Rodney Alcala, 66 years old former Los Angeles Times typesetter and amateur photographer, alleged serial killer with a genius IQ, is on trial for the murder of four women and a young girl between 1977 and 1979.
The trial against 66-year-old Rodney Alcala is winding down after more than a month of testimony that included several bizarre twists in which the accused murderer questioned himself on the stand – Alcala is acting as his own attorney. Alcala is currently facing five counts of murder, with special circumstance allegations of murder in the commission of rape, torture and burglary. He is accused of the 1970’s brutal rape-murders of 27-year-old Malibu nurse Georgia Wixted, 21-year-old Pasadena key punch operator Jill Parenteau, 32-year-old Santa Monica legal secretary Charlotte Lamb, 18-year-old New York runaway Jill Barcomb, and 12-year-old Huntington Beach ballet student Robin Samsoe. Twice, Alcala has been found guilty of murdering Samsoe, but both convictions were overturned on appeal.
“He is not hunting deer or pheasants,” said Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy. “He is hunting people. You’re talking about a guy who is hunting through Southern California looking for people to kill because he enjoys it. Murphy told the packed courtroom that Alcala took his time terrorizing his victims by choking them with his bare hands, waiting for them to wake up at least once, then strangling them again — sometimes using shoelaces or panty hose. “It is a staggeringly horrific way to die,” exclaimed Murphy. “There is ample evidence the women put up some resistance….He gets off on it. It was fun.”
Alcala has pleaded not guilty to five counts of first-degree murder for the slayings of four Los Angeles County women and 12-year-old Robin Samsoe from Huntington Beach in the late 1970s. At the center of the prosecution’s case is a gold ball earring that prosecutors and Samsoe’s mother say belonged to the 12-year-old girl with Alcala’s DNA on it. Prosecutors say the earring was found in a jewelry pouch in a Seattle storage locker rented by Alcala. He has focused much of his defense on the earring and has argued that it was his. In a bizarre twist, Alcala showed jurors clips of himself as the winning contestant in a 1970s episode of the TV show “The Dating Game” to prove that he was wearing the gold ball earrings before Samsoe’s death:
“You’ll see my hair go up over my left ear and you’ll see a little flash of gold,” he told jurors. “You need to look closely, but there are two little specks there.” In one of the strangest moments, Alcala said the earring wasn’t Lamb’s. Instead, “It was an earring with Charlotte Lamb’s DNA” on it. The jury should begin deliberating on Tuesday.
Alcala has been in custody since his arrest and has remained in prison while prosecutors appealed both overturned convictions. He was one of the first inmates to arrive on death row after California reinstated capital punishment. Did he really kill all five women and was he trying to say the police planted evidence to convict him remains unclear. Even if they can’t link him to the murder of 12 years old Samsoe, there are still four other deaths.
-articles by Carlin DeGuerin Miller and Christine Pelisek rewritten and adapted by admin-