officials went public with his photos, but she guessed what his response might be.
"I'm sure Bill would say, if he could: 'The man was a photographer. Gee, what a surprise they find photographs in his belongings.'"