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$1 million bond ordered for alleged Milwaukee serial kiiller

A $1 million bond was ordered Wednesday for alleged Milwaukee serial killer Walter Ellis.

He made his first court appearance on homicide charges in the deaths of Joyce Mims in 1997 and Ouithreaun Stokes a decade later.

Milwaukee Police say Ellis's DNA was found on eight prostitutes who were stabbed and strangled to death since 1986.

Ellis, 49, is now charged in four of those deaths, and other counts are expected today.

Meanwhile, the head of law enforcement services for the state justice department says Stokes might still be alive had the state not mishandled a DNA sample Ellis provided in 2001.

Corrections' officials said they took the sample at the Oshkosh prison and mailed it to the Justice Department to be put in a database for police investigators.

But justice officials said they never received it and Milwaukee police said they never found Ellis's DNA sample until last week.

Justice official Gary Hamblen says he wants to find out why the sample was mishandled, and it's probably not the only one.

He says many convicted felons may never have had DNA samples taken, even though the law required it starting in 2000.

Hamblen says many of those could be non-violent offenders who never went to prison.