Cheryl Bradshaw/Rodney Alcala.
Cheryl Bradshaw chose serial killer Rodney Alcala from the three bachelors she met in the dating game at the height of the 1978 murder. But they never went out.
Alcala has been sentenced to death for the murder of five people and is suspected of committing other murders. He’s already killed at least five women and raped an 8-year-old girl before he appeared on a game show.
Alcala’s story will be aired tonight on ABC 20/20 in a new episode of Dating Killers, aired at 9pm. Friday the 8th, eastern time. January 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Alcala had already killed 5 women before he appeared on the quiz show and had spent time in prison for raping a child
Rodney Alcala was at the height of his career in the 1970s when he came into the limelight and won a date with a woman in the popular television series The Dating Game. https://t.co/BmuUKSBkjo
– ABC News (@ABC) 8 January 2021
Alcala was a registered sex offender when he appeared in the dating game. He was convicted of the rape of 8-year-old Tali Shapiro and spent 34 months in prison after pleading guilty to paedophilia.
Detective Steve Hodel, a retired LAPD detective who was investigating the rape case, told police he thought the community was safe for Alcala.
I had the impression that this was his first sex crime, and we caught him very early – and the community is relatively safe now. I had no idea he’d come out in two years and continue his reign of terror. I expected him to go to jail and be safe in the community. …it’s such a tragedy that a lot more happened after that.
Alcala was finally convicted of the murder of five people in California, although he is suspected of other crimes. He is accused of the murder of TWA flight attendant Cornelia Crilly, 23, in 1978 and Ellen Jane Hover, 23, in 1977, both in New York City. Crilly was raped and strangled with her own stockings in her apartment. Gower disappeared and left a calendar showing that she was dating John Berger, an alias Alcala used to avoid jail while attending NYU’s film school. Gower was the daughter of Herman Hoover, owner of the popular nightclub Ciro’s in Hollywood, and goddaughter of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. His body was found in 1978, and Alcala pleaded guilty to the murders in 2012, according to the biography.
Also for her appearance at the game show, 18-year-old Jill Barcombe was murdered in Alcala, California, in November 1977. Barcombe was a fugitive whose body was carefully found on a dirt road, according to the LA Weekly. He was sentenced to death in 2016 for his murder. He is also a suspect in the murder of Christine Ruth Thornton in Wyoming, although he has not been charged with deteriorating DNA evidence of that crime.
Bradshaw said Alcala was scary after they met him in person and passedthe day they met.
Serial killer Rodney Alcala often used his good looks and charm to lure his victims. But it was perhaps in 1978 that he was most daring when he appeared on the hit Dating Game and won. View #ABC2020 on Friday at 21.20 https://t.co/kpxpKNrvxr pic.twitter.com/M2Qme59UZU
– 20/20 (@ABC2020) 7. January 2021
Alcala charmed Bradshaw with short, voluptuous answers to his questions about The Dating Game. But shortly after meeting him in person, she had a severe visceral reaction and decided not to go out with him.
I got sick. He was really scary, she said, according to The Sun.
She wasn’t the only one who found his presence disturbing. Bachelor number two, Jed Mills, could barely stand next to him.
He was scary. It’s really scary, he told CNN.
There’s something about him, I couldn’t be near him, he moved on. I lean on the other one to get away from him, and I don’t know if I did it on purpose. But now that I think about it, I probably did.
Mills said he didn’t like Alcala before they went on the air. His contempt grew as they waited in the green room before the show started.
He was calm, but at the same time he interrupted and pushed when he felt it was necessary, Mills said. And he was very unpleasant and scary – he became very unpleasant, rude and pushy, like he was trying to intimidate us. I didn’t just not love that guy… I didn’t want to be near him. …. He became more and more creepy and negative. He was a really scary guy in my life.
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