Dating Game Killer Rodney James Alcala dies at 77 in prison

Rodney Alcala, as shown in this photo from March 23, 2018, died on July 24, 2021, at the age of 77. (CDCR)

(KTLA) – Death row inmate Rodney James Alcala, also known as “Dating Game Killer”, died of natural causes on Saturday, according to a press release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was 77 years old.

Alcala, who earned his nickname due to an appearance in 1978 on the television show “The Dating Game”, was sentenced to death in 1980 for the kidnapping and murder of Robin Samsoe, 12, from Orange County one year earlier.

Although Alcala’s sentence was overturned and reinstated several times on appeal, he was sentenced to death again in 2010 after his DNA was linked to evidence in other murders.

Alcala was convicted of five counts of first degree murder by an Orange County jury in 2010. Along with the murder of Samsoe, Alcala was convicted of the murders of Jill Barcomb, 18, and Georgia Wixted, 27 years, in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 32, in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, in 1979.

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He was also linked to a pair of murders in New York City and he was extradited in 2012 to face the murders of Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and Ellen Jane Hover in 1977. He pleaded guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to 25 years in life. Additionally, he was charged with another murder in 2016, this time for the murder of Christine Ruth Thornton, 28, who went missing in Wyoming in 1978 and was six months pregnant at the time.

Law enforcement investigators have connected or suspected Alcala in other cases, including Los Angeles, Marin County, Seattle, New York, New Hampshire and Arizona, according to the CDCR statement. .

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