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'Dating Game' serial killer extradited to face murder charges

June 21, 2012 |  7:39 am

California serial killer Rodney Alcala was set to face charges Thursday in the killings of two New York women in the 1970s.

Alcala was extradited to New York on Wednesday after cold-case detectives spent a year reviewing the two slayings.

Manhattan prosecutors charged Alcala several months ago in the deaths of flight attendant Cornelia Crilley and researcher Ellen Hover. Few details about the investigation were available, but New York police had been building the cases since at least 2003.

"These cases were built one brick at a time, as each new lead brought us closer to where we are today," Dist. Atty. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said at the time, according to the Associated Press. He said he hoped that the belated action "brings a small measure of peace to the families and friends who have spent decades searching for answers, and justice."

Authorities have long suspected that Alcala, who has been held in a California prison under a death sentence, had struck outside of California.

The former photographer and onetime "Dating Game" contestant was convicted in 2010  of murdering four Los Angeles County women and a 12-year-old girl from Huntington Beach in the late 1970s. He was sentenced to death.

After his conviction, police detectives released a trove of photographs of women and children they seized more than 30 years ago from a storage locker Alcala rented just as police were closing in on him. Detectives asked for the public's help in identifying the people in the photos and determining whether they might have gone missing during Alcala's murder spree in the late 1970s.

Hundreds of people called police in response to the photos. But it's unclear if the photos played a role in the New York cases.

New York police have long considered Alcala a suspect in the slayings of three women there, apparently including Crilley and Hover. Alcala lived in New York at the time of their deaths.

Seattle police have also investigated him in connection with some unsolved slayings.

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-- Shelby Grad

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