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Rodney Alcala guilty in slayings of one girl and four women [Updated]

In the latest twist in a 30-year legal odyssey, an Orange County jury on Thursday convicted accused serial killer Rodney Alcala of five counts of murder.

The jury deliberated for less than two days before reaching its decision.

[Updated at 2:19 p.m.: Alcala sat upright and motionless in a packed courtroom while a clerk read the verdicts. He wore plastic-rimmed glasses, a gray sport coat, tie and bluejeans with tennis shoes. He said nothing when the verdicts were read, and answered the judge's questions afterward in a steady, muted and matter-of-fact voice.]

Alcala, 66, has been tried twice in the 1979 kidnapping and murder of Robin Samsoe, 12, of Huntington Beach. Each of those convictions was overturned.

The case this time expanded as authorities said they were able to tie Alcala to the murder of four Los Angeles County women between 1977 and 1979. Investigators said they linked Alcala to the torture and murder of Jill Barcomb, 18; Georgia Wixted, 27; Charlotte Lamb, 32; and Jill Parenteau, 21, with DNA, blood and fingerprint evidence. Each murder carried a special circumstance charge that would make Alcala subject to the death penalty.

Prosecutors painted Alcala as a sadistic monster who sexually tortured his victims, posed them and possibly took photos. Alcala, who acted as his own attorney, took the stand and asked and answered his own questions. Throughout the trial, he repeatedly ignored the charges in the Los Angeles cases and focused on proving his innocence in the Samsoe case.

Unlike the Los Angeles County cases, there was no DNA, blood or fingerprint evidence linking Alcala to Samsoe’s death. In opening and closing arguments, the defendant almost entirely ignored the four Los Angeles cases.

At one point, Alcala, a onetime typist at the Los Angeles Times, showed the jury a 20-second clip of his winning appearance in a 1978 episode of "The Dating Game" to prove his claim that he did not take a pair of earrings from Samsoe. Alcala’s long, feathered hair and the poor quality of the VHS recording made the earrings almost impossible to make out.

-- Paloma Esquivel in Santa Ana


1972 Alcala is convicted in the 1968 rape and beating of an 8-year-old girl.

Nov. 10, 1977 — The body of 18-year-old Jill Barcomb is found in the Hollywood Hills. She had been sexually assaulted, bludgeoned and strangled with a pair of blue pants.

Dec. 16, 1977 Georgia Wixted, 27, is found beaten to death at her home in Malibu. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

1978 Alcala appears in an episode of “The Dating Game” as Bachelor No. 1.

June 24, 1978 — Charlotte Lamb, a 32-year-old legal secretary from Santa Monica, is found in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled with a shoelace. 

June 14, 1979 — Jill Parenteau, 21, of Burbank is found strangled on the floor of her Burbank apartment.

June 20, 1979 – Robin Samsoe, 12, disappears near the Huntington Beach Pier. Her body is found 12 days later in the Sierra Madre foothills.

http://50cases.freedomblogging.com/files/2009/11/alcalap0210.jpgJuly 24, 1979 — Rodney James Alcala, an unemployed photographer, is arrested at his parents’ Monterey Park home.

September 1980 – Alcala is convicted of the 1978 rape of a 15-year-old Riverside girl and sentenced to nine years in state prison.

June 20, 1980 — Orange County Superior Court Judge Philip E. Schwab sentences Alcala to death after he is convicted of Samsoe's murder.

July 11, 1980 — The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office files murder, burglary and sexual assault charges against Alcala in the slaying of Parenteau.

April 15, 1981 — The L.A. district attorney’s office tells a judge that prosecution of Alcala in the Parenteau case could not proceed because a key witness admitted that he had committed perjury in another case.

Aug. 23, 1984 — The state Supreme Court reversed Alcala’s murder conviction in connection with Samsoe, ruling that the jury was improperly told about Alcala’s prior sex crimes.

June 20, 1986 — For the second time, Alcala is convicted for Samsoe’s murder and sentenced to death in Orange County Superior Court.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/04hnfQF8Wlafk/x160.jpgDec. 31, 1992 — The California Supreme Court unanimously upholds Alcala’s death sentence.

April 2, 2001 — A federal appellate court overturns Alcala’s death sentence in the Samsoe case, ruling that the Superior Court judge precluded the defense from presenting evidence “material to significant issues.”

June 5, 2003 — The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office files murder charges against Alcala alleging that he killed Wixted during a burglary and rape.

Sept. 19, 2005 — Additional murder charges are filed against Alcala in connection to the deaths of Barcomb, Wixted and Lamb.

Jan. 11, 2010 — Alcala’s trial for the five murders begins. He represents himself.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Photos: (top) Rodney James Alcala was convicted of five counts of murder in an Orange County court Thursday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

More photos:

Comments () | Archives (33)

A truly evil man. Let's hope this conviction sticks.

How lucky can one guy be, seems to me the courts just wanted to let this guy loose again. Lets see if this time they put him down finally.

Let's see. He's 66 years old now. He'll be around 86 when his appeals are exhausted and he is executed.

And his victims lived how long?

So why is it that this mistake of humanity is still breathing? Because the do gooders are afraid to do what is necessary? This character should be taken out and given the same treatment he gave his victimes....a slow excritiatingly painful death with people cheering....it is time that the losers of the planet pay for what they do, and that the rest of us stop feeling sorry for this pathetic group of lowlife individuals. poeole need to get a grip and get on with life...it is not eveyone elses fault that these losers are the way they are...

Rot in hell. The only problem I have with this is the years and taxpayer money it took, to take care of the OBVIOUS.

Once DNA has proven the perp. is guilty, why, why, why, waste taxpayer money we do not have, allowing this FREAK to continue to argue for and defend himself. Did we spend that kind of time and money on his victims and their families?

Rot in Hell, Alcala. And I suggest the great State of California, which is FLAT BROKE, get the electric chair primed and ready. The citizens of this once great state are TIRED of getting the governmental run-around.


It never seems to end till your dead.

Although Robin's father was not here to see this pervert convicted I know he would be relieved. I lnow that Sam is with his little girl now. My heart goes out to his family as I know this has haunted them for too many years!! I love you guys.

He represented himself in this last trial. But the reporting never says if he had any outside legal advice. Its pretty clear he has been stewing over Samsoe for 30+ years. He knows those facts backwards and forwards. An experienced lawyer would have told him to address the new charges and new evidence too. The reporting always says some version of , "the defendant almost entirely ignored the four Los Angeles cases. "

The judges who overturned his convictions should serve time now...

...at the least, those judges should have their wages garnished by the mother who was forced to sit through questioning by the man who murdered her daughter because of their decisions.

We must never give up on carrying out the death penalty in California. Let's continue to fight the aclu slobs. Did I hear correctly that Wayne Rogers has sympathy for this dirtbag?

let this be the last of him in the courts!
These families have suffered enough!

Let this be the last of him in the courts..the victims families have suffered enough!

Sorry Buddy. Your chapter of your life is Gone. It's your choice. You give-up your life this way. America will suffer more if we have a GUY like you. Your sentence is Death and do it now. Further delay will drain our financial resorces.

Thank God they're putting this monster away for good this time. I am shuddering as I read this article. Alcala frequented a neighborhood nightclub at the time of the killings, and my friends and I became acquainted with him because he was constantly bothering a few of us to meet him somewhere and let him take our picture. This was around 1978/79. Something didn't feel right, and my Momma didn't raise a fool, none of us ever took him up on his offers. I'm so sorry to read that other women were not so fortunate. Girls, use your instincts, if something doesn't seem right speak up and walk away. I'm just sick about this...

Only in the United States can this "monster" be allowed to toy with the justice system for this long. Wasting tax dollars while he taunts the surviving family members and friends of those he brutally killed! We need to get the judges who allows this crap to go on in their court rooms off the bench!

Taxpayers can NOT afford to go on supporting psychopaths for life , too many other causes need the help .
He should have been euthanized years ago .


So what? When has the State of California ever put any of the deathrow inmates to death? Taxpayer money is going to pay for this dude to sit and rot until he dies. Can't we just send him to Texas where they actually know what the meaning of the death penalty is?

you know what? I'm glad this horrible freak is going to go away for good. That being said, what I don't get though, is the outrage that this guy was given due process. Equally, I don't get the anger that pervades the conservative community at the ACLU. It's ironic that those that claim to defend the american freedoms don't understand that those freedoms, and more importantly, those inalienable rights also belong to the unwashed, the undeserving, and the unlovable. Heaven forfend that some mob mentality should ever decide that one of you fall into one of those categories. I'm sorry it's a fallible system but so is just about every other system.

had we put this monster to death when he beat and raped the 8 year old we could have saved other women and children, plus the court costs and the cost of housing this creep.

I wonder if those judges were required to direcly pay for this monsters' endless prison costs, would they still have overturned his convictions on such trivial grounds. Always easy to spend other's peoples money.

Good grief!!! Just KILL him, already. Stop wasting tax payer money! I'll be happy to give the injection or pull the switch!

Convicted June 1980. Convicted September 1986. Convicted February 2010.

As you read through the comments, the consensus is clear. Eliminate any further needless costs to the tax payer and put this animal down. If DNA testing has made their match, the evidence is refutable. How much clearer can that be to the judicial system? How many more times do we have to live through this and at what cost?

Put Alcala in the cell closest to the death chamber. Express lane. Let's go. Or is this going to take another 30 years of housing him, feeding him, clothing him? At our expense? The people have spoken............what more is needed?

This animal murdered my cousin in NYC. I have nothing but hate for him. I hope God forgives me for the hatred I feel!

This man killed my cousin Cornelia Michel Crilley in NY I am only gratified he will never ever ever be in contact with another woman.

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