Investigators who released decades-old pictures of about 50 women photographed by a murderer said Thursday that they believe more than half the women are alive, but that three appear to be homicide victims.
Several ofby death row inmate William Richard Bradford have yet to be identified, but Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said they have tentatively identified 31 women since publicizing the long-forgotten images Tuesday.
Twenty-eight of those women were believed to be alive, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said, identified after a flood of calls and e-mails came in, CBS News correspondent Vince Gonzales reported. Three are believed to have been killed, including Donnalee Campbell Duhamel, a 31-year-old aspiring model and mother of two whose decapitated body was found in a canyon in 1978.
"She was very soft-spoken and just a real sweet woman and a wonderful mother," Lori, Duhamel's daughter, told Gonzales. "It just really is horrible that, you know, somebody did this and took away my mother that I needed so much, and still need today. I just miss her a lot."
The photographs, some of them pornographic, were found in the mid-80s among the William Richard Bradford's possessions, 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. Investigators were able to identify some of the women before releasing the photos, including several of Bradford's ex-wives and the 1978 slaying victim.
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."
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.
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.'"