NBC News reported that one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Rodney Alcala, 77, passed away due to natural causes over the weekend.
Alcala was convicted of committing five brutal murders in California during the late 1970s, with one of his victims being 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.
His other victims included four women ranging in age up to 32. Alcala also pleaded guilty to murdering two women in New York, with one of those victims being killed in 1971, and the another targeted in 1977. However, a number of experts believe that the prolific serial killer had a much higher body count.
Alcala charmed his victims
Alcala was arrested in connection with the death of a woman in Wyoming and was a suspect in additional slayings in New Hampshire, Arizona, and California. He was dubbed the “Dating Game Killer” due to his having competed on the popular game show in 1978.
According to a piece written about Alcala by People in 2010, the killer was a skilled photographer who would use his camera to lure in potential victims.
“We fear he is one of the most prolific serial killers on the West Coast in the 1970s, up there with Ted Bundy,” then-Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said at the time.
A “predatory monster”
Murphy added: “He is a predatory monster, and when you see all these young women in positions of vulnerability with him, it makes you fear what happened to them.”
“He looked really young, and he told me he was 24,” a woman who was photographed by Alcala told People. “He was so easy to trust. He had a way of talking to people that really put them at ease.”
Another woman who was 17 when she met Alcala, remarked, “He said he was a professional, so in my mind I was being a model for him. I look back now, and I can’t believe I was so trusting.”
Alcala’s youngest victim might have been an 8-year-old girl that he was caught beating and raping in 1971, an offense for which he only spent two years behind bars before being paroled.
Died of natural causes
According to USA Today, the killer passed away of natural causes on Saturday, despite having been sentenced to death for his known crimes over a decade ago.
“There is murder and rape and then there is the unequivocal carnage of a Rodney Alcala-style murder,” the brother of one of his victims said at the time of his sentencing.