Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Alcala’s Photos

This is one of the pre-1979 photos from the collection found in convicted killed Rodney Alcala’s storage locker. Police say they fear some of the people in them become his victims.

Watching the Flickr slideshow of all the photos is both awful and compelling.

Who are these people? How much did they trust him? Did he do anything to any of them or plan some horrible thing?

Were all of them potential victims or -- most of the time -- did he enjoy taking photos and looking at them like any of us do? Do I know one of these people?

It's awful to think that if Alcala took these photos, by viewing them, we're looking at the subjects from exactly his point of view. We’re looking through the viewfinder or lens and are, essentially, inside his head.

And think about this, if you think that one of the women is cute, for instance, are you sharing a feeling with a serial killer? That makes me feel creepy and dirty myself.

And it's worst of all to think that Alcala's photos may be the last remains of some of these people.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)

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