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He had somehow got on the popular game show The Dating Game despite a 1972 conviction for raping an eight-year-old girl.
Tali Shapiro was raped and beaten with a steel bar, but because her parents refused to let her testify at Alcala's trial, he was paroled in 1974 after spending 34 months in jail on a lesser charge of child molestation. Alcala enjoyed photographing his victims – mostly attractive young women – after murdering them and putting their corpses in distorted, grotesque poses.
None of them saw each other before the game began and the winner was chosen on the basis of the questions the woman asked and the answers the bachelors gave.
This particular game proved to be much more than a game show.
(CNN) -- Before he was a convicted serial killer, Rodney Alcala was a winning bachelor on "The Dating Game." "Oh yeah, I remember it quite clearly," said Jed Mills, the game-show contestant who sat next to Alcala in 1978. Definitely creepy." Found guilty in February of murdering four women and a child, Alcala, 66, is acting as his own attorney in the penalty phase of the trial.
He is hoping to persuade the jury in Santa Ana, California, to spare his life.
And he was very obnoxious and creepy – he became very unlikable and rude and imposing as though he was trying to intimidate. Bachelor #1turned out to be one of the worst serial killers in US history.
Earlier this year Malcolm Gladwell wrote an attention-grabbing piece about the predatory tactics of paedophiles.
Children who are abandoned at an early age often carry “.” Self-esteem plummets and the child feels unwanted. Definitely not someone you’d want to meet on a dark night. Child Victims Alcala’s youngest victim was an 8-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro.
The crimes Alcala committed date to the late 1970s.
Nobody at the time knew the man with the wavy long hair and toothy grin was an apparent psychopath -- an unstable, antisocial personality.
Bucking the trend towards seeing child molesters as sad loners, Gladwell argued that they often hunt out in the open.
Jerry Sandusky, he contended, got away with his crimes with a mix of care and candour, all the while encouraging others to think of him as a loveable goofball.
(He remains in prison in California.) While Alcala's body count is unknown, police estimate the now-73-year-old man killed at least dozens of women, with some counts running as high as 130 – and there are still over 100 photographs of unidentified women who may have been his victims.