Photo Links Dating Game Killer to 1977 Wyoming Murder

Alcala accused of killing pregnant woman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2016 4:30 AM CDT
Photo Linked Dating Game Killer to 1977 Wyoming Murder
In this Jan. 7, 2013, photo, convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala appears in court in New York.   (AP Photo/David Handschuh, Pool, File)

Serial killer Rodney Alcala has been charged with another murder almost 40 years after his 1970s killing spree. Investigators say Alcala, 73—who has been behind bars since 1979 and was sentenced to death in 2010—murdered 28-year-old Texas woman Christine Ruth Thornton in Wyoming during a road trip in 1977, People reports. She was six months pregnant at the time. Thornton's body was found buried on a ranch in 1982. Her family recognized her picture in 2013 when police released a chilling cache of Alcala's photos in an effort to locate unidentified victims, reports the Orange County Register.

Investigators say Alcala—a former Los Angeles Times photographer who appeared on The Dating Game in 1978—took the photo of Thornton sitting on a motorbike close to where her body was eventually found. Prosecutor Danny Erramouspe tells People that he flew to California to interview Alcala about the killing and he admitted being with her. "When I questioned him—'Was she alive when you left?'—he stated, 'She was alive before I left,'" Erramouspe says. Alcala was sentenced to die for five murders in California and was sentenced to another 25 years to life in 2013 for two murders in New York. Police believe he may have killed dozens of other women. (More Rodney Alcala stories.)

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