Rodney Alcala, serial killer sentenced to death in 2010, dies at 77

The so-called “Dating Game Killer” is dead.

The Washington Examiner reports that Rodney James Alcala, one of America’s most notorious serial killers who was sentenced to death more than a decade ago, has died at the age of 77. 

Alcala reportedly died of natural causes Saturday in a California hospital.

Sentenced to death

According to a report from the Associated Press, “Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 for five slayings in California between 1977 and 1979, including that of a 12-year-old girl, though authorities estimate he may have killed up to 130 people across the country.”

He was known as “The Dating Game Killer” because he appeared on a popular TV game show back in the 1970s, the New York Post reported.

Alcala was reportedly known for luring in young girls and women by saying he was a professional photographer. According to authorities, Alcala beat and tortured his victims for hours before ultimately murdering them.

Friends of Alcala’s final victim, 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, helped lead police to the killer, ultimately resulting in his arrest, reports said.

Authorities said he is likely to have additional victims in states like Arizona, California, New York, New Hampshire, and Washington, according to the Post.

“Alcala escaped true justice”

Due to a number of legal errors, Alcala was tried and convicted three times following his arrest. It’s telling that each time the result was the same: a death sentence.

In the days since his death, loved ones of the killer’s victims have expressed relief, though it’s somewhat bittersweet, as the murderer never actually faced capital punishment.

As Steve Cooley, the former Los Angeles County District Attorney, put it to the Washington Examiner: “There really is no death penalty in the state of California — between the 9th Circuit, circuit and federal judges, the current governor, and weak anti-death penalty attorneys general. Someone like Alcala escaped true justice.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) placed a moratorium on the death penalty when he took office in 2019, the Examiner reported. There are currently over 700 inmates on death row in the state — and if things don’t change soon, they may end up enjoying long lives in prison, just as Alcala did.

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