King County sheriff's investigators have ruled out a condemned California serial killer in the disappearance of a woman who has been missing since September 1976.
King County sheriff’s investigators have ruled out a condemned California serial killer in the disappearance of a Washington woman who has been missing since September 1976.
The family of the missing Douglas County woman, Cherry Greenman, recently told King County sheriff’s investigators that a photo found in a Shoreline storage locker once rented by convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala was not that of the missing woman, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart.
Sheriff’s Detective Jake Pavlovich, who is on the department’s cold-case squad, told The Seattle Times last month that a photo found inside the locker resembled Greenman.
The Sheriff’s Office had looked into Greenman’s disappearance during the investigation into Green River serial killer Gary L. Ridgway, but failed to find a link, Pavlovich said. Greenman has never been found.
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“We got a good photo from Huntington Beach [police], and we showed it to [Greenman’s] family,” Urquhart said.
Urquhart said the Greenman case remains open.
Alcala was sentenced to death last month for strangling four women and a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl in California in the 1970s.
Alcala, amateur photographer, UCLA graduate and former contestant on TV’s “The Dating Game,” rented a storage locker in Shoreline in 1979 and filled it with photographs, photography equipment, jewelry and a motorcycle.
After police released more than 100 of the images found in Alcala’s storage locker, Pavlovich said he saw blog commentary on The Orange County Register’s Web site speculating that one of the photos looked like Greenman.
Seattle police are looking into Alcala in two cold cases from the 1970s.
Seattle cold-case Detective Mike Ciesynski is requesting a DNA comparison between Antionette “Toni” Witaker, 13, and Joyce Gaunt, 17, to determine whether he can be ruled out as the killer.
Authorities in California said Alcala sexually assaulted and tortured his victims and then posed their corpses, two of them outdoors. Witaker and Gaunt were slain within a few months of each other, their bodies found outdoors posed in awkward positions. One was sexually assaulted.
The timing and circumstances around the Seattle slayings give Ciesynski reason to believe Alcala may be involved.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
Information from Seattle Times archives is included