Rodney Alcala Biogrpahy

Rodney Alcala

Quick Facts About Rodney Alcala

Celebrated Name Rodney Alcala
Age 78 Years
Nick Name The Dating Game Killer
Birth Name Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor
Birth Date 1943-08-23
Gender Male
Profession Criminal
Nationality American
Birth Nation America
Place Of Birth San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Ethnicity Mexican-American
Religion Christian
Race White
Horoscope Virgo
Father Raoul Alcala Buquor
Mother Anna Maria Gutierrez
Siblings 2
University New York University
Marital Status Unmarried
Sexual Orientation Straight
Source of Wealth Serial killer and rapist career.
Height 5 feet and 10 inches
Weight 68 kg
Body Type Average
Links Wikipedia

Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor, excellently known as Rodney Alcala was an American serial killer and rapist. He was known as the "Dating Game Killer" after taking part in a US TV show, was convicted in 2010. He was sentenced to death in California for eight murders committed in that state between 1977 and 1979 and received an additional sentence of 25 years to life after pleading guilty to two homicides committed in New York in 1971 and 1977. His true number of victims remains unknown and could be much higher. He joined the United States Army and served as a clerk at the age of 17 in 1961. Alcala was first handed the death penalty in Orange County in 1980 for the kidnap and murder of Robin Samsoe, 12, in Los Angeles the previous year. He compiled a collection of more than 1,000 photographs of women, teenage girls, and boys; many in sexually explicit poses. Moreover, he was known to have assaulted one other photographic subject, and police have speculated that others could be rape or murder victims as well.

Cause of Death

Rodney Alcala passed away of unspecified "natural causes" in Corcoran, California, on 24th July 2021, at the age of 77 in Corcoran, California, U.S.

Famous For

  • Being an American serial killer and rapist.
  • For appearing on the television show "The Dating Game" in the midst of his murder spree.

Rodney Alcala appeared on the TV show 'The Dating Game'

Source: @newsobserver

Where was Rodney Alcala Born?

Rodney Alcala stepped for the very first time into the world on 23rd August 1943 in San Antonio, Texas, the U.S. He took birth with the real name of Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor in the Christian religious family. He was American by nationality and Mexican-American by ethnicity. Rodney lastly celebrated his 77th birthday in 2020 and as per his birthdate, his star sign was Virgo. Thus, his race was white. He was the son of his father,  Raoul Alcala Buquor, and his mother, Anna Maria Gutierrez. She also has two sisters. Alcala's father moved the family to Mexico in 1951, then abandoned them three years later. In 1954, when he was about 11 years old, his mother moved him and his two siblings to suburban Los Angeles. 

Moving to Rodney's education, he graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts and later studied film under Roman Polanski at New York University.

Rodney Alcala Early criminal history

  • Rodney Alcala committed his first known crime in 1968: An eyewitness in Los Angeles called police after watching him lure an eight-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro into his Hollywood apartment. When police arrived, the girl was found alive, having been raped and beaten with a steel bar, but Alcala had fled.
  • He obtained a counseling job at a New Hampshire arts camp for children using a slightly different alias, "John Burger" in 1971.
  • Then the FBI added Alcala to its list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in early 1971 and a few months later, two children attending the arts camp noticed his photo on an FBI poster at the post office. He was arrested and extradited to California. 
  • Unable to convict him of rape and attempted murder without their primary witness, Alcala was convicted of child molestation and was sentenced to three years.
  • He was paroled in 1974 after seventeen months. Less than two months after his release, he was re-arrested for assaulting a 13-year-old girl identified in court records as "Julie J.", who had accepted what she thought would be a ride to school. Once again, he was paroled after serving two years.
  • After his second release in 1977, his Los Angeles parole officer took the unusual step of permitting a repeat offender and known flight risk to travel to New York City.
  • Alcala killed Ellen Jane Hover, 23, daughter of the owner of the popular Hollywood nightclub Ciro's and goddaughter of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
  • He also worked briefly at the Los Angeles Times as a typesetter in 1978 and was arrested and served a brief sentence for marijuana possession.
  • He knocked unconscious and raped 15-year-old Monique Hoyt while she was posing for photographs in 1979.
  • As well, he was a contestant on the popular game show "The Dating Game" in 1978.

American serial killer and rapist, Rodney Alcala

Source: @hindustantimes

Samsoe Murder, Arrest, and First Two Trials

  • Alcala was arrested in July 1979 and held without bail for murdering a 12-year-old girl, Robin Samsoe from Huntington Beach. Her decomposing body was found 12 days later in the Los Angeles foothills. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder in 1980 whereas, after a second trial virtually identical to the first except for the omission of the prior criminal record testimony, he was again convicted and sentenced to death in 1986.
  •  A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel nullified the second conviction, in part because a witness was not allowed to support Alcala's contention that the park ranger who found Samsoe's body had been "hypnotized by police investigators".
  • Orange County, California investigators learned that Alcala's DNA, sampled under new state law, matched semen left at the rape-murder scenes of two women in Los Angeles while preparing their third prosecution in 2003.
  • Additional evidence, including another cold case DNA match in 2004, led to his indictment for the murders of four additional women: Jill Barcomb, 18, a New York runaway found "rolled up like a ball" in a Los Angeles ravine in 1977, and originally thought to have been a victim of the Hillside Strangler; Georgia Wixted, 27, bludgeoned in her Malibu apartment in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 31, raped, strangled, and left in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, killed in her Burbank apartment in 1979.
  • Alcala wrote and self-published a book, "You, the Jury", in which he claimed innocence in the Samsoe case and suggested a different suspect during his incarceration between the second and third trials. He also filed two lawsuits against the California penal system, for a slip-and-fall incident and for refusing to provide him a low-fat diet.
  • Later prosecutors entered a motion to join the Samsoe charges with those of the four newly discovered victims in 2003. The California Supreme Court ruled in the prosecution's favor in 2006, and in February 2010, Alcala stood trial on the five joined charges.
  • He elected to act as his own attorney for the third trial and took the stand in his own defense, and for five hours played the roles of both interrogator and witness, asking himself questions and then answering them.
  • He made no significant attempt to dispute the four added charges, other than to assert that he could not remember killing any of the women.
  • Richard Rappaport, a psychiatrist paid by Alcala and the only defense witness, testified that borderline personality disorder could explain Alcala's claims that he had no memory of committing the murders. The prosecutor argued that Alcala was a "sexual predator" who "knew what he was doing was wrong and didn't care".  Alcala was sentenced to death for a third time in March 2010.

Unidentified photographs

  • The Huntington Beach, California, and New York City Police Departments released 120 of Rodney's photographs and sought the public's help in identifying them in March 2010, in the hope of determining if any of the women and children he photographed were additional victims.
  • None of the photos was unequivocally connected to a missing person case or unsolved murder until 2013, when a family member recognized the photo of Christine Thornton, 28, whose body was found in Wyoming in 1982.
  • 110 of the original photos remain posted online, and police continue to solicit the public's help with further identifications as of July 2021.

Additional associations, charges, and convictions

  • New York authorities announced that they would no longer pursue Alcala because of his status as a convict awaiting execution after Alcala's 2010 conviction.
  • Nevertheless, in January 2011, a Manhattan grand jury indicted him for the murders of Cornelia Crilley, the TWA flight attendant, and Ellen Hover, the Ciro's heiress, in 1971 and 1977, respectively. He was extradited to New York in June 2012, where he initially entered not guilty pleas on both counts.
  • He changed both pleas to guilty, citing a desire to return to California to pursue appeals of his death penalty conviction in December 2012.
  • On 7th January 2013, a Manhattan judge sentenced Alcala to an additional 25 years to life. The death penalty has not been an option in New York State since 2007.
  • In 2010 Seattle police named Rodney as a "person of interest" in the unsolved murders of Antoinette Wittaker, 13, in July 1977, and Joyce Gaunt, 17, in February 1978.
  • Investigators in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco, announced in March 201 that they were "confident" that Alcala was responsible for the 1977 murder of 19-year-old Pamela Jean Lambson, who disappeared after making a trip to Fisherman's Wharf to meet a man who had offered to photograph her. Her battered, naked body was subsequently found in Marin County near a hiking trail. With no fingerprints or usable DNA, charges were never filed, but police claimed that there was sufficient evidence to convince them that Alcala committed the crime.
  • He was charged with the murder of 28-year-old Christine Ruth Thornton in September 2016, who disappeared in 1977. A relative recognized her as the subject of one of Alcala's photos made public by Huntington Beach PD and NYPD in 2013. Her body was found in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, in 1982, but was not identified until 2015 when DNA supplied by Thornton's relatives matched tissue samples from her remains.
  • Rodney admitted taking the photo, but not killing the woman, who was approximately six months pregnant at the time of her death. Thornton is the first alleged murder victim linked to the Alcala photos made public in 2010. The 73-year-old Alcala was reportedly too ill to make the journey from California to Wyoming to stand trial on the new charges.

Depictions in media

  • A biographical film about Rodney's life titled "Dating Game Killer" was directed by Peter Medak and broadcast on the American television network Investigation Discovery produced on 3rd December 2017.
  • Also, Netflix announced a biographical film titled "Rodney and Sheryl" in 2021 starring Anna Kendrick which depicts the story of Alcala's appearance on The Dating Game in the midst of his killing spree.

Was Rodney Alcala Married?

Rodney Alcala was not a married, guy. Since he was still unmarried and single there was not any chance of him being through a divorce. Talking about his sexual orientation, he was straight.

How much was Rodney Alcala Net Worth?

Rodney Alcala had a net worth of thousands of dollars per year whereas his exact amount of salary had not been revealed yet. He had earned a considerable amount of money from his profession as his major source of income was from his serial killer and rapist career. Rodney has not done any endorsement work till the time of his death.

What was the Height of Rodney Alcala?

Rodney Alcala stood at an ideal height of 5 feet and 10 inches with a balanced body weight of 68 kg. As he got old, he had long white hair and light brown eyes color. In addition, his body build type was average.

Did You Know?

  • Rodney graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts.
  • He earned his nickname from his appearance on "The Dating Game" during the time of his killings.
  • He was not married when he was convicted.
  • He studied film under acclaimed director and sex offender Roman Polanski at New York University.
  • Alcala's true number of victims remains unknown, and could be much higher.