Rodney Alcala, a serial killer known as the “Dating Game Killer” for his 1978 appearance on the game show, died July 24 at a hospital near Corcoran State Prison in California at the age of 10. 77.
Alcala’s chilling story provides a glimpse into how the growth of text-free television for everyday people will inevitably have a dark side. He appeared in the 1970s syndicated series, but his chosen “bachelorette” refused to date him, telling producers after taping that she had “strange vibes” strange from him,” according to ABC News.
Just two years after appearing in “The Dating Game,” 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 for Samsoe’s death as well as the 1977 deaths of 18-year-old Jill Barcomb and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted; The 1978 deaths 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 between 1971 and 1977. Four years later, he was charged with the murder of a Wyoming woman who was six months pregnant. Alcala is suspected in several other cases in Los Angeles and California’s Marin County, as well as Seattle and Arizona.
Alcala’s original death sentence for Samsoe’s death was overturned in 1984 in light of the subsequent death penalty. He was retrial in 1986 and again sentenced to death, but a federal appeals court overturned that conviction in 2003. That led to his third trial against Samsoe in in 2010, though this time on four other charges and mounting signs he was involved in crime rather than murder.
In the years that followed, Alcala made some strange statements in court. The murders he has committed make his appearance on the risque-ish TV dating show all the more unsettling.
As detailed in a recent one ABC News looks back on Alcala’s “Dating Game” appearance:
In the episode where Alcala appeared, bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw asked him questions like, “What’s your best time?” and “I’m serving you dinner. What are you called and what do you look like? ” Alcala replied later, saying, “I am called a banana and I look good.”
“Can you describe it in a little more detail?” Bradshaw asked Alcala.
“Pick me up,” he said, making the audience laugh.
“In retrospect,” Greenfield said, “that sounds horrible. But at the time, it was a good answer. … We’re looking for answers that are hot, sexy, and that’s one. Put it into context now, it’s like, ‘Oh my God.’
https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/dating-game-killer-rodney-alcala-dead-1235026864/ | ‘Dating Game Killer’ Rodney Alcala Dead at 77