Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
I Survived a Murderer
Tali Shapiro
Tali Shapiro
Rodney Alcala took his time when he killed. Over the course of his career, he killed at least five women though some experts say he may have killed as many as 130 people often strangling them until they briefly lost consciousness then reviving them. He would often go through this process several times, amplifying his victim's torment and terror as well as his glee with each resuscitation. Alcala would then kill his victims, sometimes raping them before snuffing out their lives. In 1978, the midst of his killing spree, Alcala was the winning bachelor on on the popular gameshow The Dating Game. After speaking with Alcala backstage, the lucky bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw got a bad feeling about him and declined to go with him on a date. She would not realize until years later that had she gone out with Alcala, she would have likely joined the scores of women he had murdered over the prior decade.

One of Alcala's earliest victims was Tali Shapiro. Alcala abducted Shapiro in 1968 when she was only eight years old. Alcala raped and severely beat the young girl, but he fled before the police could catch him. He eventually enrolled in film classes in New York where he studied with famed director Roman Polanski. During the penalty phase of Alcala's third trial in 2006 Shapiro broke her 40-year silence and testified against Alcala. He is currently incarcerated at San Quentin Prison.
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