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Episode 41

Can I Take Your Picture? Part 1

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Over 20 killers have used the ruse of photography to entrap their victims. During the next four weeks, Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad will be discussing five of them. Of those five, two will be from last season with updates. But there are still possible victims who need to be found or identified.  

The Disappearance of Lynn Ruth Connes:


On May 13th, 1976, 20-year-old Lynn Ruth Connes placed an ad in the Flea Market Paper advertising her availability for modeling work. Her ad read:

“Professional model seeking extra jobs (recent-See May issue “Air Progress” mag p-28). Very imaginative-1000 personalities, but strictly 'aesthetic.' Fee $15.00 to $45.00 per hour. Lynoir, 9 AM-3 best:” and then her phone number was given. 
 
Three photographers responded to her ad: a John, a Jeff and Larry Mat(t)son. Police were able to track John down and clear him in Lynn's disappearance. But they couldn't locate Jeff nor Larry. Shortly before Lynn was last seen, she had set a meeting with Jeff at the Bateau Ivre Restaurant for 10:30 AM on May 20th, 1976.
Employees at the restaurant remember seeing Lynn waiting for the photographer. One even spoke to her. But there was no sign of her other than her bike after 10:45 AM. At the time Lynn disappeared, she was 5'4" and 110 pounds. She had blonde hair, green eyes and freckles. Her bottom lip has a scar on it. Lynn was wearing a black shirt, black bell-bottom pants, a tan scarf and a silver ring when she was last seen.

Law enforcement are still looking for leads on Lynn's case. Investigators and citizen sleuths--including our Murder Squad listeners--have potentially linked two different photographer killers to the case. The first we covered last season-Joseph Naso. The second is Rodney Alcala. 

Rodney Alcala:
Early Life-

Rodney Alcala was born in 1943 in San Antonio, Texas. His family--mother, father, two sisters and brother relocated to Mexico for a time. Alcala's father abandoned the family, and his mother decided to move the family to Los Angeles in 1954. 

He joined the Army at the age of 17. In 1964, while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Alcala went AWOL. He hitchhiked home to his mother's house in California claiming he had a nervous breakdown. Shortly thereafter, the US Army gave Rodney Alcala a medical discharge diagnosing him with an antisocial personality. 

Alcala's First Known Crime-
In 1968, Rodney Alcala approached eight-year-old Tali Shapiro in while she was walking to school in the Hollywood, California area. Tali's family had relocated to the hotel Chateau Marmont after they had a house fire. 

Alcala offered her a ride to school. Tali initially declined his offer, but he assured her he knew her parents. He then took her to his apartment and beat her, sexually assaulted her and attempted to strangled her with a metal bar.

A concerned citizen saw Alcala abducting Tali and reported it. Police arrived to Alcala's department. He initially answered their knock saying he was getting dressed. By the time they busted the door down, Alcala was in the wind. But law enforcement was able to rescue Tali. They posted wanted posters throughout the country. 
Located in New York-
Rodney Alcala relocated to New York City while on the run. He went by a new name-Jon Berger. He attended film school while there and taught at an arts camp for teen girls in New Hampshire. Two of his campers recognized him from the wanted poster and told an adult.

Alcala was extradited back to Los Angeles in 1971. Tali was unable to testify and Alcala was allowed to plead guilty to just child molestation. He only spent 17 months in prison before being paroled due to a program the California Correctional System called indeterminate sentencing. The parole board thought Rodney had showed signs of rehabilitation. 

Shortly after being paroled, he attacked another young woman. This time he was also caught with marijuana. Alcala was sent back to prison for the drugs in October 1974.  He was paroled less than two years later.  

His Final Crime:
We know Rodney Alcala committed other crimes than those above and the one we are about to detail. We will be talking about those in later episodes. 

In June 1979, Robin Samsoe disappeared on her way to ballet practice in Huntington Beach, California. Earlier in the day of June 20th, Robin and a friend were approached by a man claiming to be a photographer. He took some photos of them before a neighbor interrupted the session. Robin and her friend went to the friend's house. Robin left her friend's home at 3:10 PM and wasn't seen alive again.

Between the friend and the neighbor, a sketch was released of the photographer. 

The body of Robin Samsoe was discovered in a remote mountain ravine near Alcala's home. 

While the sketch was circulating, Rodney Alcala's parole officer recognized the sketch and alerted the Huntington Beach Police Department. Police began to close in on Rodney Alcala for the last time. 

They discovered a receipt for a storage locker in Seattle, Washington, Alcala had purchased. Inside the locker, law enforcement found a bag of earrings and hundreds of photos. Rodney Alcala was arrested on July 24th, 1979.

ASSIGNMENT:
For this week's assignment we are looking for information on Lynn Ruth Connes' disappearance. 

We are also looking for additional information on Rodney Alcala. We are going to be discussing more of the unidentified photos from his collection in later episodes. But we want you to focus on the five below for this week. Please share. If you have any information, contact us.   

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos. 
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want to the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

Unidentified Photos from This Week's Episode:

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