Rodney Alcala murdered a plethora of women and children during the 70's. He was linked to a ton of cases in California and New York. There's some mystery over whether or not there were more victims than he was linked to or accused of. This monster raped and tortured his victims before murdering them.
Huge trigger warning, This case features child rape, body desecration and torture.
Join Wendy and I for an insane ride through Rodney's crimes and links to other Serial killers (like the son of sam, the hillside strangler, and many more)
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When Morgan rowan was 16 years old in 1968, she was going to be moving to New York. At the time she was in Hollywood on sunset strip. She, and some friends drove down to a party, that was happening at Rod alcala's place. There were a bunch of kids attending the party, hanging out, smoking pot, talking... everyone knew rod from sunset strip, because he would party there often.
Morgan walked away from her friends for a moment and Rodney grabbed her and threw her into his bedroom. It was so fast and violent that she staggered and was having trouble getting back onto her feet. He shut the door behind them, and he had a metal bar that he Jimmied across the door so no one could get in and Morgan would have trouble getting out.
Meanwhile his home is filled with partying teenagers and young adults, and no one noticed her disappear behind that bedroom door. Rod wrapped Morgan's hair around his wrist and slipped his belt off and pressed it against her throat with both hands to keep her immobile. Rod raped her, and she went somewhere else mentally. The only thing Morgan remembered from the rape was that he was close to her face with rage in his eyes. She described him as looking more animal than human.
She didn't just lay there, however, she fought with all her might. In response he lifted her up by the hair on her scalp and punched her repeatedly in the stomach and ribs. Morgan, at one point could actually feel the pressure of her ribs breaking under his fists. This seemed to turn him on, and he got enjoyment out of repeatedly punching her in her broken ribs to see the pain in her face.
At some point her friends realized she was missing and started looking for her. They realized she was locked in the bedroom and started pounding on the door. They tried to break it in but the metal bar stopped them from rescuing thier friend.
When Rodney heard them trying to break down the door it really pissed him off and he grabbed Morgan by her throat and started strangling her until she passed out.
Morgan started coming to, thinking this is it, I'm going to die.
Until she heard glass breaking. Her friends were breaking into his bedroom window trying to save her. They started climbing in and he was just standing there. Naked from the waist down, covered in Morgan's blood. Rod told her friends to take her away, I'm through with her. As if she was his plaything or some kinda object for his amusement.
She got out of the room, and she started running down the street with nothing on except a few pieces of a blouse she had left on. When her friends caught up with her, they told her " we have to keep running"... when they had gotten back to the neighborhood, her friend took Morgan back to his house and his neighbor was a nurse.
The nurse came over and examined her and tried to help her the best she could. Her lungs were filled with blood and the nurse helped remove the blood and helped tape up Morgan's ribs. The nurse called the police, and they arrived shortly after to question Morgan but she didn't want to talk to them she wouldn't tell the officers anything because she didn't want her parents to find out so the police officer eventually left. But, with the information he did have from the other two witnesses, it was enough to write a report and have rod arrested. Unfortunately, for some reason, the officer never wrote the report.
After the assault, Morgan moved to Rochester New York and started school. She was in NY for 1 month when she had received a letter from one of the girls that was there the night she was raped and beaten at the party. Inside the letter was a newspaper clipping that fell out of the letter as Morgan was opening it. The newspaper clippings said that rod Alcala raped and almost murdered an 8 year old girl who was attacked in West Hollywood.
Morgan blamed herself for the attack and prayed to God saying she was sorry for not stopping him when she could. But she had no way of finding out who the girl was...
Rodney's life ###
Rodney was born Rodrigo Jacques Alcala boquour, in San Antonio Texas on August 23rd 1943. His parent were Marie and Raoul Alcala. Rodney was one of four siblings. 2 boys and 2 girls. His grandmother also lived with them.
He grew up in an average middle class neighborhood in a four-bedroom home. Rodney had gotten straight A's in school, he had above average intelligence and there had been no reports that he ever caused any trouble. He grew up in a Christian household and some of his siblings attended catholic school.
In 1951, however, Rodney's grandmother became ill and after discussing it with the family, they decided to move back to Mexico to let her live out the rest of her illness in a place where she had family and grew up in. The catholic upbringing was put on hold when the kids entered public schools in Mexico and Raoul abandoned his wife and children to move back to America.
When Rodney was 11 his mother moved them to the suburbs of Los Angeles California and in 1960, Rodney graduated from high school. Fellow students said he was very popular and well-liked by his peers. He also graduated at the top of his class and was a ladies’ man. He always had dates and women who dawned over him. As he was very attractive.
In 1961, Rodney joined the US army and was stationed in North Carolina. He worked as a clerk and trained as a paratrooper. Rodney's life was going good until the next year, that was the year his father died. Even though his father was remarried, he and his siblings were still close with him. He left to go to the funeral and then went back to base to finish his service duties.
In 1963 he had traveled back to his mothers in California and had shown up unexpectedly. His mother was shocked at the sight of him and asked why he was home. He told her he went AWOL, and she convinced him to go back to the military so he didn't end up in trouble or arrested. Rodney went back to North Carolina and as interviewed at the detachment center about why he wanted to leave. He was reportedly having a sort of nervous breakdown leading up to him taking off and was recommended to get a psychological evaluation. When he was evaluated, it was determined he suffered from antisocial personality disorder and was discharged on medical grounds.
In 1968, tali Shapiro, 8 years old, was living with her family at the chateau Marmont off of sunset Blvd. That wasn't her normal home, as her family home has burned down. On September 25th she decided to walk to school. Tali was walking down sunset Blvd skipping and singing to herself when rod pulled up next to her in his car and said "hey sunshine, do you want a ride to school?" She tried to blow him off because she was afraid. In fact, his presence startled her so much she almost tripped when he spoke to her. He was persistent and kept asking so tali responded with "my parents told me not to take rides from strangers".
Rod tells her, "I'm not a stranger, I know your parents." She thought about it and thought because of his age and how he looked, that they had other friends who looked like him so she believed that he might be telling the truth. Tali was still hesitant but got into the car with him anyway.
Unbenounced to rod, there was a witness who saw this and thought this doesn't look right. He starts following rod's car.
As rod is driving with tali, he tells her, we have to stop at my place, I have this beautiful poster I have to show you. That scared her because she knew that she made the wrong decision at that moment. Then he proceeded to tell her she smelled like a flower, which confused her because she wasn’t wearing perfume or anything. When he stopped, He told her he had some candy up there to give her. Then he asked her if she wanted to come with him. Rodney had gotten out of the vehicle and grabbed her hand while he guided her up 3 flights of steps to his apartment.
The man that was following rod witnesses him escorting this young girl out of his car up to his home and thinks, fuck this I'm reporting him. So, the good Samaritan drives to a payphone and calls law enforcement.
Three officers go to rods residence to check into a radio call about a possible kidnapping. The officers knocked on the door and said police, open the door. Rod appeared in the doorway and said, "I was in the shower, i need to get dressed". One officer heard moaning as he was waiting for rod to open the door. So, he kicked the door in, and on the kitchen floor was tali. She had little Mary Jane shoes on and was laying there, spread eagle, with a metal bar across her neck in a pool of blood. She was raped, she was unconscious, and wasn't breathing.
The police thought she was already dead. The cops removed the bar on her throat and all of a sudden, she started gasping for air. Rodney runs out of the back door stark ass naked. They had two options... save the little girl or run after Rodney. So, they decided to stay with tali and try to save her life instead and they let him run for now.
As police searched the apartment, they found photography equipment and tons of photos of underaged girls and some were very young.
She was in a coma for weeks. Her parents would never talk about it and she didn't really know what had happened to her. Tali blocked it out because it was so traumatic.
Police saw his face, and they found his ID on a table. Problem is they couldn't track him down. He was gone. The police contacted the FBI and put Rodney on America's most wanted list. Hoping that someone would recognize him and turn him in. No leads came in though because he skipped town.
Rodney moved to New York and changed his name to John burger. And this disgusting piece of shit got a job at an all-girls summer camp in New Hampshire.
August 12th, 1971, two of the girls from the camp went to the local post office to mail a letter but it was raining outside. While waiting the kids looked up onto the bulletin board and saw a picture of Rodney Alcala on the FBI’s most wanted list and said, "hey that’s my counselor ". Which I'm sure was fucking terrifying to their parents. The girls went to the dean and told him about the poster. He went down to the post office himself to check it out. When he saw the photo, he immediately called the FBI. The next day authorities came and arrested him at the camp. He had been living in plain sight for 3 years under an alias.
He was extradited back to California with the charges of kidnapping, rape, child molestation and attempted murder.
Police found out that Rodney was enrolled in UCLA film school until he graduated and was escaped during talis attempted murder. After learning about his 3 years stay in NY, investigators learned that Rodney was going to NYU and was at the top of his film class, under the alias John burger. He was even studying under Roman Polanski, who’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family. At the time Sharon was pregnant with Roman’s baby, who also was murdered. The manson murders happened in 1969, Polanski had a run in with Rodney Alcala, it was two years after the death of polanski’s wife. What are the fucking odds?
But on his break, he fled from NY to New Hampshire to get a job as the counselor. Which was strange when he was doing so well at NYU. Police were wondering if an unsolved case may have made him flee. A woman was found raped and strangled in her apartment in Manhattan. Her name was Michel Crilley, she was a 23-year-old Trans world airlines flight attendant.
Sounds like a slam dunk but tali's parents moved her to Mexico. They didn't want her to testify and retraumatize her. Which put prosecutors in a tough spot to put him away without the victim giving her account. Because they didn't want to take a chance at losing the case all together, the prosecution took a plea agreement to reduce the charges to just child molestation. As far as Michel Crilley went, there was no evidence he committed the crime.
Rodney spent 34 months in prison, until he was paroled in August of 1974. After his release, he moved back in with his mother, had use of her car, a private entrance into her house and landed a job at a photography company.
In October of 1975, Julie Johnson, was waiting for the school bus. Rodney was driving down near Huntington Beach when he spotted her. Her name was written on her books, so he called out to her " hey Julie, I’ll take you to school if you like". He asked her age and she said she was 13 but looked much younger than 13. He picked her up and told her his name was John Ronald.
When they passed her school she said, " you can let me out now". He didn't say anything, so she told him she wanted to get out of the car and then she started screaming. He gripped her arm up and drove her to the bluffs at Huntington Beach. He dragged her out of the car as she was trying to get away. Rod lit up a joint and forced her to smoke it. When she went to pass it back to him, she dropped it on purpose and tried to make a getaway.
He caught her by the leg and French kissed her and said, " are you passionate when you're loaded?" Ugh what a gross piece of shit. But thank God a park ranger saw them up there and asked them what they were up to. She had gotten her mouth free and basically told him that he was forced against her will up there. So, rod was placed under arrest.
The police didn't know who to believe but ended up believing the child because rod was violating his parole. So he was charged with giving a minor drugs and kidnapping. Again, he was given a short sentence. Only 2 years and was released in 1977.
1977 is when the state fucked up. The parole officer assigned to rod's case was schmoozed into allowing him to go back to NYC. Now remember, this is a repeat offender, who has now been arrested and charged with two child related incidents, fled police capture while living a second life in another state, and now he's being allowed to go back to NYC by permission of his parole officer. Which I found absolutely fucking wild.
In July of 1977, Ellen hover, 23 years old and the God daughter of Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin. She had just graduated from beaver college in Pennsylvania with a major in biology and a minor in music. She lived on 636 3rd Ave in Manhattan NY.
On July 13th there was a blackout in NYC. Ellen was spotted, by her boyfriend, talking to a tall, thin man with a ponytail outside of her building. The man said he was a photographer and wanted to take pictures of her.
Two days later on July 15th, she ran some errands, went to the library and then stopped at her apartment to meet the man she was talking to two days earlier. They were going to have lunch together to talk more about the photography. Later on, that same night she was supposed to meet her boyfriend for a dinner date and never had shown up. She also never came back home. Police were notified and they checked her apartment. There was no signs of a break in and there was no evidence anything had occurred in the apartment. What they did find, however, was a note in her schedule book that said " July 15th, John Berger photography".
Her family put out a 100,000 dollar reward for information about their daughters disappearance but nothing came of it. They did see some tabloids that raised an eyebrow or two that involved crimes that sounded similar but at the time the son of Sam serial killer was reigning amongst the dark and bastardly in NYC at the time.
11 months later is when they found her skeletal remains at the Rockefeller estate, in Westchester, buried. She was found because police received a tip that Rodney Alcala was in the area at the time of the disappearance, and he liked to watch the sunsets from that area near the Rockefeller estate. Another person confirmed that she did go to have some photos taken by Rodney Alcala in the exact spot her body was found. When police searched the area they found her jewelry and panties. Her remains were identified using her dental records.
Jill Barcomb was born on December 18th, 1958 and was one of 11 children in Oneida new York. She was a candy striper who also was an aspiring nurse. In October she decided to travel to California with some friends. She absolutely fell in love with California. The palm trees, the paradise like beauty, and she told her three friends she wasn't leaving for a while. So, they drove home to NY, without her.
November 10th, 1977, Jill Barcomb, 18 years old, was found murdered on a fire road in the Hollywood hills which was close to marlin Brando’s house. She was found a few steps off if a gravel road in the brush. She was found on all fours low to the ground, with her privates spread wide open, and her neck was broken. I am going to cut the gory details out because what he did with her body was defiling and grotesque. Ultimately, she was strangled, raped and posed. A bloody rock was found near her in which he used to bludgeon her to death. The cause of death was not one thing, however, there were multiple causes of death. Strangulation with the hands. Strangulation with a ligature and bashing of the skull.
What happened to her was so horrific that I'm going to minimize it to just this. The coroner noted she had been sodomized and raped, Spelman was found I her vaginal cavity and her public hair was singed from a hot instrument that I'm sure I can leave up to the imagination what happened with that.
Jill happened to have juvenile detention records with her fingerprints listed publicly so she was identified quickly. For a while they thought she was killed by the hillside stranglers. Who were active during that time. And weirdly enough, Jill's friend, Judith Miller was a victim of the hillside stranglers.
So, during this time there were serial killers running ramped all over California. Just in the 1970s alone there was the hillside strangler or stranglers (being that there was more than one murderer), the freeway killer George Bonin, the machete murderer Juan Corona, the vampire of Sacramento Richard chase, the bedroom basher Gerald Parker, and the southern California strangler randy kraft. So, bodies were turning up by the droves all over California. Not to mention the one and done killers who raped and murdered a woman here or there and dumped her. It made investigating murders damn near impossible because while one was happening in a similar fashion, it may appear, that some crimes were attributed to the wrong killers, mistakenly.
December 15th, 1977, Georgia Wixted and Barbara gale were both nurses at a post cardiac unit in Centinela hospital. Barbara asked Georgia is she could get a ride to work the next day because her motorcycle broke down. The next day Barbara had to call a cab because Georgia hadn’t shown up.
Concerned, Barbara called the LAPD and asked them to do a welfare check on Georgia. When the police arrived at her apartment, they noticed the screen was missing and propped up against the wall. Also, that a box was positioned under the window as if someone used it to climb into her apartment.
Officers broke into the apartment after knocking and hearing nothing. The first thing they noticed was that the temperature in the apartment was 100 degrees. It was sweltering hot inside. They headed inside and found Georgia on the floor, positioned with her legs in a diamond shape. Blood was coming out of her privates, and she had been strangled with her own panties. Her bed sheets, pillows and blanket were in a pile on the floor next to her, soaked in blood. There was also a claw hammer lying on the floor near her body covered in blood and tissue.
Inside of her anus and vagina they found seminal fluid. But at the time, in 1977 it was useless. She was put to rest in a closed casket as her face and body were too disfigured for guests or family to view. for work that day either. The cause of death was bludgeoning, and the case went unsolved.
Because of the hillside strangler running around Cali, picking off women, Rodney Alcala was a suspect in those murders. He was questioned in connection to the hillside strangler murders but had an alibi for each murder. Which left detectives baffled. They were right in assuming he was a murderer, but he was a whole different kind of serial killer.
The public was in a panic at this point with all these murderers leaving bodies everywhere, so the police had their work cut out for them. They organized a 30-person task force to try to catch the hillside strangler and other killers. People were buying guard dogs and installing alarm systems. Just that fall there were 11 grisly murders.
What's even more fucked up is all 11 were a match for the type of murders Rodney Alcala was conducting.
In December of 1977 rod was questioned about Ellen hover because of his alias John Berger. They found him easily because he was working at the LA times. He admitted to being on a date with her the night she went missing and even went as far to say they were friends and would take pictures together sometimes.
Rod said he dropped her off at her door and left after they hung out. Police asked him to take a polygraph, but he declined. With no evidence or a body yet, they had to let him go.
Charlotte lamb called her friend James on June 23rd to ask if he wanted to go to a cool new club that just opened in Santa Monica, but he declined because he would rather hang at home with his girlfriend. This was at approximately 8pm.
She went to the club because her Datsun was parked illegally behind the club and was left there on the 24th through the 26th, until it was impounded by the parking authority. She had two tickets under the windshield which showed she hadn't returned to the car.
On her birthday, which was on the 26th, her family members and friends tried to call her, but she didn't answer the phone. Her sister said she had been missing for days and the police went to her apartment to do a welfare check. The apartment manager let the officer in, and nothing was out of order. It was clean and tidy. So, everyone was perplexed as to where she was.
Zafar shah was a tenant in the building who went to the basement of the apartments to do his laundry. He walked in to see a naked woman lying on the floor motionless. He ran and got the apartment manager who went down into the basement and saw the body. Immediately the apartment manager called the police.
Detective gale was the first detective on the scene, and he saw a woman lying on the floor with a shoelace ties around her neck. The shoestring was still attached to the shoe which was lying next to her neck. The way she was posed was the worst part. Her arms were all the way behind her back as to prop up her sternum, so her breasts were up and out. Her legs were spread wide open so that her vagina was facing the door of the laundry room.
The medical examiner said that the trauma to her face and head were severe, and the ligature was tightened so violently that the cartilage around her voice box and thyroid were fractured. The blood vessels in her eyes were all ruptured. There were abrasions above her left breast, and she had been sodomized.
Blood spatter concluded that she died face down and then was repositioned after her death but that she was alive when all the trauma was being afflicted on her. Also, that more than one kind of strangulation had occurred.
That same year, in 1978, Rodney decides to go on a dating game show called "the dating game." I remember that show and it was creepy as fuck back then, but watching him, after knowing about his crimes, it was even more bone chilling. If you can, YouTube it, I promise you will be mortified. As creepy as it was, he won the dating game. Unfortunately for him, the Bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw, refused to go out on a date with him because she found him creepy. Bachelor number two described rod as a really strange guy with really bizarre opinions.
February 13th, 1979, 15-year-old Monica Hoyt was hitchhiking when rod stopped to pick her up, in downtown Pasadena. He asked her if she wanted to pose for some pictures for a contest he was doing. Monica noticed a ton of camera equipment in his car, and it seemed legit. He said he had to stop by his house to get some more equipment and by the time they had gotten there it was getting dark. Too dark to take pictures outside, so she stayed the night at his place.
The next morning, they drove out to banning in riverside county which is 75 miles from LA. They parked and walked 15 minutes into the woods. Rod took some innocent pictures of her for another 15 minutes and then asked if she would want to pose nude for him. She was having fun, so she thought sure why not. She took off her clothes and he took a few shots of her in the nude.
Rod then asked her to do some goofy poses and asked her to take her tee shirt, put it on, and pull it up over her face. She did, and while her tee shirt was up, she felt a massive slam to her head. It knocked her onto the ground. When she looked up rod had a huge branch in his hand.
When she was conscious again, she played dead. She had been living on the streets for a year and had that to her advantage. She figured if she pretended to be passed out, she could plan an escape. He bit her from her groin area up to her breasts to make sure she was out. Then he started raping her. She still pretended to be dead but when he decided to stop raping her and start sodomizing her, it was so painful she couldn't pretend anymore.
She started screaming wildly and rod stuffed a tee shirt in her mouth and told her to shut up. Monica kept fighting and screaming until he gripped her up by her throat and strangled her until she lost consciousness again.
When she regained consciousness again, she heard crying. She noticed her ankles and wrists were tied and rod was lying next to her sobbing. She thought quickly and tried to use this to her advantage. Monica touches his arm and tells him she wants to be with him, that it's OK, and asks if they could go back to his place so she could sleep over again. He looks at her and untied her.
They walked back to the car and started driving. Rod stopped at a gas station and went in to pay. Monica was like this is my chance and she darted out of the vehicle running full speed for the hotel next to the gas station. She starts screaming help help this man raped me and tried to kill me. One of the guests grabs her and shoves her into the room and calls the police.
Rod comes running out of the gas station and notices all the commotion next door. He jumps in his car and speeds off. Monica was taken into the station, and she tells them what happened to her. The police grab a bunch of photos and do a photo lineup. They ask her if she recognizes any of the men in the photos and instantly, she picks out Rodney Alcala’s mug shot.
The police go to his home and he's just casually sitting there watching TV. They asked him about what he was doing earlier that day. He had nothing to say so he was arrested for rape and taken into the station.
In interrogation he sat there and told investigators that all of it was consensual. The sex, the pictures and the nude photography. He said the only time he fought with her was when she started screaming and he stuffed a tee shirt into her mouth. His bail was set at 10000 dollars. And guess what? His mom bailed him out because she didn't believe he would have done that. The trial was set for September, so he was out and back at his job at the LA times. Free to do whatever the fuck he wanted.
In April, however, he decided to quit the LA times and create his own studio.
Murder #6 Jill Parenteau
June 13th 1979 Jill Parenteau, was smitten when her sister DeeDee called to get the hot Goss about a boy that Jill was going out on a date with. It was Jill's first date ever with a boy and I'm sure they talked about all the normal stuff you talk about. omg what happens if he tries to kiss me? What should I wear? What if I come off nervous? Etc. He was taking her to the dodger’s game so at least it wasn't a stuffy movie theater with a hole in the bottom of the popcorn container. Jill was a huge fan of the dodgers, so this was right up her alley.
The next day Jill's best friend Kathy was waiting for Jill to call to give her the hot Goss about the date she was on the night before, but Jill never called. Kathy called Janet, who was a coworker of Jill's, who decided to do a welfare check on Jill for Kathy. Detective Bowers got a call from the police saying Jill wasn't answering the door and they found a body in her apartment.
When police had shown up, they notices the screen had been cut and removed and Janet was screaming wildly and speaking gibberish. The light bulb outside of the front door was unscrewed which freaked me out. One time I noticed my light was unscrewed and I thought I was being stalked so I put cameras all around the front of the house in case someone fucking tried that shit again.
Anyway, the police move into the apartment, and everything seems in order. They see the dodger’s ticket and her purse. But then they move into the bedroom, and they sew Jill face up, torso propped up by pillows, spread eagle with her sheets in a pile next to her body. They were covered in blood. Also, there was a lamp propped up so that the light was directed straight onto her vagina. Her face head and neck had suffered immense trauma. Even her teeth were smashed. There was an electric blanket underneath her body with the cord wrapped tightly around her neck.
I could get into the details of the coroner's report but it was so long and so brutal that I'll summarize it to this. she had puncture wounds all over her body, her mouth had lacerations that shown evidence of forced oral copulation. There was a blunt object with a flat surface used to bludgeon her face and head, markings that shown that nylon stocking were used in one portion of strangulation. She was hit so hard there were six-inch gashes on her scalp that caused bleeding under the scalp and deep wounds in her genital areas.
And if things couldn't get any creepier, during the time of Jill's murder, rod was taking pictures of young boys and girls at his studio. Saying he needed pictures for his portfolio. So people were letting him take nudes. One girl said that he had spread after spread of nude males and females in lude positions. After his capture, police think some of these girls are linked to cold cases that never have been solved.
Toni and Joanne were two young girls in June of 1979. They were hanging out, roller skating on Huntington Beach when Rod approached them asking if he could take some photos. They shrugged him off and laughed but he was persistent, saying that it was for a photo contest. The girls saw the expensive camera hanging off of his neck and agreed to take some photos.
Rod asked them to pose and skate back and forth until he had gotten all the shots he wanted. He then asked for their phone numbers, in case they won, to collect their prize. Both girls followed their gut and said no way. Then he said "well can I at least get your addresses so I can contact you that way"... again these girls were like nope. and skated off. Thank God they had that Spidey sense because they had a near miss with this pedo fuck.
At this point he's getting more brazen and cocky.
Again, the next day, he headed out to sunset Beach and had a similar encounter, with another 15-year-old girl, on her way to the bathroom. He asked her if she would pose for him, what her name was, phone number and address. But just in the Knick of time her friend came out of the bathroom and told her they had to go. The same month Robin samsoe was hanging out with her friend Bridget before work at the ballet studio she attended. Her mother had gotten into an accident, and she couldn't afford to pay for lessons anymore. So, Robin took on the job as a way to stay in the class with the lack of funds.
Bridget and Robin headed to the beach and saw a man with long hair and a camera strapped around his neck. Bridget said that he seemed out of place because he was wearing a plaid button up shirt and taupe slacks. He stood out like a sore thumb. She said he closed in on her and Robin and told them that he was a photographer. He wanted to take some photos of the girls for a photo contest. Robin jumped at the opportunity and Bridget was a little iffy
about this dude.
Jaclyn, who was a neighbor of the girls, and a mother herself, saw this man and thought why is he over there taking pictures of underaged girls. Jaclyn came walking tight up and asked Bridget if they were ok and who was this man. When he saw Jacklyn, he put his head down and scurried away, like a fucking coward.
Jaclyn was pissed and scolded the girls for letting a grown ass man take pictures of them and told them to never do that again. She saw how he was looking back at them when he scurried off and she decided to chaperone the girls on their way home. The three of them walked back to Bridget's apartment and Jacklyn walked home.
As soon as they had gotten back, Robin asked Bridget if she could borrow her bike because she had to get to work. She didn't want to be late on her first day, so Bridget brought her bike up from the basement and gave it to Robin. Bridget's mom called her upstairs so she told robin she would catch up with her at school.
Robin never had shown up to the ballet studio that day. A witness named, Richard sillett, noticed the same man, on the same beach at 3pm that same day. He had a camera around his neck and Richard was checking out his equipment. He had a 35mm camera.
When the ballet teacher told Robin's parents, she didn't show up they instantly called 911. This wasn't long after the sighting at the beach. Robin was supposed to return home around 430 to 5 pm.
Days went by and Robin was still missing. Police questioned Bridget who told them about the man with the camera. She gave a very detailed description of the man. His height, eye color, where his cheek bones were on his face, down to every single detail that made him distinctive. Which gave police enough to know who they were looking for.
Dana crappa was patrolling about an hour away from the beach the same day that Robin went missing. She was on a fire road when she spotted a Datsun station wagon, which she noted in her mind because she had the same make and year car. In the driver's seat was a man and in the passenger’s seat was a blonde girl. The girl said something, and the man turned and stared right at her. Crappa felt something was off and that look gave her the chills right down to the bone. But she had a lot of ground to cover and there wasn't anything illegal going on so the drove on.
The next night she was driving back to the barracks when she saw the same vehicle, parked in a different spot. She saw the same man getting into the Datsun with stains all over his clothes. She thought that maybe he was covered in mud or something. She didn't see the little girl with him which she thought was strange and the tires and bottom of car were covered in mud.
Ok so like a day or two later crappa drives back to the spot that she saw the Datsun and decided to investigate. She went into the woods with her flashlight and saw fucking human remains. A pile of bones. But said nothing to no one and ran out of the woods. Which I thought was really strange.
But the next day, unrelated to crappa, a composite sketch of Rodney Alcala was released to the public. The same day, rod's girlfriend cut his hair. He didn't know the composite sketch was released at the time.
On June 26th, detective Droz, had gotten a phone call from someone fucking awesome. Remember the guy who followed Rodney to his apartment when tali was abducted? Well he saw the news and thought that looked an awful lot like the same dude who abducted talj that he witnessed previously in the story.
So droz, was like hmmm, maybe this dudes onto something, and he looks at a photo of Rodney. He compares it to the sketch, and they are almost identical. Detective droz decided to talk to Rodney in the morning. By happenstance when droz put on the television after his shift, what does he see? None other than Rodney Alcala staring back at him. A rerun of the dating game was on television. If that isn't destiny and the stars aligning, then idk what is.
So crappa decided to go back to marker 11 where she found the bones and take a closer look, on June 29th. She thought they were definitely human remains and left again without telling anyone.
The next day Dana crappa and another ranger headed up to marker 11 to head down the trails for patrol. Crappa was extremely nervous and jumpy. The other ranger noticed it and started asking her what was wrong. She was tight lipped and he started joking with her to get her to lighten up. When they had gotten out of the car, instead of telling the other ranger what she had found the day before, she diverted his path and tried to make him go down another trail.
He started teasing crappa and picked up what looked like a human skull with hair attached to it and threw it at crappa. She screamed and ran back to the vehicle. The whole ride they didn't say a word and again it went unreported.
July 2nd, finally a ranger who wasn't a piece of shit happened upon the body at marker 11. Immediately he had called dispatch to send authorities out to the area. I really want to know how a person can find a dead body 3 times and not fucking call anyone? That's someone's fucking daughter. Someone's loved one.. I couldn't imagine being such a fucking coward.
July 5th 1979 is when police went to Robin's parents home and broke the news that they found Robin's body by marker 11. Normally it takes longer than 12 days to decompose to that level, but because it was summer and she was in the woods, animals had scavenged her body. There were saw marks on the bones where the hands were which suggested possible dismemberment. Her front teeth were missing which suggested bludgeoning of some sort and there were chop marks which suggests some sort of sharp force trauma.
The state of the body made it impossible to tell the cause of death. Also there was no tissue left which left no way of telling if she had been sexually assaulted.
So let's talk about the mysterious girlfriend that Rod was seeing. Her name was Beth. I'm not going to reveal her full name because I don't feel like it's necessary. Beth med Rodney in the spring of 1979. They both had an interest in photography and she thought he was charming, attractive, intelligent, outgoing and well mannered.
Beth was aware of all of the photography Rodney had been taking of young girls and older women. There was a mix of them in his portfolio so she didn't think it was all that alarming. Although some of the girls were ages 13, 14 and 15. Which I personally would have found alarming but I'm not her and don't understand their dynamic as an outsider looking in.
Detectives came to Rodney's apartment and talked to Beth. Asked her all of the usual questions. When she found out that Robin was missing and found dead, she never thought to suspect Rodney because he didn't act funny about the ordeal or anything. When questioned about the day Robin disappeared she couldn't account for where he was that day. They had spent some time, that week in northern California but on June 20th, he didn't tell her and she didn't ask where he had been.
The day after she was questioned, on July 8th, Rodney told Beth that he wanted to chase a business opportunity and move to Dallas Texas. He said he wanted to open a studio there being that there wasn't much money to be made in LA. Rod said he would go there first, get set up, and then send for her later. Beth thought it was a good idea.
On July 23rd, 1979, Rodney went to Seattle Washington to visit his storage unit. He unloaded a bunch of stuff into the unit and decided to sleep at the hotel next door. He lied to Beth and told her he went to Dallas and loved it there. Which was mad suspect.
On July 24th, 1979, the heat was coming down on rod. The detectives had enough evidence to make an arrest and they drove over to rods mothers house to arrest him. When they had gotten there they surprised rod in his bedroom. He was in his birthday suit when they arrested him which I found comical. At least they knew he didn't have a weapon on him lol.
Detectives searched his Datsun for any evidence that might help the case. Inside they found a recipt for his hidden storage locker and they obtained a search warrant to go open up the unit to see what was inside.
What they found In the house was kinda boring. Mostly camera equipment and stuff but they did find a few items that were interesting. One of those items were Japanese handcuffs, a black wig, a bull whip, pink panties with black tape on either side, binoculars and 1200 plus photos.
What they found in the storage unit, however, was very interesting. The address they copied to the Seattle unit, plus some keys they took from Rodney's mothers home led them to a discovery they couldn't even fathom. Inside the unit they found a little jewelry pouch with various pieces of jewelry belonging to Robin. They also found a various negatives, slides and photographs. Including some marked tali va rape and another that said ode to John berger.
At arraignment Rodney Alcala pled not guilty to the charges of kidnapping, lewd act performed on a child under the age of 14, robbery and murder.
Awaiting trial, Rodney had to switch lawyers because the one appointed to him was representing another inmate who bartered with the prosecution and said that Rodney confessed the murder to him in prison.
Dana crappa was interviewed and was to be used as a witness, to give dates and times but she kept changing the dates and times. She lied about when she first saw the body and then later gave new information that she saw it before the first date she gave. This wasn't helping the case at all and made her unreliable. But the wackiest thing she said is that she messed with the crime scene. She told detectives that she threw away bullet casings that she found near the bones.
Another blow to the prosecution was the inmate who told the prosecution that rod confessed to him. He lied in another state case, and when the defense found that out they threw away the case of Jill Parenteau. Another blow was when the rape and assault case of Monique Hoyt was being tried. She never shown up to testify which blew that case also.
The actual trial for Robin started in February of 1980. During the trial, Dana crappa testified, witnesses at the beach testified that Rodney Alcala was the man they saw that day and Robin's mother sat about 20 feet away from Rodney. She was brooding inside the whole trial.
Robin's mother testified that the jewelry found in the storage locker was hers and her daughters. It was also Said that she like, very slowly, made it to the stand where she cried a little before her testimony. Which broke my heart.
The three inmates testified against Rodney. All giving details about the case they wouldn't have been privy to unless Rodney told them or the police did.
In all, 50 witnesses testified, including the girls who had escaped Rodney Alcala.
The defense went with a someone else did it angle. The defense had gotten the molestation charge dropped and tried to prove crappa and the inmates weren't credible witnesses. Rodney never took the stand in his own defense which was smart. Most of the time it makes you look guilty.
After two days of deliberation, the jury found Rodney Alcala, guilty on the charges of kidnapping and first degree murder. After the sentencing hearing, the jury recommended the death penalty and
Rodney Alcala sure got that death penalty. Which made Robina mother scream "all right" in the courtroom. ( little side bar, Robin's mother had a 22 caliber pistol in her purse the whole trial and was fully intending on using it to kill Rodney during the trial. She admitted it a week after the trial concluded. Saying she kept her hand inside her purse holding the gun during periods of the trial. Trying to get up the nerve to pull it out and blow that mother fucker away. I don't blame her though. Although I don't condone violence, if my child was raped, murdered and dismembered... I might have an eye for an eye mentality also. )
The trial of Monique Hoyt went forward, and Alcala was convicted of the rape and sentenced to 9 years in prison.
Appeals were filed in 1981. The argument was that too much weight was given to the 3 inmates testimonies and that some of the jurors were replaced because of their stance against the death penalty. The three inmates told the court they all lied during the trial. But the judge upheld the death penalty and the kidnapping charge.
On August 23rd, 1984, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the death penalty in Rod's case because they admitted into evidence the defendants’ other crimes. Which they deemed were unfair.
This gave the defendant a retrial on Robin's rape and murder case. Monique Hoyts father and tali Shapiro both testified at the retrial. Rodney was found guilty again. During sentencing he was given the death penalty a second time. Robin's mother was again present and collapsed when they read the guilty verdict. This woman has been through the ringer twice and my heart goes out to her. I mean she had to sit through hearing her daughters murder and rape two times, and then after all of that he was sentenced to the same sentence anyway. Talk about torture.
In 1990, during another appeal they were going to reverse the death penalty charge again but then decided to uphold it shortly after. During this time there were huge political and bureaucratic debates over whether the state of California should abolish the death penalty. So that's why there was so much back and forth with his death sentence. Ultimately the sentence was upheld, thank God.
Now, while rod was on death row he decided, you know what? I'm going to become an author... so he wrote a book called "you, the jury". He calls himself the unintended victim in this book. It was self-published, so there were no proceeds. The whole book was centered around the fact that he wasn't guilty of Robin samsoes murder. He does one thing that I've heard serial killers do on occasion. He spoke about himself in third person in the book. Which tells me he's trying to disassociate from this other version of himself. Ted Bundy did it also when describing his crimes. Except in Alcala’s book he uses it in the reverse context. He talks about himself on death row and his feelings. As if to describe a character and not talk about himself. It was pretty bizarre. Even weirder was a 71 question test that the readers could answer and send back to him.
March 30th, 2001, his conviction was overturned again.... the state of California had 120 days to retry or dismiss all charges. When Robins mother heard the news she said "how many times are they going to put us through this hell" in this case I feel as though the state just doesn't fucking care about the victims. Just about their fucking politics.
In 2002, they were able to get DNA from Rodney to put into the database for cold cases. In 2003, they linked him to 3 other unsolved murders. So, the cold case squad was happy because no one wanted this monster back out on the streets.
2004, another DNA match and in 2005 2 more DNA matches. I'd say he's fucked now hahaha ha.
The state ruled to combine all of the cold cases and Robin's case into one trial. Rodney wanted to act as his own attorney and he was granted the privilege. Another very Ted Bundy thing to do.
On February 25th 2010 the jury came back with the verdict and found Rodney Alcala guilty on all 5 counts of murder in the first degree and 1 count of kidnapping. Rodney showed no emotion during the verdict. He was stone faced as the crowd was rejoicing.
Fun fact, during the penalty phase, Charlize Theron was spotted in the back row of the courthouse. When asked why she was there she said she was playing Eileen wornos in an upcoming film about her life. Basically, she was studying serial killers for the role. If you don't know who Eileen wornos is, she was the sex worker, serial killer who preyed on John's in the Daytona area of Florida. (the movie is called monster and its amazing. )
After some disgusting displays of bravado. Trying to act like raping one of his victims was ok because he apologized to her afterwards and playing a song in front of the victims families that goes" I want to kill. I mean I want to kill, kill. " Robin samsoes father left the court room completely disgusted. But regardless of his feeble attempts to relive his crimes by badgering his surviving victims, he was still sentenced to death again.
Investigators are still working to this day on Cades that are linked to Rodney Alcala. 4 in New York were linked to him. Also, there were over 100 photos in his storage unit in Seattle, that police are still trying to identify. They believe there are more victims and that maybe some or all were in these photos found in the unit.
In 2010 California isn't going to try him for other murders because he's already on death row. However, New York invited him on the murders of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen hover. On January 7th. 2013, Rodney was given an additional 23-year sentence for the murders but couldn’t sentence him to death because NY abolished it in 2007.
In September of 2016 he was charged with the murder of Christine Thornton who disappeared in 1977. She was one of the girls recognized by the photos he had in his unit. Her body was found in Sweetwater County, Wyoming in 2015. When invited, Rodney was 73 years old and said to be too ill to fly out there. He was incarcerated in California state prison until his death on July 24th 2021, where he died of natural causes at 77 years old.
Many believe that he killed up to 130 young women and girls.
I survived a serial killer, Netflix