Shocking Bizarre Story of Dating Game Serial Killer

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For Cheryl Bradshaw, the bachelorette on the TV matchmaking show The Dating Game, that day was momentous. From a lineup of “eligible bachelors,” she chose handsome bachelor number one, Rodney Alcala: But at that very moment, he was keeping a deadly secret: he was an unrepentant serial killer. Bradshaw, if not for a healthy jolt of women’s intuition, would almost certainly be remembered today as one of Alcala’s victims. Instead, after the show ended, she conversed with Alcala backstage. He offered her a date she’d never forget, but Bradshaw got the feeling that her handsome potential suitor was a little off. “I started to feel ill,” Bradshaw told the Sydney Telegraph in 2012. “He was acting really creepy. I turned down his offer. I didn’t want to see him again.”

The Murder of Jill Barcomb, Los Angeles County
In November 1977, Alcala raped, sodomized, and murdered 18-year-old Jill Barcomb, a New York native who had recently moved to California. Alcala used a large rock to smash in her face and strangle her to death by tying her belt and pant leg around her neck.

Alcala then left her body in a mountainous area in the foothills near Hollywood, where she was discovered Nov. 10, 1977, posed on her knees with her face in the dirt.

Murder of Georgia Wixted, Los Angeles County
In December 1977, Alcala raped, sodomized, and murdered 27-year-old nurse Georgia Wixted. Alcala used a hammer to sexually abuse Georgia, then used the claw end of the hammer to beat and smash in her head. He strangled her to death using a nylon stocking and left her body posed in her Malibu apartment. Her body was discovered Dec. 16, 1977.

Murder of Charlotte Lamb, Los Angeles County
In June 1979, Alcala raped, beat, and murdered 33-year-old legal secretary Charlotte Lamb. Alcala strangled Charlotte to death using a shoelace from her shoe and left her body posed in a laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex where it was discovered on June 24, 1979.

Murder of Jill Parenteau, Los Angeles County
In June 1979, Alcala raped and murdered 21-year-old Jill Parenteau in her Burbank apartment. He strangled Jill to death using a cord or nylon. Alcala's blood was collected from the scene after he cut himself crawling through a window. Based on a semi-rare blood match, Alcala was linked to the murder. He was charged with murdering Parenteau, but the case was later dismissed.

Alcala kidnapped and murdered Samsoe and dumped her body near the Sierra Madre in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Her body was scavenged by animals, and her skeletal remains were discovered July 2, 1979. Her front teeth had been knocked out by Alcala.

After the Samsoe murder, Alcala rented a storage locker in Seattle, where police found hundreds of photos of young women and girls and a bag of personal items that they suspected belonged to Alcala's victims. A pair of earrings found in the bag were identified by Samsoe's mother as being a pair she owned.

Alcala was also identified by several people as the photographer from the beach on the day Samsoe was kidnapped.

Following an investigation, Alcala was charged, tried, and convicted for Samsoe's murder in 1980. He was sentenced to receive the death penalty. The conviction was later overturned by the California Supreme Court.

Alcala was again tried and convicted of the murder of Samsoe in 1986 and was again sentenced to the death penalty. The second conviction was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

While awaiting his third trial for the murder of Samsoe, DNA collected from the murder scenes of Barcomb, Wixted, and Lamb was linked to Alcala.

He was charged with the four Los Angeles murders, including Parenteau.

At the third trial, Alcala represented himself as his defense attorney and argued that he was at Knott's Berry Farm on the afternoon that Samsoe was murdered. Alcala did not contest the charges that he committed the murders of the four Los Angeles victims but rather focused on the Samsoe charges.

At one point he took the stand and questioned himself in third-person, changing his tone depending on if he was acting as his lawyer or as himself.

On Feb. 25, 2010, the jury found Alcala guilty of all five counts of capital murder, one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape.

During the penalty phase, Alcala attempted to sway the jury away from the death penalty by playing the song "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie, which includes the lyrics, "I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL." His strategy did not work, and the jury quickly recommended the death penalty to which the judge agreed.

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