ABC’s ’20/20: The Dating Game Killer’ examines the life and crimes of Rodney Alcala, a convicted rapist and serial killer, who earned the moniker of “The Dating Game Killer” by making an appearance on the television show ‘The Dating Game’ in 1978, in the midst of his murder spree. Rodney supposedly started his crime indulgence in the late 60s, following which he posed as a professional photographer and traveled all across the nation to lure his victims. But now that it’s been a while since he’s been apprehended, let’s find out more about him and his current whereabouts, shall we?
Who Is Rodney Alcala?
Born as Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor in San Antonio, Texas, on August 23, 1943, Rodney Alcala spent most of his childhood jumping from one place to another. He moved to Mexico with his family when he was around 8-years-old, and then, when his father abandoned them three years later, he relocated to suburban Los Angeles with his mother and two sisters. At the age of 17, Rodney stepped up to be the earner and joined the United States Army as a clerk. However, in 1964, after he was diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder by a military psychiatrist, he was discharged on medical grounds.
Upon leaving the service, Rodney attended the California State University before transferring to UCLA, from where he graduated with a Fine Arts degree in 1968. As per all public accounts, it was only after this that he began his crime spree, starting with the rape of the then 8-year-old, Tali Shapiro. For the next decade or so, Rodney traveled all across America, committing rapes and murders, especially in California and New York. And although he was a registered sex offender by 1971, with repeated instances in the following years, he was still able to land a job with The Los Angeles Times as a typesetter.
Where Is Rodney Alcala Now?
In July 1979, Rodney Alcala was arrested in connection with the June 1979 disappearance and murder case of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. The very next year, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the same. However, the California Supreme Court overturned the verdict as it came to light that the jurors had been improperly informed of his previous sex crimes. In 1986, Rodney’s second trial resulted in the same guilty verdict, but it was overturned yet again in 2001 on a technicality. Before he could be tried for the third time, though, with advances in technology, Rodney was connected to four more murders in California via DNA.
Therefore, in early 2010, Rodney was found guilty of all five murders, getting sentenced to death. But this did not mark the end of the road. After all, Rodney was soon tied to two more homicides, committed in New York in 1971 and 1977, for which he pleaded guilty in 2013, receiving an additional sentence of 25 years to life. During his trials, various psychiatric experts proposed that Rodney was suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and malignant narcissism with psychopathy and sexual sadism comorbidities, revealing that there was a reason behind why he did what he did.
Yet, that made no difference as Rodney knew right from wrong. According to reports, the serial killer compiled a massive collection of photographs showing women and teenage girls and boys in sexually explicit poses, which he himself took, leading the authorities to believe that his subjects could be his other, yet to be identified, victims. They also suggest that Rodney “toyed” with his victims, torturing them a few times before finally killing them. Thus, today, the 77-year-old is incarcerated at California State Prison, Corcoran, where he will remain until his execution, the date for which is yet to be finalized.
Read More: Who Were Rodney Alcala Victims?