Rodney Alcala – Bio and Facts To Know About The Dating Game Killer

Rodney Alcala, a notorious serial killer, and a hugely disturbed strangler is currently paying for his sins in the darkest part of the California State Prison, Corcoran. By serial, we mean lots and lots of recorded and unrecorded killings that involved humiliating the victims.

Rodney’s victims were mainly women and young girls. Some call him ‘The Killing Machine’ but he is mostly known as ‘The Dating Game Killer’, a name that was adopted after he appeared on ‘The Dating Game’ show in 1978 amid his atrocities.

Before we delve into The Dating Game event, let us dig a little deep into the life of the killer.

Rodney Alcala Bio

He was born Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor on August 23, 1943, to Raoul Alcala Buquor and Anna Maria Gutierrez, his Mexican parents in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up, he was diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder as well as the narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other abnormalities. At the age of 17 and in 1960, he joined the Army but left in 1964 after he had a nervous breakdown.

Rodney unleashed the beast in him when he left the military. He had raped and beaten eight-year-old Tali Shapiro after luring her to his apartment in 1968. His killing spree soon earned him a spot on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in 1971. He was at large at the time, having fled to New York. He had enrolled into NYU film school and was able to deceive people about his background.

His next victim was Cornelia Michael Crilley, a flight attendant. He strangled her to death in her own apartment, stripped her naked and fled the scene. The police at the time failed to solve the case as there were no forensic leads to the perpetrator. Moving to New Hampshire, Alcala changed his name to John Berger and worked as a counselor at an arts camp for children.

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Having been included on FBI’s most wanted list, two of the children recognized his photo from the list in their local post office and reported immediately. The school dean upon getting the information passed it on to the authorities. Though the police wanted so much to charge him for Tali Shapiro’s assault, the girl’s family had fled the country and withheld their daughter from testifying. Rodney was then given a more lenient sentence after he was made to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Released after some 34 months, the serial killer got a typesetting job in Los Angeles and subsequently, became a self-acclaimed professional photographer. While he succeeded in wooing ladies to pose naked, he also took photos at events like weddings and fashion shows. It was during this time that he got a slot in the Dating Game Show.

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Facts To Know About The Dating Game Killer

Rodney Alcala is called the Dating Game Killer because he participated as a contestant in the popular The Dating Game show. Alcala was a charming and handsome looking young man who won an episode’s bachelor of the day. Excited Cheryl Bradshaw, the bachelorette on the show had chosen Alcala out of eight eligible bachelors to be her date. Rodney was introduced as a successful photographer before the audience and other participants – and all had no idea he was a serial killer.

But then, after the show, Bradshaw turned down Rodney’s offer of a date with him. Conversing backstage, Alcala offered her a date after the show but Bradshaw, feeling quite disturbed about his persona turned down his offer and they went their separate ways. According to her, there was something creepy about him. One of the bachelors at the show, actor Jed Mills recalled he (Rodney Alcala) acted very strange, always looked down and never made eye contact.

A good number of the male folk always find it hard to deal with rejection from the opposite sex, but hardly would anyone imagine it could turn Alcala into the man he became – a notorious serial killer. Per investigations, Rodney Alcala killed more than three women including 12-year-old Robin Samsoe after his Dating Game failure. Bradshaw’s rejection of Rodney obviously aggravated and unleashed the beast inside of him, and he didn’t hesitate to take it out on innocent citizens.


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