Mr. Alcala, who appeared in a 1978 episode of “The Dating Game,” was convicted in seven murders. A longhaired photographer who lured women by offering to take their picture, Mr. Alcala, 77, had been convicted of five murders in Orange County, Calif., and two in New York, all in the 1970s. His first verified victim was 8-year-old Tali Shapiro in 1968 in Los Angeles, who was raped and nearly beaten to death with a steel bar. He fled to New Hampshire and was captured when alert teenagers saw Alcala’s photo on an FBI’s Most Wanted List poster. Alcala, who was known as «The Dating Game Killer» for an appearance on the 1970s game show, frustrated police, victims, and justice itself during his life.

Who was Rodney Alcala?

At the apartment where she was found, police discovered a UCLA student ID card with Alcala’s name. They also found hundreds of sexually explicit photos of young women and boys. In addition to Samsoe’s murder, OC prosecutors say they found DNA evidence linking him to the murders of four other women in Orange County between ’77 and ’79. Later, he was indicted for two more murders in NY — dating back to ’71 — to which he pled guilty. In 2012, Mr. Alcala was extradited to New York, where he pleaded guilty to murdering Ms. Hover and Ms. Crilley, and in 2013 was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Alcala is often referred to as The Dating Game Killer because of his 1978 appearance on the television show The Dating Game in the midst of his murder spree. Due to Alcala’s failing health, authorities decided not to extradite him to Wyoming to stand trial. The charges have not been dropped but Alcala has not entered a plea.

«When I asked why he took the photos, he said their moms asked him to. I remember the girls were naked.» After Alcala’s second release in 1977, his Los Angeles parole officer took the unusual step of permitting a repeat offender—and known flight risk—to travel to New York City. Her remains were found buried under heavy rocks on a hillside overlooking the Hudson River, about half a mile west of the Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown in Westchester County. Prosecutors have said that Alcala «toyed» with his victims, strangling them until they lost consciousness, then waiting until they revived, sometimes repeating this process several times before finally killing them. One police detective described Alcala as «a killing machine,» and others have compared him to Ted Bundy.

Eleven months after Hover went missing, her skeletal remains were found 30 miles north of the city in Tarrytown, New York. When questioned, Alcala admitted he met Hover on July 15 and then claimed he never saw her again. Authorities had not yet found Hover’s body and determined there was no evidence to arrest him. In 1977, while still on parole, he asked his parole officer if he could go on vacation. He was faced with a decision — chase the suspect out the back and catch him, or render lifesaving aid to the girl. Shapiro was on her way to school in Los Angeles on a sunny September day in 1968, when a car pulled up beside her.

However, two months after being released, Alcala was arrested once more after kidnapping a 13-year-old girl in Huntington Beach, Calif. Alcala was sent back to prison for violating his parole, but even though the girl told police that Alcala had kidnapped her, he was only convicted of «violating parole and providing drugs to a minor.» Everyone deserves a chance to find love, but there’s something weird about the fact that serial killer Rodney Alcala went on a dating game show between some of his murders. And despite the fact that he won on the show, apparently his demeanor behind the scenes was so unnerving and creepy that the lucky bachelorette decided to renege on her choice. In 2010, Alcala was sentenced to death for the four women’s murders.

San Francisco

While assigned to Fort Campbell on the Kentucky–Tennessee border, Pfc.

After his rejection, Rodney Alcala went on to murder 12-year-old Robin Samsoe in Los Angeles in 1979. A police sketch of the suspect led investigators to Alcala’s storage locker, which held countless keepsakes of victims, including Samsoe’s earrings. He was arrested and sentenced to death — but died of natural causes on July 24, 2021. Rodney AlcalaDuring this time, Rodney somehow convinced hundreds of young people that he was a professional photographer, luring them to unknowingly become his victims. His “portfolio,” apparently his victim list, was found by the police in July 1979 in a Seattle storage locker following his initial arrest for the disappearance and murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.

Without standardized background checks, nobody behind the scenes was aware that Alcala had served time for sexually assaulting and beating an eight-year-old girl, a crime that landed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. And, by the time he appeared on television, he had already embarked on a macabre killing spree that left five people dead, although those crimes had yet to be connected to him. In 1978, Rodney Alcala won a date on the popular TV show,The Dating Game. He hid behind normal jobs as a typesetter at a prominent newspape… At the point when “The Dating Game” host Jim Lange presented Rodney Alcala as Bachelor Number One, a charming photographer, he didn’t realize that the man had killed at least five women and been accused of the attempted murder of a young girl.

Orange County Superior Court judge Philip E. Schwab ordered Alcala returned to court so he could dispose the jury? Alcala also pleaded guilty to the murders of two other women in New York — Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and Ellen Jane Hover in 1977. By 1978, Alcala had murdered at least five women across two coasts and had been charged with the attempted murder of an 8-year-old girl. Instead of laying low, he made his primetime debut on “The Dating Game,” which was enormously popular at the time. He continued his killing spree until 1979, when a trove of jewelry that belonged to some of his victims was discovered, and authorities have connected him to an unsolved murder as recently as 2016. His case is one of the more famous ones among CA’s serial killers — as the guy actually appeared on an episode of the famous ‘Dating Game’ in ’78 …


However, he was only there for only a few years, working as a clerk, before he had a nervous breakdown. After being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder in 1964, Alcala was given a medical discharge. Born in San Antonio, Texas, on August 23, 1943, Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor was one of four children born to Raoul Alcala Buquor and Anna Maria Gutierrez. In 1951, Alcala’s family moved to Mexico as part of his maternal grandmother’s dying wish.

During the trial, Alcala didn’t seem to argue the fact that he’d murdered at least four women and instead focused on the charges regarding Samsoe. At one point, he even questioned himself in the third-person, «changing his tone depending on if he was acting as his lawyer or as himself.» In 2010, Rodney Alcala was tried for Robin Samsoe’s murder for a third time, but this time he was also charged for the murders of Charlotte Lamb, Georgia Wixted, and Jill Barcomb. He was also charged again for the murder of 21-year old Jill Parenteau, whom he killed in June of 1979, but the case against him was dismissed at the time.

This conviction is overturned in 1984 due to the prosecution’s reference to Alcala’s previous crimes causing bias in the jury, but he is retried and sentenced to death again in 1986. A change in the law allows his DNA to be collected in 2002, connecting him to further murders. In 2010, Alcala represents himself at trial, calling on himself for testimony and answering his own questions.

By then, Shapiro’s parents had relocated their entire family to Mexico and refused to allow her to testify at Alcala’s trial. Since the authorities were unwilling to charge him with rape and attempted murder without their primary witness, Alcala was convicted of child molestation and sentenced to three years. Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 for five murders in California between 1977 and 1979, including that of a 12-year-old girl.