Rodney Alcala in court 2010

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Serial Killer Rodney Alcala died of natural causes over the weekend at the age of 77.

Infamously dubbed “The Dating Game Killer,” Alcala spent the past 11 years on death row in an Orange County prison.

Alcala appeared as a contestant on a dating game show back in 1978 as Bachelor No. 1.

victim robin samsoe
Robin Samsoe via Murderpedia

He was arrested in 1979 for the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe from Huntington Beach. Alcala was subsequently tried and sentenced to death twice but both convictions were overturned on appeal.

He remained in police custody from the date he was arrested for Samsoe’s murder.

New connections were made in 2006 when investigators decided to refile the Samsoe case. Using forensic science, Alcala was linked to four other unsolved murders.

He was convicted in February of 2010 for five murders in Orange County including Samsoe’s.



Victims: Gone but Never Forgotten

Alcala’s murders trace back to 1977 when he first killed 18-year-old Jill Barcomb and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted.

The next year he murdered 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb and in 1979, 21-year-old Jill Parenteau.

Alcala killed Robin Samsoe in 1979 after she went missing while “riding a friend’s bike to ballet class.” She was found 12 days later in Angeles National Forest.

He also killed two women in New York during the 70s. These women were Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Jane Hover.

He’s known to have also killed in Wyoming. In 1978 he killed 28-year-old Christine Ruth Thornton.

He maliciously attacked and tortured his victims before killing them.

According to a March 2010 article from NBC, he raped one of his victims with a claw-toothed hammer, smashed another’s head in with a “7-inch rock” and strangled another so furiously, she had broken bones.

The same article reported that “several of the victims were posed nude in sexual positions after their deaths.”

Alcala is suspected of other murders in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, New Hampshire and Arizona.

Alcala used a ruse to lure his victims. He gained his victim’s confidence by using his camera.

In 2010, police released hundreds of photos of women found in Alcala’s storage locker. Along with the photos, the police found earrings from Alcala’s victims.

photos alcala took
These women were lucky enough to never have seen the full Rodney Alcala. Some of the photos released by authorities. via AP News/NBC News

The photos were used to help identify other possible victims. Hundreds of calls flooded the California police with women identifying themselves in the photos. These women were unaware of the fate they could have had.

Prosecutor Matt Murphy told NBC in 2010 he believes there were more victims saying, “I can’t imagine for a million years that we’ve got him for the only murders he’s done.”

The police were “overwhelmed” with calls when they released the photos according to a 2010 NBC article.

One woman from the photos even claimed to be molested by Alcala but was informed the statute of limitations was up.

The photos sparked nation-wide investigations trying to see if Alcala was connected to any more killings.

With the death of Rodney Alcala brings some closure but will never bring back his victims.

Survivor Tali Shapiro was left for dead after Alcala beat and sexually assaulted her.

She reflects on his death saying, “The planet is a better place without him, that’s for sure.” She continued, “I’ve moved on with my life, so this doesn’t really affect me. It’s a long time coming, but he’s got his karma.”

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