News & Politics

Rodney Alcala Takes Manhattan; California Serial Killer Coming To New York To Face Two Murder Charges

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There’s good news and bad news…

The bad news is a cold-blooded serial killer is coming to New York. The good news he’ll be under lock and key the entire time he’s here.

California serial killer Rodney Alcala is en-route to the Big Apple where he’ll face murder charges in the deaths of two women in the 1970s.

Alcala’s case is the latest in a collection of cold cases Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has taken on since taking office in 2010.

At a press conference last year to announce the indictment of Alcala,
Vance
told reporters that “cold cases should not be forgotten cases.” Vance
also is responsible for reopening the case into the 1979 disappearance
of Etan Patz
. In that case, 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez was arrested
last month — he confessed to killing Patz, but there is little evidence
to prove that he’s responsible for the boy’s murder other than his
confession.

Alcala was convicted in 2010 on charges that he strangled four women and
a 12-year-old girl in California in the 1970s. He’s also been linked to
the murders of two 23-year-old women in New York in 1971 and 1977.

The first of Alcala’s alleged New York victims was TWA flight attendant
Cornelia Crilley, who was found raped and strangled in her Manhattan
apartment in 1971. The second of his alleged New York victims was
23-year-old Ellen Hover, whose body was found in Westchester County in
1977.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told the
Voice last month that the office’s Cold Case Unit — created by Vance in
2010 — currently is looking into more than 3,000 unsolved homicide
cases to see
if new scientific advancements, like DNA technology, will turn up
new leads.

Since Vance took office, the Cold Case Unit has solved several
unsolved homicides, including the case of a pregnant mother of nine who
was raped and murdered on a Manhattan rooftop in 1989. In that case, the
victim’s head was cut off by her abusive boyfriend, Philip Ward — the
father of two of her children — who currently
is a guest of the state doing a life sentence for different rape and
murder
convictions.

Alcala is expected to arrive in New York this afternoon, and arraigned on the two murder charges as early as tonight.

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