Who is Rodney Alcala?
Rodney Alcala was an American serial killer and rapist who was sentenced to death in California for five murders committed in that state between 1977 and 1979 and received an additional sentence of 25 years to life.
He had pleaded guilty to two homicides committed in New York in 1971 and 1977.
Known as the ‘Dating Game Killer’ because of his appearance on a reality TV show as a contestant back in 1978, Rodney has died of natural causes, California prison officials confirmed on Saturday, July 24.
Serial killer on death row Rodney Alcala dies of natural causes https://t.co/PWwqNKOiC0
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 24, 2021
How old was Rodney Alcala?
Rodney Alcala was 77 years old at the time of death, July 24, 2021.
Rodney Alcala Wikipedia, Family
Born on August 23, 1943, Alcala was raised in San Antonio, Texas, by a Mexican-American couple, Raoul Alcala Buquor and Anna Maria Gutierrez. In 1951, Alcala’s father moved the family to Mexico, then abandoned them three years later. In 1954, when Alcala was only 11 years old, his mother moved him and his two sisters to LA.
In 1961, at the age of 17, Alcala joined the United States Army and served as a clerk.
After leaving the army, Alcala graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts.
He also later studied film under Roman Polanski at New York University.
Rodney Alcala Murders
Alcala was sent to death row for killing five people, including 12-year-old Robin Samsoe in 1979.
Alcala died at 1.43 am on Saturday, July 24, at a hospital, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. He was twice given a new trial in Orange County for kidnapping and killing of Samsoe but was convicted of her murder, as well as that of four women, by an Orange County jury in 2010.
He was sentenced to death.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released a statement saying:
“Alcala was sentenced to death in Orange County in 1980 for the 1979 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. That judgment was reversed in 1984 by the California Supreme Court and Alcala was granted a new trial. In 1986, Alcala was sentenced to death a second time for Samsoe’s murder; however, a federal appeals court in 2003 overturned the sentence, and Alcala was given a new trial.
His DNA matched evidence in other murders indicted Alcala for the murders of four other women.”
It continued: “In 2010, an Orange County jury convicted Alcala of five counts of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to death for the killing of Samsoe as well as the 1977 deaths of 18-year-old Jill Barcomb and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted; the 1978 death of 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb, and the 1979 death of 21-year-old Jill Parenteau.”
Rodney Alcala Killings
“In 2012, Alcala was extradited to New York after he was indicted for the 1971 murder of Cornelia Crilley and the 1977 murder of Ellen Jane Hover. He pleaded guilty and in 2013 was sentenced in New York to 25 years to life”.
In 2016, Alcala was charged with the killing of 28-year-old Christine Ruth Thornton.
At the time of her disappearance, Thornton was six months pregnant.
Her body was eventually found four years later. “Investigators have either suspected Alcala of or linked him to other murders in Los Angeles and Marin County in California; Seattle, Washington; New York; New Hampshire and Arizona,” the news release concluded. Alcala was on death row in San Quentin State Prison.
However, he had been placed in Corcoran State Prison for medical reasons.
In addition to getting sentenced to death for a handful of killings in the 1970s, police suspect Alcala possibly killed up to 130 people across the US. His known victims are Robin Samsoe, 12; Jill Barcom, 18; Georgia Wixted, 27; Charlotte Lamb, 32; Jill Parenteau, 21; Cornelia Crilley, Jane Hover, and Christine Ruth Thornton, 28.