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Tips pour in after release of serial killer's photos

Investigators are trying to determine whether any of the people in the photos were victims of Rodney Alcala.
Investigators are trying to determine whether any of the people in the photos were victims of Rodney Alcala.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 100 photos of unidentified women, minors found in serial killer's storage
  • Two women who were minors when the photos were taken identify themselves
  • Authorities receive handful of tips on other women who could be dead or missing
  • A jury recommended that Rodney Alcala, 66, be sentenced to death for killing 4

(CNN) -- Dozens of tips have poured in after California authorities released more than 100 photos of women and children on Thursday that are believed to have been taken by a serial killer who appeared on the "Dating Game."

Police determined Friday that two female minors in the pictures, taken in the 1970s, are alive and well. They have received tips on a handful of other women who could be dead or missing, according to Patrick Ellis, a detective with the Huntington Beach Police Department.

"We've received several calls saying that someone in a photo could be so-and-so who's been missing or found dead," Ellis said Friday. "The response has been overwhelming, and that's what we were looking for."

Investigators are trying to determine whether any of the people in the photos were victims of Rodney Alcala, 66, who was convicted in February of kidnapping and murdering a 12-year-old girl and raping and murdering four Los Angeles County women in the 1970s. A jury this week recommended he be sentenced to death.

Ellis said police received tips on as many as four dead or missing women who were identified by other people calling and e-mailing about the photos.

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"People are saying that they recognize someone from their past, from school or college or the neighborhood beach," he said.

The two women who identified themselves from the photos on Friday were minors at the time the pictures were taken and are now in their 40s, Ellis said. Police are not releasing their identities, though Ellis said they live in California.

Nancy Grace blog: See the photos

Huntington Beach Police are contacting law enforcement authorities across the country with information about dead or missing women who were identified by people calling or e-mailing on Friday, Ellis said. He stressed that police have not confirmed that any of the women or children in the photos are dead or missing.

The portrait-style photographs were discovered in a storage unit Alcala kept in Seattle, Washington, said Orange County district attorney spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder. The locker also contained earrings that belonged to Robin Samsoe, the 12-year-old girl whom Alcala abducted and killed in 1979.

The discovery of the earring in the locker has raised speculation that there may be other victims or that the photographs were trophies to Alcala, she said.

"We know that Mr. Alcala used his photography as a ruse to get close to his victims," she said.

Authorities already believe that Alcala may be responsible for deaths in New York, Schroeder said.

"It's very possible," Schroeder said. "Mr. Alcala is a predatory monster and we believe that he destroyed many lives everywhere he went."

Alcala was convicted in 1972 of kidnapping and molesting a child in Los Angeles County in 1968, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. After serving a 34-month sentence, he was released.

In 1978, Alcala appeared as a "Bachelor No. 1" on "The Dating Game."

Jed Mills, who played "Bachelor No. 2," said he had an almost immediate aversion to Alcala.

"Something about him, I could not be near him," Mills recalled. "I am kind of bending toward the other guy to get away from him, and I don't know if I did that consciously. But thinking back on that, I probably did."

But Alcala succeeded in charming Bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw from the other side of the "Dating Game" wall. But she declined her date with Alcala.

Anyone with information regarding the identities of the women and children in the photographs found in Alcala's storage locker is asked to contact the Orange County District Attorney's Office or the Huntington Beach Police Department.

CNN's Gabriel Falcon contributed to this report.

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