August 21, 2006 12:00 PM

Eva La Rue examines photos on a police Web site; suddenly, she makes a frightening discovery. Sounds like a scene from CSI: Miami, the hit CBS crime show on which La Rue, 39, plays a cold-case-cracking DNA specialist. But this time it was real: La Rue was looking at pictures of 50 young models photographed by William Bradford, now on death row for murdering two women in 1984. One of the photos—which police fear could depict more victims—was of Eva’s sister Nika, who was 13 when Bradford took more than 100 photos of her at a Los Angeles amateur shoot in 1984. “It’s very ironic,” says Eva, of seeing her sister, now 35 and going for her master’s in education at UCLA, among the potential victims. “It was a big wake-up call for our family.”

Eva attended the same photo shoot, though no pictures of her turned up in Bradford’s stash. Neither Eva nor Nika remembers Bradford, but both have since warned their sister Lara, 23, an aspiring model, to be extra careful. “There’s a million slimy guys out there,” says Nika, who frets that 25 of the models in the montage are still unidentified. “That creeps me out,” she says. “I’m heartbroken because it could have been me.”

Eva, a Riverside, Calif., native starting her second season on CSI: Miami, notified police her sister was alive. When she told the detective who she was, “He said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s my favorite show!'” Her brush with a killer changes how she views her work. “It makes it very real,” she says. “This brought it home.”

The Killer & The CAMERA

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