Alcala was sentenced to death in the murders of five people in California and suspected in additional killings. He was also sentenced to 25 years in prison in New York after pleading guilty to two murders.
Alcala’s story is being featured tonight on ABC 20/20 in a new episode, “The Dating Game Killer,” which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time Friday, January 8, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Alcala Is Imprisoned in Corcoran, California, Where He Is on Death Row
Alcala is on death row in Corcoran, California, according to his prison records. He was sentenced to death for the murder of five people in California. Among them was 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.
Samsoe was a ballet student who disappeared on her way to class while riding a yellow Schwinn bicycle on the pier. She was memorialized in a plaque in 2014, 35 years after her death. Her family told The Orange County Register her life was overshadowed by the titillating details of her case and her killer.
“Everybody wants to know about the monster, but now they’re going to know about Robin,” said her brother, Robert Samsoe. “She mattered to people.”
Here is his prison record:
Alcaala also pleaded guilty to two murders in New York: TWA flight attendant Cornelia Crilley, 23, in 1978 and and Ellen Jane Hover, 23, in 1977. Crilley was raped and strangled to death with her own stockings in her apartment. Hover disappeared, leaving behind a calendar that said she was meeting “John Berger,” an alias which Alcala was using at the time to avoid imprisonment while he attended film school at New York University. Hover was the daughter of Herman Hover, the owner of the popular Hollywood nightclub Ciro’s, and the goddaughter of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Hover’s body was found in 1978, and Alcala pleaded guilty to the murders in 2012, according to Biography.
Alcala Appeared on ‘The Dating Game’ in the Middle of His Murder Spree & Won a Date
Alcala briefly charmed bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw with his salacious answers to her questions on “The Dating Game” September 13, 1978. But his charms quickly failed. Shortly after meeting Alcala in person, Bradshaw had a strong visceral reaction and decided not to go out on a date with him.
“I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy,” she said, according to The Sun.
Alcala was introduced on “The Dating Game” as “Bachelor No. 1,” one of three “eligible bachelors.” He was described cheekily by host Jim Lange as “a successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the dark room at the age of 13, full developed.”
“Between takes, you might find him skydiving or motorcycling,” Lange, continues.
Alcala appears smiling and nodding with flowing, wavy hair.
Bachelor No. 2, Jed Mills, also found Alcala unsettling.
“He was creepy. Definitely creepy,” he told CNN, adding he did not want to be near him.