Rodney Alcala Hits the Big Apple

Rodney Alcala, of serial killer and The Dating Game fame, is no longer Orange County's or California's problem.

At least not temporarily, as U.S. Marshals today plucked him from the corner of the state's Death Row he darkens to board a plane for New York, where the now-68-year-old is to make a command performance in the court for two more murders of young women in the 1970s.

Two years ago, Alcala was convicted in Orange County Superior Court of killing four Southern California women and 12-year-old Robin Samsoe of Huntington Beach in the '70s. The former photographer had bounced between California and New York back then.

OC Weekly's Rodney Alcala archives

After the guilty verdicts were read here, Alcala was indicted in Manhattan for the strangling deaths of a flight attendant and a former
Hollywood nightclub owner's daughter.

Alcala, whose prison lawyering and filing of endless reams of legal papers is the stuff of sick legend, fought to no avail to stop his extradition to New York. Whatever his fate is there, he will likely return to California's Death Row because we have the death penalty while New York does not.

Naturally, Alcala is also appealing his latest guilty verdict in California.

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Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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