The Story Of Rodney Alcala, The Charming 'Dating Game Killer'

By | March 27, 2019

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Bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw and Rodney Alcala on 'The Dating Game' in 1978. Source: (

Rodney Alcala, the "Dating Game killer," is known to many as the killer who appeared on The Dating Game. Unfortunately, there's much more to the story -- Alcala is one of the deadliest serial killers in American history, and the Dating Game appearance is really just a footnote to a gruesome legacy. When he appeared on The Dating Game, Alcala had been sought by the FBI, arrested numerous times for violent crimes against women, and had actually served jail time in California. The fact that he was able to get onto a game show is a chilling reminder of how difficult it was to track truly dangerous individuals before criminal records were digitally stored and networked.

Rodney Alcala had already killed four people -- at least four people -- when he appeared on The Dating Game. He was a handsome, charming guy who posed as a fashion photographer. No one knows for sure how many people Alcala killed, but authorities estimate the number to be 130.

The Warning Signs

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Rodney Alcala during his Army stint. Source: (

The specifics of Alcala’s childhood are unknown. He was born in 1943 in Texas and his given name was Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor. When he was very young, the family moved to Mexico. When Alcala was eleven-years-old, his father abandoned the family and his mother moved the family to Los Angeles. At 17 years old, Alcala enlisted in the Army and performed the services of a clerk for four years when he went AWOL and surprised his mother with his appearance at her home in L.A. During his time in the Army, Alcala had been accused of sexual misconduct. He was examined by a military psychologist who diagnosed him with an antisocial personality disorder and was discharged on medical grounds.