Rodney Alcala, serial killer who appeared on 'Dating Game,' dies in prison

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FILE - This Jan. 11, 2010 file photo shows, Rodney Alcala, a former death row inmate who was twice convicted of the 1979 killing of a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl, sitting in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif. Alcala, a prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed "The Dating Game Killer" has died while awaiting execution in California. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
Rodney Alcala, dubbed the "Dating Game" killer, has died in prison in California. (AP)

Convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala, who once appeared on the "Dating Game" TV show, died early Saturday of natural causes at Corcoran State Prison in California, officials said.

Alcala, 77, a former photographer, died at 1:43 a.m. at a local hospital, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.

Dubbed the "Dating Game" killer, he was convicted by an Orange County jury in 2010 of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in California after his DNA matched evidence in each of the cases, according to the statement. The slayings occurred between 1977 and 1979.

His victims included Jill Barcomb, 18, who was sexually assaulted, bludgeoned and strangled before her body was dumped in the Hollywood Hills in November 1977; Georgia Wixted, 27, who was sexually assaulted, strangled and beaten to death in her Malibu home a month later; Charlotte Lamb, 32, who was found dead in her El Segundo laundry room after she was raped and strangled with a shoelace in June 1978; Jill Parenteau, 21, who was strangled to death and left in her Burbank apartment in June 1979; and Robin Samsoe, 12, who disappeared near Huntington Beach Pier in June 1979, and whose body was discovered days later in the Sierra Madre foothills.

In 2012, Alcala was extradited to New York after he was indicted in the 1971 murder of Cornelia Crilley and the 1977 murder of Ellen Jane Hover. He pleaded guilty and in 2013 was sentenced in New York to 25 years to life, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"This kind of case is something I've never experienced, hope to never again," Judge Bonnie Wittner said during his sentencing. "I just want to say I hope these families find some peace and solace for these inexplicably brutal and horrific acts."

Then Wittner broke into tears, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"As I said, in 30 years I've never had a case like this," she said.

In 2016, prosecutors in Wyoming charged Alcala with the murder of Christine Ruth Thornton, 28, who disappeared in 1978 and whose body was found in 1982, authorities said. She was six months pregnant.

Investigators have either suspected Alcala of or linked him to other murders in Los Angeles and Marin County in California; Seattle, Wash.; New York; New Hampshire; and Arizona.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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