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Serial Killer Rodney Alcala appeared as a bachelor on The Dating Game - and won

Yasmine Leung April 6, 2022
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala appeared as a bachelor on The Dating Game - and won
Photo by Michael Goulding/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

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Serial killer Rodney Alcala was responsible for five murders in the 1970s, during which he appeared on TV game show The Dating Game and won.

Rodney Alcala, a serial torture-slayer dubbed ‘The Dating Game Killer’, murdered at least five women in California between 1977 and 1979. However, the then 43-year-old took a break from his heinous crimes to hunt for ‘romance’ on The Dating Game in 1978.

To add to the bizarre situation, he appears on the show’s Wikipedia page under the list of “celebrities”.

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The Dating Game Killer’s murders

Born Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor in 1943, the San Antonio, Texas, native was sentenced to death in March 2010. He was convicted of five murders between 1977 and 1979, including the slaying of a 12-year-old girl he abducted on her way to a ballet class.

However, authorities think the total number of people he murdered could total 130. Investigators uncovered hundreds of pictures of women he photographed.

“He is a predatory monster and, when you see all these young women in positions of vulnerability with him, it makes you fear what happened to them,” said Orange County deputy district attorney Matt Murphy.

Photo by Michael Goulding/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Three years after he received his sentence, he pleaded guilty to two homicides in New York. The killings took place in 1971 and 1977, adding 25 years to his time behind bars.

Alcala died in a San Joaquin Valley, California, hospital in 2021 while awaiting execution. He was 77 years old and died of natural causes.

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He won The Dating Game

Bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw could have been in grave danger after she selected Alcala as her date on 13 September 1978. He left quite an impression on Bradshaw and the crowd with his witty responses but, thankfully, the bachelorette declined his date offer after the show. She said: “I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy. I didn’t want to see him again.”

One of the other bachelors, Seinfeld actor Jed Mills, recalled: “Rodney was kind of quiet. I remember him because I told my brother about this one guy who was kind of good-looking but kind of creepy. He was always looking down and not making eye contact.”

Their instincts were correct. By 1978 he was already on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and served 34 months for child molestation after he attacked an eight-year-old in 1968.

Regardless of Bradshaw’s rejection, Alcala continued his murderous spree.

File Photo by Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.