A bachelor looking for love on “The Dating Game” turned out to be a serial killer in the middle of a murder spree. In one of the most unsettling moments of game show history, Rodney Alcala was chosen for a date as “Bachelor No. 1.”
The unsuspecting bachelorette, Cheryl Bradshaw, met Alcala backstage and found him “creepy,” deciding to pass on the date. Background checks were not a part of the show, and Alcala had already been convicted in the 1968 rape of an 8-year-old girl, according to CNN. Read on to watch his appearance on the show.
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 Was Introduced on ‘The Dating Game’ As ‘Bachelor No. 1,’ a Successful Photographer & Thrill Seeker
The Huntington Beach Police Department has released a cache of photos taken by serial killer Rodney Alcala in 2010 in hopes of identifying the people in them to determine whether they may have been victimized by him. https://t.co/Kyiq0lp3wV
— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2021
Alcala is introduced on “The Dating Game” as “Bachelor No. 1,” one of three “eligible bachelors” on September 13, 1978. He is described cheekily 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,” the host, Jim Lange, continues.
Alcala appears smiling and nodding with flowing, wavy hair.
It’s true that Alcala was a photographer, and he used his formal photography education to lure women into modeling gigs, according to ABC News.
Bradshaw is introduced as a woman “with a wealth of experience” who once earned a living as a foot masseuse. She later says she is a drama teacher.
The bachelors are asked to say “hello” to Bradshaw.
“We’re gonna have a great time together, Cheryl,” Alcala says.
She then asks Alcala, “What’s your best time?”
“The best time is at night. Nighttime,” he responds.
“Why do you say that?” she asks.
“Because that’s the only time there is,” Alcala answers.
“The only time?” she asks. “What’s wrong with morning? Afternoon?”
“Well, they’re OK,” he says. “But nighttime is when it really gets good.”
She later says she’s a drama teacher and that she is going to audition each of them for her “private class.”
“You’re a dirty old man,” she says. “Take it.”
“Ooh, come on over here,” he says, and growls.
She continues with a scenario that she is serving him for dinner.
“What do you look like, and what are you called?” she asks.
He answers, “I’m called the banana, and I look really good.”
“Uh, can you be a little more descriptive?” she asks.
“Peel me,” he answers.
She chooses Alcala in the end, saying, “Well, I like bananas.”
The pair is awarded tennis lessons, tennis outfits and tickets to the amusement park Magic Mountain.
Bradshaw Skipped Their Date, & She & Another Contestant Described Alcala as ‘Creepy’
When “The Dating Game” host Jim Lange introduced Rodney Alcala as Bachelor Number One, a successful photographer, he didn’t know that the man had already murdered at least five women and been charged with the attempted murder of a little girl. https://t.co/XTNZVevTLp
— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2021
Although Bradshaw was initially charmed by Alcala, her instincts quickly told her to avoid him. She decided to pass on their date, according to The Sun.
“I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy,” she said.
Jed Mills, the contestant who sat next to Alcala on the show, was also unsettled by his presence.
“He was creepy. Definitely creepy,” he told CNN.
“Something about him, I could not be near him,” Bachelor No. 2 recalled. “I am kind of bending toward the other guy to get away from him, and I don’t know if I did that consciously. But thinking back on that, I probably did.”