Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Meet the L.A. Meat Market Killer.
An unassuming young man toured California, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana and all points in between. Our boy traveled in a Pace Arrow motor home and rode on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. His local California fashionable haunts were alive with pretty women dancing to disco music. The Pink Elephant and Burning Tree-Chestnut Room bars in Santa Monica were loaded with women seeking their dream of an entertainment career. What some of the ladies found made Mr. Goodbar seem in hindsight like Mr. Right.
William “Bill” Bradford was a freelance photographer and handyman with a special talent to meet, photograph pretty women and get them to shed their clothes. They’d pose in sexual positions sometimes with other strange men as Bradford snapped the pictures. Soon the unfortunate women would be found raped and strangled or simply disappear.
This was all going on before DNA profiles and the data advances of computers to sort information. 1975 through 1984 brought on a spree by what may now be the record holding serial killer.
Today Bradford is 60-years old and safely behind bars for nearly a quarter century on Death Row in San Quentin for the murders of Shari Miller, 21 and Tracy Campbell, 15. One body was dumped in an L.A. parking lot and the other in a Northern county desert area. There’s no rush to bring Bradford to Justice since he’s more likely to die of old age than a lethal injection in the California criminal justice system.
To date L.A. County Sheriff’s detectives claim to have three solid new cases and are soon to solve more. Detective Dickie Adams retired only to find himself brought back to work on cold cases. Adams soon discovered all the photographs and loose ends in the Bradford file. Noting advances in data collection and DNA he dusted off boxes of evidence and spent nearly a month to bring us to today’s revelations.
The other jurisdictions where Bradford spent time have yet to be notified this early in the current investigation. There’s certainly no rush to do more than figure out who these women are and where the bones are buried. Bringing closure to victim’s families seems to be the only real mission now.
Since Bradford is going to die of old age and the new cases have not even begun it would make more sense to make a deal with Bradford getting him off of Death Row in exchange for cooperation from the man who told the members of his jury that they had no idea how many more victims are out there.
In each and every case considered solved the victim’s end began in a trendy hot meat market.
Photos from Bill Bradford’s collection can be found here
I have the unedited half hour news conference given by Sheriff’s Homicide Division Captain Ray Peavy loading up for placement on this blog. No filters, no spin, just the whole enchilada for you to chew on. Stay tuned!
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