Prosecutors in Rock Springs, Wyo., said Tuesday that one of those victims was Christine Ruth Thornton, 28, of San Antonio.They said Alcala met Thornton and killed her while on a road trip, then buried her on a ranch in Granger, Wyo.In all, about 200 Alcala photos were released to the public by Huntington Beach police in 2010, after Alcala was sentenced to death for five sexual assault slayings committed in the 1970s.Detectives said Tuesday that they released the photos for that exact purpose – to be seen by people who might be connected to other possible victims.According to our research of Texas and other state lists there were 8 registered sex offenders living in Granger as of November 08, 2017.The ratio of number of residents in Granger to the number of sex offenders is 185 to 1.
After that, investigative work by police in Huntington Beach and Wyoming – and a link to a federal database, Nam US, which matches DNA evidence to remains of unidentified people – helped connect the alleged crime to the picture.
Convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala was charged with murder Tuesday in Wyoming in the killing of a woman reported missing in 1977 – a charge authorities credited, in part, to information from the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Alcala, 73, a former child photographer convicted in Orange County for a string of murders in Southern California, remains at California’s Corcoran State Prison and is sentenced to death.
Thornton was about six months pregnant at the time of her death, according to the warrant for Alcala’s arrest.
Though prosecutors said her body was uncovered by a rancher in Wyoming in 1982, Thornton’s alleged link to Alcala wasn’t known for decades.