Saturday 22 July 2017

Detectives fear US serial killer is 'new Ted Bundy'

Nick Allen in Los Angeles

Detectives in America fear a serial killer with a genius-level IQ may be a "new Ted Bundy", responsible for up to 30 more murders.

Rodney Alcala (66), known as the 'Dating Game killer' because he once appeared on the American version of 'Blind Date', was found guilty of five murders in Los Angeles.

The photographer, who has an IQ of more than 160, killed schoolgirl Robin Samsoe (12) in 1979, and four women whose deaths had gone unsolved for decades.

But police believe Alcala, who has been in custody since 1979 and twice had previous convictions overturned, could be responsible for dozens more deaths in New York and Los Angeles in the 1970s.

One victim was attacked with a claw hammer and others were repeatedly strangled and resuscitated to prolong their agony before they were finally killed.

Alcala, who is likely to be sentenced to death for each of the five killings, represented himself in a bizarre court performance in which he posed questions and then answered them himself.

During the six-week trial he insisted on showing the jury a video of his appearance on an episode of 'The Dating Game' in 1978. He was successful in being picked by a woman for a date.

Police alleged that Robin Samsoe's gold earrings had been found in his possession, but Alcala said they were his. He claimed the video showed him wearing the earrings on the dating show, which was filmed a year before Robin's death.

Recent DNA advances helped link him to the killings of nurse Georgia Wixted (27), secretary Charlotte Lamb (32), computer programmer Jill Parenteau (21) and Jill Barcomb (18).

Prey

Prosecutor Matt Murphy said Alcala hunted women like prey, even keeping binoculars in his car. "He gets off on the infliction of pain on other people," Mr Murphy said. "He committed unspeakable acts of horror."

Detectives in New York are now investigating unsolved murders of women in the city that occurred while Alcala was living there between 1968 and 1971, and again in 1977.

The potential victims include an air stewardess and a nightclub heiress.Steve Hodel, a retired Los Angeles detective who interviewed Alcala, said: "This could easily be another Ted Bundy. It could be 20, 30 victims." Alcala graduated with a fine art degree from the University of California and is believed to have studied film in New York under controversial director Roman Polanksi before working as a typesetter at the 'Los Angeles Times'. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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