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Serial killer Rodney Alcala pleads guilty to New York murders

PHOTOS: California serial killers

A serial killer already sentenced to death for five Southern California murders -- including the slaying of a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl -- pleaded guilty Friday in a New York City courtroom to a pair of 1970s-era killings in that state.

Rodney Alcala, a one-time contestant on “The Dating Game,” faces a likely prison term of 25-years-to-life for his crimes in New York, the Associated Press reported.

Alcala, who appeared Friday in a Manhattan courtroom, pleaded guilty to killing Cornelia Crilley, a 23-year-old flight attendant who was raped and strangled in her Manhattan apartment in 1971.

He also pleaded guilty to killing Ellen Hover, 23, the daughter of a Hollywood nightclub owner who was found slain in 1977 not far from her family's estate in Westchester County.

PHOTOS: California serial killers

Alcala has been behind bars since he was arrested in connection with the 1979 slaying of Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle to an afternoon ballet class in Huntington Beach.

His conviction in the girl’s murder was twice overturned. He was convicted a third time -- and again given the death penalty -- in 2010.

Authorities say that Alcala, whose Southern California killing spree went undetected for decades, was one of the nation’s most prolific serial killer of the 1970s.

Last year, authorities said they linked him to the 1977 slaying of a 19-year-old woman who went missing after a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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-- Steve Marble

Photo: Rodney James Alcala in court in California in 2010. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times.

 
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