Serial killer known as 'Dating Game Killer' dies in prison

Rodney Alcala
Posted at 12:38 PM, Jul 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-25 18:28:46-04

HUNTINGTON BEACH (KGTV) -- Convicted serial killer Rodney James Alcala, known as the “Dating Game Killer,” has died in prison of natural causes.

Alcala, 77, died at 1:43 a.m. July 24 at a hospital, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Alcala was sentenced to death in Orange County in 1980 for the 1979 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, the department says. That judgment was reversed in 1984 by the California Supreme Court. He was granted a new trial.

Alcala was again sentenced to death for Samsoe’s murder in 1986, but a federal appeals court overturned the sentence in 2003. He was again given a new trial.

Alcala’s DNA matched evidence in other murders and prosecutors later indicted Alcala for the murders of four other women.

In 2010, Alcala was convicted of five counts of first-degree murder in Orange County. He was again sentenced to death for the killing of Samsoe as well as the 1977 deaths of 18-year-old Jill Barcomb and 27-year-old Georgia Wixted; the 1978 death of 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb, and the 1979 death of 21-year-old Jill Parenteau.

Alcala was also charged in Wyoming with the murder of 28-year-old Christine Ruth Thornton. She was six months pregnant at the time of her death. Alcala also pleaded guilty in New York for the 1971 murder of Cornelia Crilley and the 1977 murder of Ellen Jane Hover.

“Investigators have either suspected Alcala of or linked him to other murders in Los Angeles and Marin County in California; Seattle, Washington; New York; New Hampshire and Arizona,” the department said.

The Associated Press reports that authorities estimate that Alcala may have killed up to 130 people across the US.

Alcala was known as the “Dating Game Killer” due to an appearance on the television show “The Dating Game” in 1978.