The Truth About The Dating Game Killer's Death

Rodney Alcala, the man known as "The Dating Game Killer," had a terrible and frankly gross history of criminal activity. According to Rolling Stone, he was convicted in 1972 for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old, for which he served a whopping 34 months in the clink. A few years after he was released, he somehow managed to become a bachelor on a 1978 episode of "The Dating Game," and where this isn't exactly a crime, it probably should be since he was a convicted sex offender. It's also where he got his moniker.

Thanks to that spotlight appearance on network TV, Alcala would land in prison again. This time, for the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. Had he not gone on the show, he likely would've evaded authorities for some time longer since it was that episode that allowed them to match the killer with a sketch provided in the Samsoe investigation.

According to ABC, he's been connected to at least eight murders in total. His victims ranged in location from New York on the east coast to Los Angeles on the west. The murder of Samsoe left him with the heftiest sentence though. In 1980, The Dating Game Killer was sentenced to execution — but that's not necessarily how this story ends.

An untimely death

The original death row sentence passed down to Rodney Alcala was never technically carried out. This is where things get a bit choppy. As CNN explains, the killer was granted a new trial after his conviction in Samsoe's death was overturned, but he was found guilty a second time and sentenced to death once again in 1986. This sentence was also overturned, and Alcala was given a third trial. The trial took place in 2010, which was bad news for Alcala since modern technology was able to link him to four more murders via DNA evidence. Alcala was once again on death row.

Given how many death sentences this guy had received since his arrest, you'd think his life would've ended via lethal injection or something, but it didn't. Probably because, as CBS points out, all executions in California had been halted due to an executive order. Instead of the death the courts once believed he should receive, Alcala died of natural causes on July 24, 2021, in a hospital bed.