Dating Game Killer Rodney James Alcala Dies in Custody of Natural Causes, Officials Say – .

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Dating Game Killer Rodney James Alcala Dies in Custody of Natural Causes, Officials Say – .


Rodney James Alcala, 77, has been on state death row since his conviction in 2010 for the murder of four women and a 12-year-old girl, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Alcala was first sentenced to death in 1980 for the kidnapping and murder in 1979 of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, but his conviction was overturned by the California Supreme Court and he was granted a new trial.

He was sentenced to death again in 1986 after a second trial, but that sentence was overturned by a federal appeals court in 2003 and a third trial was granted.

At the time of his third trial in 2010, Alcala’s DNA was linked to four more homicides and an Orange County jury found him guilty of five counts of first degree murder.

He was sentenced to death a third time for the murder of Samsoe and for the 1977 deaths of Jill Barcomb, 18, and Georgia Wixted, 27; the death in 1978 of Charlotte Lamb, 32, and the death in 1979 of Jill Parenteau, 21.
After Alcala’s conviction, authorities released more than 100 photos of unidentified women and children found in a storage unit owned by the killer in an attempt to find out if there were any other victims. Robin Samsoe’s earrings were found in the same unit.

In 2012, Alcala was indicted in New York for the murder of Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and the murder of Ellen Jane Hover in 1977. After being extradited, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2013 to 25 years in prison at perpetuity.

Investigators either considered him a suspect or linked him to other deaths in four other states, according to the California Corrections.

He became known as the “Dating Game Killer” because he had participated in “The Dating Game” in 1978, although none of his victims had any connection to the game show.

Alcala was featured on the show as a “successful photographer” who could also be found skydiving or riding a motorbike. He had previously been convicted of the rape of an 8-year-old girl in 1968 and had served a 34-month sentence, authorities said.

Competitor Jed Mills later said, “He was scary. Definitely scary. “

CNN’s Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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