Without her appearance, the police decided to assign him a watered-down charge of assault.
He served only 34 months of this sentence before being released, after he showed psychologists evidence of his rehabilitation.
Many people who came into contact with him described him as very charming.
Along with his purported 170 IQ, he used the same sly charm to seduce women into his car, and then to slither out of his punishments, convincing judges of his rehabilitation and probation officers of his trustworthiness.
In 1977, he talked his probation officer into letting him travel to New York, despite being a sex offender and a flight risk.
During that time, he murdered Ellen Jane Hover, the daughter of the owner of the famous Ciro’s nightclub.
The Police Department reached out to the public in an effort to identify the subjects of the photographs, and to determine if they might be unconfirmed victims of Alcala’s murder spree.
In September 2016, the state of Wyoming filed murder charges against Alcala based upon an identification made from one of these photos.
Though he was convicted of Samsoe’s murder and sentenced to death, another lucky break came Alcala’s way when his conviction was overturned by the California Supreme Court’s ruling that jurors should not have been informed of his prior crimes during his trial.
Some experts estimate his death count might be anywhere between 50 and 150.
Looking back on Alcala’s meandering journey to justice, it has become painfully clear that luck wasn’t the only thing on Alcala’s side — he benefitted in equal parts from his innate intelligence and charm, and from a lax legal system.
Cheryl Bradshaw thought she found her dream date when she chose Bachelor #1, Rodney Alcala, on the popular 1970s show THE DATING GAME.
Introduced by the host as “a successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed,” Alcala cooed from behind the partition: “We’re gonna have a great time together, Cheryl.” Alcala won Bradshaw over with pick-up lines like “Nighttime’s the best time…when things really get going,” and “I’m called ‘The Banana’ and I look really good…
Alcala made his way back to California and made his infamous appearance on THE DATING GAME in 1978.