LATEST UPDATE- February 26, 2010
Before there was ‘The Bachelor', ‘eHarmony.com', and ‘Yahoo Singles', there was the very popular 1970's show ‘Dating.' Unlike the more recent marvels, the ‘Dating Game' didn't do background checks or interviewed the likely candidates to be on the show. Even if those precautions had taken place back then, no one would have ever suspected that the charming, well educated, and relatively good looking bachelor on the ‘Dating Show' would be the worst serial killer in U.S history.
Rodney Alcala, now 66, is known as the "Dating Game Killer" because he once appeared on the US version of Blind Date, was found guilty of carrying out some of the most disturbing killings ever seen in Los Angeles.
Twice his five murder convictions have been overturned since he has been incarcerated in 1979. But Alcala, a photographer with an IQ of more than 160, had his luck run out yesterday, February 25th. For six gnawing weeks a court in Orange County, California heard testimony about two of the victim's bodies who were posed nude and possibly photographed after their deaths. One victim was attacked with a claw hammer and others repeatedly strangled and resuscitated during their deaths to prolong their agony.
In a circus-like performance, Alcala, a true narcissist, represented himself in court. He rambled nonsensically about only one victim-the only one that initially brought him down, Robin Samsoe, a virginic 12 year old girl bicycling herself to her ballet lessons. He gleamed proudly at her murder pictures, as he systematically went through each one and explained them poignantly to the jurors. He didn't bring up any new evidence, and he didn't deny killing Samsoe. He did purposely eliminate addressing the prosecutors' case of the other four women's murders. It was if they never existed. He showed no emotion as the recent advances in DNA verified that he was indeed linked to the killings of nurseWixted, 27, legal secretary Charlotte Lamb, 32, computer programmer Jill Parenteau, 21, and Jill Barcomb, 18.
Alcala was living in the Los Angeles between 1968 and 1971, and again in 1977. Detectives have placed him as the primary suspect in at least 30 unsolved murders during those time periods.
Los Angeles Police Detective Cliff Shepard said: "He's right up somewhere just below Hitler and right aroundBundy. We know he's been cross-country a couple of times. We believe there's more out there."
Graduating with a fine art degree from the University of California, Alcala is believed to have studied film in New York under Roman Polanksi before working as a typesetter at the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
If there is such a thing as this story getting any more bizarre and disturbing, it's the infamous ‘Dating Show' footage. September 13, 1978 he was a featured bachelor on the show and actually won the coveted date with Sheryl Bradshaw. Fortunately she went with her gut feeling and never went through with the date with him. It was a good thing, because he was committing heinous acts of murder during that time!
Alcala had hundreds of photos of women in bikinis in his possession when he was arrested. At the time the police had not made a positive link to the women in photos and women that were missing at the time. DNA and other useful technology had not been created at the time. Alcala had lived in and had access to the creative art community of Los Angeles and would take advantage of his skills and education to prey on women. He would take their photographs-sometimes just by walking up to them on the street and snapping his camera right there. He kept binoculars in his car at all times, watching like a stealthy wild animal for the right time to hunt and kill these women. (note that many of his murders happened at night, the same time of day he said he prefered while on the ‘Dating Show'.)
This coming Tuesday, March 2nd, Alcala will be given his sentence. Prosecutors are praying that he is given a life sentence for each of the five murders he has so far been confirmed to have committed.
On the ‘Dating Show' he was provocatively asked by Bradshaw what kind of food he was. He replied, ‘banana'. I hope he is a fried banana, and that when they administer the fatal injection, they slowly end his life, then revive him at the last moment, then slowly repeat the process several times. Since he enjoyed doing this to his victims, it seems like a justified way to end his miserable existance!