With at least two victims under his belt, Rodney Alcala had already kicked off his serial killing career when he appeared on the popular game show The Dating Game in 1978. He was accepted as a contestant on the show despite being a convicted rapist. Host Jim Lange introduced Alcala by calling him a ”successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed.” Alcala was indeed a photographer; police recently released over 100 photos of unidentified women, possible victims, that Alcala had taken.
On the show, Rodney is charismatic, a quality that helped him lure anywhere between 8 and 130 women to their deaths. He won a date with Cheryl Bradshaw. She refused to go on a date with him, calling him “creepy.” Following her intuition may have saved Cheryl her life, but it may have cost three other women theirs. According to profiler Pat Brown, Cheryl’s rejection may have spurred Alcala to kill Robin Samsoe and at least two others soon after the show’s taping.