Verdict in case of accused serial killer Rodney Alcala due at 1:30 p.m.
A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of accused serial killer Rodney Alcala, and Orange County court officials said it will be read at 1:30 p.m.
The jury deliberated for less than two days before reaching its verdict.
Alcala, 66, has been tried twice in the 1979 kidnapping and murder of Robin Samsoe, 12. 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 eligible for 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 in order 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
Photo: Rodney Alcala sits in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Jan. 11. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press