Rodney Alcala vehemently denied killing Robin Samsoe as he defended himself in the trial that preceded his 2010 conviction for slaying the Huntington Beach 12-year-old and four young Los Angeles County women in the 1970s.
But the serial killer who has been sentenced to death three times in California pleaded guilty in New York today to murdering two young women there.
Alcala, 69, who had two of his California convictions overturned on appeal and is appealing his third in Orange County Superior Court from Death Row, admitted to raping and bludgeoning airline stewardess Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and kidnapping and slaying student Ellen Hover in 1977. Both women were 23. The body of Hover, the daughter of the onetime owner of Ciro's nightclub i Hollywood, was
found a year after her murder.
The serial killer is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life in a New York prison at a Jan. 7 hearing, but he will return to San Quentin to serve his time. For that reason, some have questioned expending government resources to try Alcala again, but prosecutors in Manhattan defended doing so by saying the conviction brings closure to the families of the New York victims.
Perhaps the former photographer and onetime Dating Game contestant can win another appeal in California and ultimately be transferred to a New York prison cell, from which he can file his reams and reams of complaints and other courtroom funny papers against that state's authorities.
Of course, he may have a Marin County murder to deal with first.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.