After film school, he moved on to New Hampshire and took the creepiest job imaginable for a man with his proclivities: girls’ camp counselor.
He was finally arrested for his crimes against Tali Shapiro when two of his campers recognized him on a wanted poster.
Introduced by the host as “a successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed,” Alcala cooed from behind the partition: “We’re gonna have a great time together, Cheryl.” Alcala won Bradshaw over with pick-up lines like “Nighttime’s the best time…when things really get going,” and “I’m called ‘The Banana’ and I look really good…
Peel me.” Despite giving him the win, Bradshaw never ended up going on the date with Alcala, turning him down after filming because she thought he was “creepy.” Years later, Bradshaw found out how right she was… The man she chose was actually a murderer in the midst of an almost decade long spree, and she played a part in the creation of his serial killer moniker: “The Dating Game Killer.” Despite being his morbid calling card, winning THE DATING GAME wasn’t the first and only time Rodney Alcala got lucky; his history of slipping through the cracks of the legal system kept him cruising the streets for years before police put him away for good.
Alcala made his way back to California and made his infamous appearance on THE DATING GAME in 1978.Coincidentally, after he regained his freedom, police questioned him and ruled him out as another infamous serial killer, the Hillside Strangler.In 1977, he talked his probation officer into letting him travel to New York, despite being a sex offender and a flight risk.Investigators believe, however, that the 73-year-old Alcala is responsible for many more deaths than even the eight he has been charged with so far.In fact, it is estimated that the serial killer may be responsible for up to 130 murders.Still, it wasn't until 1980 when Alcala would be convicted of murder.