Rodney Alcala will not have to face the consequences for that crime.
The 73-year-old serial killer is reportedly too ill to make the journey from California to Wyoming to be charged.
It took some time, but they finally connected the DNA from Thornton’s still-unidentified remains to that of her siblings.
Thanks to a series of trials, convictions, appeals, and retrials, Alcala has basically spent the years since 1979 behind bars.
His third trial, alleging the rape and murder of 31-year-old Charlotte Lamb, 27-year-old Georgia Wixted, 21-year-old Jill Parenteau, 18-year-old Jill Barcomb, and 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, began in 2005.
Still, they have accumulated enough evidence on the Thornton murder to file first-degree murder charges against Alcala.
The question is whether or not he will even be extradited to Wyoming to stand trial.
Read more: ORIGINAL STORY: Rodney Alcala has been described as one of the most prolific serial killers to terrorize California.
His first known crime was the brutal rape and beating of eight-year-old Tali Shapiro in 1968.
In 2012, Alcala was convicted of two murders in New York State and sentenced to a long jail term.
Still, he remains jailed in California’s Corcoran State Prison.
Shapiro was found in Alcala’s apartment after someone who saw him pick up the child in his car had called authorities.
Unfortunately, Alcala had vanished, fleeing to New York City, where he lived for four years and attended film school until the law caught up with him on the Shapiro case.
When authorities confronted Alcala about the photo, he admitted to being the photographer, but refused to admit to her murder.