Rodney Alcala Charged for New York Murders

Alcala on The Dating Game in the '70s

Manhattan District Attorney

Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

announced at a news conference Thursday that convicted serial killer

Rodney Alcala

will be extradited from California to the Big Apple to face trial for the murders of two women in the 1970s.

Alcala, 67, is currently rotting on death row at San Quentin Prison for the sexual assault, torture and strangling of four Los Angeles County women and 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, of Huntington Beach, also in the 1970s (See Christine Pelisek's "The Fine Art of Killing,"Jan. 21, 2010.)

Simone Wilson gets the scoop for our sister site, LA Weekly.

New York City tabloids have long linked Alcala to Hover's murder.
New York City tabloids have long linked Alcala to Hover's murder.
LA Weekly

LA Weekly
New York City tabloids have long linked Alcala to Hover's murder.

Alcala's latest alleged victims are two 23-year-old women: flight attendant

Cornelia Crilley

, whose nude and battered body was found in her New York City apartment in June 1971, and

Ellen Jane Hover

, who disappeared from her apartment in June 1977 and whose skeletal remains were found on the Rockefeller estate in Westchester County a year later. She was the daughter of the owner of legendary Hollywood nightclub Ciro's.

Alcala has always been the prime suspect in Hover's disappearance and murder, a fact NYC tabloids have long exploited. Hover had left her apartment to meet a photographer for lunch before she went missing. Alcala lived on the East Coast as photographer Robert Berger while a fugitive from Los Angeles for the 1968 rape and beating of an 8-year-old girl in Hollywood.

Robin Samsoe

He admitted to detectives at the time that he had been with Hover the day she disappeared but claimed he did not know what happened to her. He refused to take a polygraph, and by the time Hover's remains were found, he was already back in LA. He was never charged.

Last year's third trial, conviction and death sentence of Alcala in Orange County led detectives in New York to reopen their cold-case murder files on the two women. Technical errors discovered on appeal led to the multiple trials.

New York detectives interviewed dozens of witnesses and collected evidence from California law enforcement. Alcala was linked to Crilley's murder through DNA evidence, according to Vance.

If he is convicted in New York, Alcala could be sentenced to an additional 25-years-to-life term in prison.

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