Born In: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Rodney Alcala was an American rapist and serial killer who was sentenced to death in 2010 for murdering five people in the 1990s. One of the most prolific killers in American history, Rodney was once described as a “killing machine” by a detective. He is often compared with the deadliest killer of all time, Ted Bundy. He committed his first crime in the 1960s, when he took a girl to his apartment to kill her but could not do so, since the police arrived at the right moment. However, this was only the beginning. Rodney is said to have killed more than 130 people, including a nurse, a flight attendant, a pianist who dreamed of going to medical school, and a number of young girls, before he was sentenced to death. In 2013, 25 years of imprisonment were added to his punishment for committing two homicides, one in 1971 and the other in 1977. Interestingly, Rodney was at the peak of his stint as a serial killer when he appeared as a contestant on the TV matchmaking show ‘The Dating Game.’ Thus, he was also known as the “Dating Game Killer.”
Also Known As: Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor, Rodney James Alcala
Died At Age: 77
father: Raoul Alcala Buquor
mother: Anna Maria Gutierrez
Born Country: United States
Height: 1.79 m
place of death: Corcoran, California, United States
education: University Of California, Los Angeles, New York University
Rodney James Alcala was born Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor, on August 23, 1943, in San Antonio, Texas. He moved to Mexico with his family in 1951. However, he and his mother moved to Los Angeles in 1954, after his father abandoned his family.
Rodney has two sisters and a brother. At the age of 17, he joined the ‘US Army’ and worked as a clerk. In 1964, he was diagnosed with antisocial personal disorder, after a nervous breakdown and was discharged from the Army on medical grounds.
After leaving the army, he attended the ‘UCLA School of Fine Arts’ and later studied film at ‘New York University’ (NYU), where he was mentored by director Roman Polanski.
Within three days of his trial, Alcala was held guilty for five murders. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the third time in March 2010.
Around the same time, the police released 120 photos clicked by Rodney Alcala during his killing spree, in order to find the whereabouts of the people in the pictures and to know if there were more victims. 21 women came forward to identify themselves. A few families recognized their loved ones who had disappeared years ago. There were about 900 more photos that were not released because of their explicit sexual content.
In 2013, Christine Thornton’s photo was recognized by her family. Christine’s remains had been found in Wyoming in 1982. Christine had disappeared in 1977 and was six months’ pregnant at the time of her murder.
Alcala admitted that he had clicked Christine’s photo but claimed that he had not killed her. However, his DNA matched with the one found on her remains.
Pamela Jean Lambson, a 19-year-old woman from San Francisco, was found dead and stripped naked in 1977, convincing the police that Alcala was behind her death.
Alcala was considered a suspect in the murders of Joyce Gaunt and Antoinette Wittaker from Washington. Soon, more photos were posted online for further recognition of the victims.
In 2013, he was sentenced to 25 years for killing two people, namely, Cornellia Michel Crilley and Ellen Hover, in New York in the 1970s.
Justice Bonnie G Wittner, the judge who sentenced him to 25 years of imprisonment, lost her composure after learning about his case. The judge cried while sentencing Rodney, considering the horrific and brutal things he had done to his victims.
Rodney Alcala died of unspecified natural causes in Corcoran, California on July 24, 2021
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