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Read more: ORIGINAL STORY: Rodney Alcala has been described as one of the most prolific serial killers to terrorize California.His first known crime was the brutal rape and beating of eight-year-old Tali Shapiro in 1968.In Alcala’s possessions when he was arrested was a large collection of photographs he’d taken of young women and men — some of whom were his victims, while most remained unidentified.It’s always been suspected that in those unidentified models were some additional victims, cold cases waiting to be solved.This week, those photos helped authorities add another name to his list: Christine Ruth Thornton of of San Antonio.Those photos got into the hands of Thornton’s family in 2013, and Thornton’s sister recognized her sitting on a motorcycle in one photo.Rodney Alcala will not have to face the consequences for that crime.The 73-year-old serial killer is reportedly too ill to make the journey from California to Wyoming to be charged.
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Yenger and Dye were originally scheduled to be tried together, but Yenger successfully argued to have his case severed from Dye's. The two men were arrested in January after investigators uncovered new evidence in the decade old investigation. Yenger remains in custody at the Wapello County Jail.
In addition, Heckert, who was a realtor and previously worked as a postal worker, was also reportedly in a relationship with the husband of Diana Ault, who was shot to death in front of her two young children at home in Independence, Missouri in 1994.
Compounding the tragedy of Thornton’s murder was the fact that she was six months pregnant when she died.
Thornton’s body was found by a local rancher in rural Wyoming in 1978, but remained unidentified until two siblings of Thornton sent DNA samples to be checked against the national missing-person’s database in 2015.
When authorities confronted Alcala about the photo, he admitted to being the photographer, but refused to admit to her murder.