Rodney Alcala, the infamous serial killer whose streak of dozens of murders ended after winning the The dating game, is the focus of ABC’s two-hour Friday episode 20/20. The show airs at 9 p.m. ET.
In this exclusive clip from the 20/20 special, the now adult friend of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe – one of Alcala’s murder victims – who also helped provide a sketch of the stories of Samsoe’s killer. The dating game episode, which a detective on the case picked up at random on TV shortly after Alcala was named as a suspect.
“So I had to go back up to the police station – I think it was shortly after that sketch was faxed – and they put me in a room, and they had a big television…and they started The dating gamesaid Bridget, Samsoe’s friend. 20/20. “And just when I saw the three contestants, I said ‘It’s him!’ It’s him. No question. It’s the man. And when I heard his voice, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s him.
Alcala – who appeared on The dating show in 1978 despite a previous charge of raping an 8-year-old girl – was eventually charged and convicted of the 1980 murder of Samsoe; his death sentence was overturned and then reinstated in 2010.
Alcala, 77, currently resides behind bars at California State Prison in Corcoran, convicted of five homicides but potentially responsible for the disappearance of dozens of women, many of whom he photographed. In recent years, the authorities have intensified their efforts to identify the women in the photographs of Alcala, something that 20/20 special also aims to accomplish.
“In 1968, Rodney Alcala lured a young girl outside Hollywood’s iconic Chateau Marmont hotel into his car, beginning his reign of attacks across the country that lasted more than a decade. Posing as a professional photographer, Alcala often used his good looks and charm to lure his victims. But perhaps his most brazen move came in 1978 when he made a chilling appearance as a contestant on the hit show The dating game, and won,” 20/20 said of the special. “Through first-hand accounts from investigators, victims, eyewitnesses and even his appointed psychologist, 20/20 report on one of the most notorious serial killers of modern times. The two-hour show features interviews with Tali Shapiro, who miraculously survived an attack by Alcala when she was just 8 years old; Chris Camacho, former LAPD officer who saved Shapiro’s life; Jed Mills, who sat next to Alcala on The dating game as a co-competitor; Gina Satriano, LA district attorney; Orange County District Attorney Matt Murphy; family members of victims; and more.”