Earlier than the times of cautious vetting and in depth background checks, Rodney Alcala appeared on The Courting Sport in the midst of his killing spree within the late ’70s. Whereas Alcala turned referred to as the Courting Sport killer, his involvement within the actuality TV present was however a short second in his lethal historical past. Investigators imagine that he killed a minimum of eight individuals and a few suspect that he murdered greater than 100 others. In a latest particular, 20/20 took on Alcala’s terrifying story, which has typically been in comparison with Ted Bundy’s. Forward, we have pulled collectively what it’s essential to know in regards to the Courting Sport killer and the place he’s at the moment, however do be warned that the main points are disturbing.
Loosely just like The Bachelor, ABC’s The Courting Sport turned a tv phenomenon within the Nineteen Sixties. The present sometimes adopted a format during which a bachelorette would query three bachelors who had been hidden from her view. By the top, the girl would select one of many three and go on a date with him with bills paid by the present. Alcala got here onto the present in 1978, although he had served time after attacking and raping an 8-year-old, Tali Shapiro, in Los Angeles a decade earlier than. (He went so far as assuming a pretend identification in New York for years earlier than police tracked him down for this crime.) The bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw ended up selecting Alcala, whom the present marketed as a profitable photographer. After the present, Bradshaw truly declined to go on a date with Alcala, sensing that one thing was off about him. She informed contestant coordinator Ellen Metzger: “Ellen, I can not exit with this man. There’s bizarre vibes which are coming off of him. He is very unusual. I’m not snug.”
Alcala is usually referred to as the Courting Sport killer as a result of it was later discovered that he had killed a number of individuals, largely ladies, earlier than showing on the present. Two years after his look, Alcala was convicted and sentenced to demise for the homicide of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, who disappeared in June 1979 whereas on her strategy to a dance class. Investigators found Samsoe’s stays within the San Gabriel Mountains two weeks after she disappeared. Whereas going via Alcala’s belongings, regulation enforcement discovered predominantly express footage of ladies, women, and boys in his storage locker. The Huntington Seaside Police Division publicly launched among the photographs, hoping to determine different victims.
Alcala went to trial 3 times for Samsoe’s homicide; two of his convictions had been overturned on attraction. In March 2010, he was sentenced for a 3rd time, once more receiving the demise penalty. Between the trials, investigators discovered that he’d murdered a minimum of seven individuals: 23-year-old Cornelia Crilley in 1971; 23-year-old Ellen J. Hover, 18-year-old Jill Barcomb, and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted in 1977; 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb in 1978; and Samsoe and 21-year-old Jill Parenteau in 1979. Detectives imagine that it is extremely possible that he had extra victims. In 2016, he was additionally charged with murdering 28-year-old Christine Thornton in 1977 after her household discovered her image within the batch of Alcala’s launched photographs. Authorities determined in opposition to extraditing Alcala to Wyoming for trial as a result of his declining well being.
Alcala, 77, is at present serving time at Corcoran State Jail. His execution has been postponed indefinitely after California handed a moratorium on the demise penalty in 2019.
Picture Supply: Getty / Ted Soqui