Fortunately, a motorist had seen Rodney Alcala pick his first known victim up, and after following them, had called the police. It was 1968. When police arrived, they found a 12-year-old girl “in a large puddle of blood and not breathing.” They began to search for Alcala in the apartment, but when one of the officers realized that the young girl was still alive and struggling to breathe, all their focus turned onto her, and Alcala managed to escape. He moved to the East Coast and later became known as The Dating Game Serial Killer.
California police questioned Alcala in March 1978 as a potential suspect in the Hillside Strangler killings, another set of serial murders that occurred in California in the 1970s. Alcala was cleared of those crimes, and police did not realize they had actually spoken with a another serial killer.
Just four months later, on Wednesday, September 13, 1978, Jim Lange, the host of a popular television program, The Dating Game, introduced Alcala as “Bachelor Number One.”
One of the serial killer’s means for luring victims was telling them he wanted to photograph them.
Huntington Police in California decided to publically release photos they found at Alcala’s Seattle rented storage unit. Hopefully this could help identify the people pictured in an effort to identify more victims. It worked in the case of Christine Thornton, whose sister, Kathy had never stopped looking for her. She identified her sister in one of the photographs Alcala had kept in Seattle storage.
While Alcala was convicted of seven murders, he is believed to have killed anywhere from 50 to 140 people. At least one more of those has been identified.
His “signatures” were beating, biting, raping, and strangling (often choking victims until the point of unconsciousness), then once they came to, he’d start the process over again.
If you have information about the identities of the people in the photographs, please contact the Huntington Beach Police Department at (714) 536-5947. Below are some of those photos. For more on Rodney Acala, CLICK HERE.