Serial killer Rodney Alcala sentenced to death
An Orange County judge on Tuesday sentenced serial killer Rodney Alcala to death for five killings in the 1970s, marking yet another turn in a three-decade-long legal drama.
Judge Francisco Briseno's decision came several weeks after a jury recommended the death penalty for Alcala after convicting him on charges of slaying four women and a teenage girl.
Briseno said photos of the women taken by Alcala show he had "sadistic sexual motives" and that "some of the victims were posed after death." The judge said Alcala had an "abnormal interest in young girls."
It was the third time that Alcala, 66, had been convicted for the murder of Robin Samsoe, 12, last seen riding her bike to ballet class in June 1979. He had been condemned to death both times, but the convictions were overturned. He has been in custody since his 1979 arrest.
Before the third trial began in January, he was linked through DNA, blood and fingerprint evidence to the deaths of Jill Barcomb, 18, whose body was found in the Hollywood Hills; Georgia Wixted, 27, of Malibu; Charlotte Lamb, 32, of Santa Monica; and Jill Parenteau, 21, of Burbank.
During his closing arguments earlier this month, Alcala -- a onetime photographer and “Dating Game” contestant who acted as his own attorney in this trial -- asked jurors to spare him from the death penalty, saying they would become killers themselves if they sent him to death row and arguing that the sentence would lead to decades of appeals.
A sentence of life in prison without parole "would end this matter now," he said.
-- Paloma Esquivel in Santa Ana
Photos: Serial killer Rodney Alcala listens as he is sentenced to death by Judge Francisco Briseno in a Santa Ana courtroom Tuesday. Credit: Michael Goulding / Pool photo
Alcala: The long road to justice
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, 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.
July 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. County 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 of Samsoe’s murder and sentenced to death in Orange County Superior Court.
Dec. 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.
March 9, 2010 — Alcala is again sentenced to death.
-- Kimi Yoshino
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