Serial Killer Dies in California Prison

Rodney Alcala, who appeared on the 'Dating Game' before his arrest, was convicted of 7 slayings
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2021 4:20 PM CDT
Serial Killer Dies in California Prison
Rodney Alcala appears in court in New York in 2013. He died Saturday while on death row in California.   (AP Photo/David Handschuh, Pool, File)

Rodney Alcala, a convicted serial killer who appeared as a contestant on the Dating Game in the middle of his string of slayings, died Saturday in a California prison. Officials attributed the death of Alcala, 77, to natural causes, the Los Angeles Times reports. He had been on the state's death row since being convicted in Orange County in 2010 of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in the 1970s; Alcala's DNA was a match in each of the cases. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to killing two more women in New York. The slayings were "inexplicably brutal and horrific acts," the judge said at his New York sentencing before breaking down in tears. Investigators suspected Alcala of other killings in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, New Hampshire, and Arizona, per NBC.

Alcala's California victims included Jill Barcomb, 18; Georgia Wixted, 27; Charlotte Lamb, 32; Jill Parenteau, 21; and Robin Samsoe, 12, who was near the Huntington Beach Pier when she vanished. In New York, Alcala killed Cornelia Crilley, 23, and Ellen Jane Hover, 23. In 2016, he was charged with murder in the 1977 death of Christine Ruth Thornton, 28, in Wyoming. Most of the women were raped and strangled. Authorities said Alcala carried a camera and enticed women to his apartment by offering to photograph them. Investigators were flooded with tips in 2010 when they released photos of women and girls taken by Alcala. (More Rodney Alcala stories.)

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