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In 1979, investigators found hundreds of photos of women in a storage unit that serial killer Rodney Alcala rented in Seattle. They released some of them in 2010 in hopes of identifying the women, some of whom may be additional unknown victims.Huntington Beach Police Department
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One of the hundreds of women photographed by Rodney Alcala. Investigators also found other "trophies" in his storage unit like jewelry. Huntington Beach Police Department
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Christine Thornton, who disappeared in 1977, was identified by one of her relatives in 2013 among a the batch of photographs taken by Alcala.
This photograph of Thornton was taken just a short distance from where her remains were discovered in 1982.Huntington Beach Police Department
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Robert Ben Rhoades
This haunting photo of 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters was taken by her murderer, serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades, shortly before he killed her in 1990. Robert Ben Rhoades
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Robert Ben Rhoades
After picking up Walters and her boyfriend, Ricky Jones, as hitchhikers in February 1990, Rhoades killed Jones and kept Walters hostage and tortured for weeks.Robert Ben Rhoades
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Robert Ben Rhoades
Pamela Milliken also crossed paths with Rhoades in 1985. But although she accepted a ride in his truck, they had a consensual sexual encounter and she went on her way.
Police later posted her photo on Facebook in hopes of identifying her. Milliken told them that Rhoades had taken her picture as soon as she stepped into his truck, and claimed it was in case she robbed him. Facebook
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Harvey Glatman, the so-called "Glamour Girl Slayer," killed between three and four women. Glatman also took photos of his victims before he killed them, like this one of Judy Dull.
Glatman had promised Dull, a model, that he would put her on the cover of a pulp novel. She was his first victim, but not his last.Bettmann/Getty Images
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Glatman met his victim Shirley Ann Bridgeford, pictured here, through a personal ad. He promised to take her to a dance, but instead brought her to the California desert where he tied her up, raped her, and killed her.Bettmann/Getty Images
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Model Ruth Mercado, shortly before Glatman killed her.Bettmann/Getty Images
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This is believed to be the last photo of 18-year-old Karen Sprinkler, who was abducted and murdered by serial killer Jerry Brudos, known as the "Shoe Fetish Slayer," in 1969.Jerry Brudos/Pinterest
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Dennis Rader was known as the "BTK Killer" because of his method of binding, torturing, and killing his victims. Afterward, he would don his victims' clothing, tie himself up, and take photos, like the one he took here.Wichita Police Department
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Rader would bind himself in various poses, like this one.Wichita Police Department
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In this disturbing photo, Rader "buried" himself alive. Wichita Police Department
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Serial killer Samuel Little didn't photograph his victims, but he did draw many of them, which has helped investigators identify them.
This illustration is described as "Drawing of Black female victim Mary Ann." Little says he killed Ann in Miami, Florida, in either 1971 or 1972.Samuel Little/FBI
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This Samuel Little portrait is described as "Drawing of a Black female victim." Little says he killed her in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1981. Samuel Little/FBI
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Like Rodney Alcala and Harvey Glatman, serial killer William Bradford often lured his victims to their deaths by telling them that he was a professional photographer who wanted to take their picture. This is a picture of bartender Shari Miller taken by Bradford shortly before he killed her at a campsite north of Los Angeles in 1984.William Bradford/Murderpedia
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In 2006, investigators released dozens of pictures of women who Bradford had photographed. Most, they believed, were still alive, but at least two were homicide victims and one was a missing teenager. They asked for the public's help in identifying the others.California Department of Corrections
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This photo of an unidentified boy, who appears frightened and in handcuffs, was discovered among photos taken by serial killer Dean Corll. To date, the boy's identity is unknown.
Called the "Candy Man" killer because he worked at a candy factory, Corll killed an estimated 28 boys and young men between 1970 and 1973.YouTube
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A serial killer who operated in Soviet Russia between 1964 and 1985, Anatoly Slivko is believed to have murdered seven teenage boys. He posed this victim and others in attempt to recreate a fatal traffic accident he'd witnessed in his early 20s, which sexually aroused him. YouTube
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Chris Bryson, a would-be victim of serial killer and torturer Robert Berdella. Unlike some of Berdella's less fortunate victims who were bound and tortured for days on end, Bryson managed to escape in 1988 — and alerted the police to Berdella's activities. Kansas City Police Department
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One of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's victims. Police found this polaroid while searching Dahmer's apartment in 1991.
“These are for real,” the officer who uncovered the photos said as he handed them to his partner.Jeffrey Dahmer
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Some believe that this photograph depicts Tara Calico and Michael Henley, both of whom went missing in New Mexico in the 1988 and have never been found. Their fates remain unknown. National Center for Missing Adults
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This ransom photo of Samantha Koenig, taken by serial killer Israel Keyes, was meant to convince Koenig's family that she was still alive. In fact, Koenig had already been dead for weeks — and Keyes had sewed her eyes open with fishing line. Twitter
23 Chilling Photos Taken By History’s Most Depraved Serial Killers — Before And After They Killed Their Victims
For some serial killers, taking a life isn't enough. They also take photos of their victims — trophies and mementos that they can use to relive their murders.
And some killers even used photography as a way to lure their victims in to begin with. For example, Rodney Alcala and Harvey Glatman offered to photograph their victims before murdering them. Others, like Robert Ben Rhoades or Jeffrey Dahmer, simply seemed to enjoy using photography to document their vile crimes.
Above, look through 23 harrowing photos taken by serial killers.
Serial Killers Who Posed As Photographers
For serial killers like Harvey Glatman, Rodney Alcala, and William Bradford, photography was a convenient tool to find victims and lure them closer. All three men promised to take photos of their victims, who were mainly aspiring models, before taking them to an isolated area and killing them.
Perhaps none were as prolific as Alcala, who operated for 11 years, mostly in California and New York. The killer, who often used the name "John Berger," photographed many of his victims before killing them.
For example, according to Marie Claire, he lured in his victim Ellen Jane Hover by presenting himself as a UCLA-educated photographer who had studied under Roman Polanski. That was true, but Alcala hid his real intentions.
Investigators later found the name "John Berger" on Hover's calendar and surmised that she agreed to have her photo taken. Instead, Berger, a.k.a. Alcala, had killed her.
Hover wouldn't have been the only one. In 1979, investigators found hundreds of photos taken by Alcala in a Seattle storage unit. In 2010, they released some of them in hopes of learning the women's identities and possibly locating more victims.
Huntington Beach Police DepartmentOne of the photos that police found in Rodney Alcala's storage unit. Investigators have asked the public to come forward if they know anything about the identities of these women.
Several women came forward. According to The New York Daily News, Judy Cole contacted police to let them know that she believed she was the woman in photograph #169.
She told the New York Police Department that she believes she met Alcala in 1978 while living on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Cole, then 19, agreed to pose for photographs for Alcala on the roof of a building. For reasons known only to him, he let her leave the impromptu photo shoot with her life.
"He was very charming. I should have known better," Cole told the NYPD, according to The New York Daily News.
But whereas serial killers like Alcala used photography as a means to an end, other killers used photos to remember and revisit their gruesome crimes.
Serial Killers Who Took Photos Of Their Victims For Pleasure
Some killers, like Robert Ben Rhoades or Dennis Rader, didn't need to use photography to lure their victims in. They had other methods. But they used the camera to perpetuate the excitement they felt while killing their victims.
Rhoades, for example, found his victims through his work as a long-haul trucker. He killed perhaps dozens of people over fifteen years, including a 14-year-old hitchhiker named Regina Kay Walters.
In February 1990, Walters had the horrible luck of meeting Rhoades while hitchhiking with her boyfriend, Ricky Jones, in Houston, Texas. But whereas Rhoades quickly killed Jones, he kept Walters for months and tortured her in a chamber he'd built in the back of his truck.
Shortly before he killed her, Rhoades also took several chilling photos of the teenager in an Illinois barn, where he'd forced her to wear a black dress and heels. Police later found a number of the pictures he'd taken of her.
Larry W. Smith/Getty ImagesSerial killer Dennis Rader's house in Park City, Kansas, where investigators found hundreds of "bondage selfies" that he'd taken while wearing his victims' clothing.
Dennis Rader, known as the BTK killer for his method of binding, torturing, and killing his victims, also used photography. But while he only occasionally photographed his victims, he most often photographed himself.
Rader would dress up in his victims' clothing, then tie himself up to imitate how he'd killed them. Then, he would take a photo of himself to relive his murders.
Indeed, photos taken by serial killers capture a chilling, gruesome moment in time. Pictures like Alcala's freeze a final moment of innocence. And images like Rhoades' freeze a last moment of horror.
Above, look through 23 photos taken by serial killers like Alcala, Rhoades, Rader, Jeffrey Dahmer, and more.