Imprisoned ‘Dating Game Killer’ Alcala dies in California


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A prolific serial killer dubbed the “Dating Game Killer” died Saturday while awaiting execution in New York. California, the authorities said. Rodney James Alcala is 77 years old.

He died of natural causes at a hospital in San Joaquin Valley, California, prison officials said in a statement.
Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 for five murders in California between 1977 and 1979, including the murder of a 12-year-old girl, although authorities estimate he may have killed 130 people worldwide. across the country.

Alcala received another 25 years to life in 2013 after pleading guilty to two New York murders.

He was charged again in 2016 after DNA evidence connected him to the 1977 death of a 28-year-old woman whose remains were found in a remote area of ​​southwest Wyoming. However, a prosecutor said Alcala was too ill to stand trial in the death of the woman who was six months pregnant when she died.

California’s death row is in San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco, but for years Alcala had been housed more than 200 miles away at a prison in Corcoran where he could receive medical care around the clock.

Prosecutors say Alcala stalked women like prey and took earrings as trophies from some of his victims.

“You’re talking about a guy who’s been hunting around Southern California looking for a killer because he likes it,” Orange County, California, prosecutor Matt Murphy said during the trial.

Investigators say the true number of his victims may never be known.

The ears helped put him on death row, even though Governor Gavin Newsom imposed a moratorium on execution as long as he was governor.

The mother of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe testified at the murder trial that the golden globe earrings found in a jewelry bag in Alcala’s locker belonged to her daughter.

But Alcala insists that the earring is his, and a video clip from his 1978 appearance on “The Dating Game” shows him wearing the stud nearly a year before Samsoe’s death. He denied the murders and cited inconsistencies in eyewitness accounts and descriptions.

California prosecutors said Alcala also took earrings from at least two of his adult victims as trophies.

Two of the four women were posthumously nude, one was raped with a claw hammer and all were strangled and resuscitated repeatedly to prolong the pain, prosecutors said.

Investigators said one victim’s DNA was found on a rose-shaped earring owned by Alcala, and his DNA was found in her body.

He had been sentenced to death twice before in the murder of Samsoe, but both convictions were overturned. He was charged in the murder of four adult women more than two decades later based on new DNA and other forensic evidence.

Following the verdict, authorities released more than 100 photos of women and girls found in Alcala’s possession in hopes of linking him to other unsolved murders across the country. country.

Bruce Barcomb, brother of 18-year-old victim Jill Barcomb, said when Alcala was sentenced to death: “There was murder and rape and then the apparent carnage of a Rodney Alcala-type murder. | Imprisoned ‘Dating Game Killer’ Alcala dies in California

Huynh Nguyen

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