Rodney Alcala, the serial killer who became known as the ‘Dating Game Killer’ due to his 1978 appearance on the game show, died on July 24 at a hospital near Corcoran State Prison in California. at the age of 77.
Alcala’s chilling story provided a first glimpse of how the growth of unscripted television among ordinary people would inevitably have a dark side.
He appeared on the 1970s syndicated series, but the “single” he chose ended up refusing to date him, telling producers after the shoot that she had “weird vibes coming out of him,” according to ABC News.
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Only two years after his The dating game At his appearance, Alcala was sentenced to death in California for the 1979 murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.
In 2010, he was convicted of five counts of first-degree murder in the death of Samsoe, as well as the 1977 deaths of Jill Barcomb, 18, and Georgia Wixted, 27; the 1978 death of 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb and the 1979 death of 21-year-old Jill Parenteau, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
In 2012, Alcala was charged with two more murders dating back to 1971 and 1977.
Four years later, he was charged with the murder of a Wyoming woman who was six months pregnant.
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Alcala was suspected in several other cases in Los Angeles and California’s Marin County, as well as in Seattle and Arizona.
Alcala’s initial death sentence for Samsoe’s death was overturned in 1984 amid the reckoning at the time over the death penalty. He was tried again in 1986 and sentenced to death again, but a federal appeals court overturned that conviction in 2003.
That led to his third trial for Samsoe in 2010, albeit this time with four more charges and growing signs that he was involved in more heinous murders.
In later years, Alcala made a series of bizarre statements in court appearances, including questioning himself on the stand at his third trial. The murders he committed make his appearance on the sassy TV date show even more disturbing.
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As detailed in a recent ABC News look back at Alcala The dating game appearance:
During the episode in which Alcala appeared, single Cheryl Bradshaw asked him questions like, “What’s your best moment?” and “I’m serving you for dinner. What’s your name and what do you look like?” Alcalá responded to the latter by saying: “My name is el platano and I look good.”
“Can you be a little more descriptive?” Bradshaw asked Alcala.
“Peel me,” he said, prompting the audience to laugh.
“In hindsight,” Greenfield said, “it sounds awful. But at the time, that’s a good solid answer … We were looking for sexy and raunchy answers, and that was one. Take it in context now, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. . ‘ “
Alcala’s predatory behavior in pursuit of vulnerable female targets was psychopathic. Samsoe was a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl riding a borrowed bicycle on her way to ballet class when a chance encounter with a sociopath led to her death. Among the evidence that helped convict Alcala, thanks to the tireless efforts of Samsoe’s mother, Marianne Connelly, was that she kept the girl’s earrings as a trophy.
In 2013, New York State Judge Bonnie Wittner broke down in tears as she read aloud 25 additional years to life in prison for Alcala to hold him accountable for his gruesome 1971 and 1977 murders in the state.
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The 1977 victim was Ellen Jane Hover, the daughter of Hollywood nightclub owner Ciro’s, who was the goddaughter of Dean Martin and Sammy davis jr, and was found buried on the grounds of the Rockefeller estate.
“I just want to say that I hope the families find some peace and comfort,” the judge said after regaining her composure, according to the New York Times.
In June, Netflix announced a movie based on his case, starring Anna kendrick What The Dating game contestant, named Rodney and Sheryl.
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