March 18, 2010— -- A 48-year-old woman is shaken and unable to sleep after spotting her teenage photograph among a mountain of pictures found among the belongings of convicted serial killer Ronald Alcala.
Liane Leedom told ABC News that the photo was taken in June 1979 when she was 17 -- and in between Alcala's murders of a woman and a girl.
Leedom, who is now a psychiatrist in Trumbull, Conn., said her brush with the man accused of killing five females has left her rattled.
Leedom said she could pinpoint exactly when the photos were taken -- immediately after the murder of Charlotte Lamb and weeks before the murder of Robin Samsoe.
Leedom was only 17 years old and Alcala's neighbor in Monterey Park, Calif., when the serial killer asked her, "let me take some pictures of you".
"Then he invited me into his mother's home, and so I went in and we talked," she told Good Morning America. "He was very preoccupied with the idea that he was a member of Mensa."
The charming photographer, who had appeared the year before as a winning contestant on the "Dating Game," convinced Leedon to go back home for the photo shoot. Leedom said Alcala never made any sexual advances.
Alcala, one of the worst serial killers in California history, is facing the death penalty. Last week police released a stash of photos three decades old in the hopes of finding closure for the families of dozens of potential murder victims.
In addition to killing 12-year-old Samsoe and 32-year-old Lamb, he is charged with murdering Jill Barcomb, 18; Georgia Wixted, 27; and Jill Parenteau, 21.
Police are also hoping more families of loved ones come forward so they can link more killings to the serial killer.
And they may never know exactly how many woman Rodney Alcala may have killed. Police have nearly 2,000 photos of possible victims and a lengthy investigation ahead for investigators who say they will solve as many cases as they can.
"They want to go at 110 mph after every lead they get," said Huntington Beach Police Department Capt. Chuck Thomas. "That's what we're here for and we'll do everything we can for these potential victims."
Leedom said many of the photos in that collection were of naked women and nude children that Alcala showed her in the presence of his mother.
It wasn't until years later that she understood the look of disgust on his mother's face.
Woman's Brush With Serial Killer Alcala
Leedom said that if she had seen the collection today, she would have immediately called police. The only red flag she saw in Alcala was that he reached out to her and made conversation as a stranger as she was walking down the street.
Alcala was an older male who lived with his mother, which gave him access to a suburban neighborhood where he could prey on the children on his street, according to Leedom.
One of her friends saw Leedom get out of the car one day when he gave her a ride to the hospital where she worked with her father.
Knowing Alcala's brush with the law, the friend told her, "you better tell your daughter to stay away from him"
After that, she never saw him again, but just weeks later, according to Leedom, he was arrested.
Alcala has already been convicted in the 1970s murders of five women. But the recent release of the photos have caused a flurry of activity as the families of the women in the pictures, and in some cases the women themselves, flood police with phone calls.
"We've received hundreds, literally hundreds and hundreds, of calls from all over the United States as well as numerous calls from western Europe," Thomas said. "We've gotten a number of calls from families who are still despondent. Your heart really goes out to them."
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said they already have six potential new cases they could pin on Alcala, who has been labeled the "Dating Game" killer because of his appearance on the 1970s game show.
At the time of his appearance, where he was bachelor No. 1, he had already been convicted in the rape and brutal beating of an 8-year-old girl.
Alcala was convicted Feb. 25 in the 1979 rape and murder of 12-year-old Huntington Beach ballet student Robin Samsoe, and the strangulation of four other women between 1970 and 1979.
The photos were found in 1979, in a Seattle storage locker that had been rented by Alcala, but not released until recently because of legal concerns.
Phone calls came flooding into authorities almost immediately.
"The calls are basically along two lines," Huntington Beach Police Detective Patrick Ellis told ABC's Seattle affiliate KOMO. "No. 1: 'Yes, that's my photograph. I am alive and well,' and giving us details of Mr. Alcala way back when, 30 years ago.
"Or, the calls saying, 'Hey, my sister, mother ... was reported missing back then, and I think her photograph is on the Web site,' and they're providing us with information as far as the person's name, where they were last seen alive," he said. "Some people aren't positive, but they're pretty sure.
"Until we talk to the victims' families, get other photographs for comparison purposes and more details on where their bodies were recovered -- if they were recovered at all -- we can't really say at this point," Ellis said. "We just don't know."
Rackauckas said each possible match to one of the photos is investigated first by looking at the whereabouts of the victims at the time and that of Alcala. In some cases, he said, DNA evidence is available for further confirmation.
Rodney Alcala Was 'Dating Game' Winner
Alcala, who had a fine arts degree from UCLA, took the photos before his first arrest in 1979.
Some show remote settings similar to the region where Samsoe's body was found. A few of the photos are of men.
Police say Alcala thought of himself as a skilled photographer and may have used the camera to lure his victims.
Alcala had traveled across the country several times when he was studying film at New York University in the 1970s, even working briefly with director Roman Polanski.
Steve Hodel, a retired detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, told ABC's Nightline that Alcala could have killed many more victims between the East and West Coasts.
But since his conviction, Alcala has more often been likened to the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy.
During the trial in the Orange County Criminal Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., four witnesses recalled Alcala trying to get them to pose for him in their bikinis on the beach the day Samsoe disappeared.
The young girl was kidnapped while riding her bicycle to ballet class in Huntington Beach. Her body was found 12 days later in the Angeles National Forest, where it had been mutilated by wild animals.
Prosecutors said that Alcala's method of killing was to choke his victims with his bare hands until they were unconscious and then to allow them to regain consciousness.
"He gets off on the infliction of pain on other people," said prosecutor Matt Murphy at Alcala's trial.
If you know who these women are, contact Huntington Beach Police Detective Patrick Ellis, at 714-375-5066, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.