News & Politics

Rodney Alcala Murdered 2 Women Here Before He Was TV’s ‘Bachelor No. 1,’ DNA and New Evidence Indicate


Rodney Alcala, the “Dating Game Killer” who’s already on death row in California, is now a suspect in the murders of two Manhattan women in 1971 and 1977.

It looks like the nationally infamous serial killer started his California spree only after killing the two New York women.

The NYPD used DNA technology to finally name Alcala as the suspect. Now it turns out that Alcala’s now-famous appearance as “Bachelor No. 1” on The Dating Game in 1978 came after he, in all probability, killed the two New York women.

Alcala — who’s a dead ringer for Eugene Levy’s folk-singer “Mitch” character in the droll comedy A Mighty Wind — has been indicted in the murders of flight attendant Cornelia Crilley in 1971 and Hollywood heiress Ellen Hover in 1977.

He’s already on death row for brutalizing and strangling four women and a 12-year-old girl in Orange County, California, says the L.A. Times in a story that gives a lot of background info.

Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. boasted that his cold-case unit began an “exhaustive re-examination” of the cases last year, citing new interviews with more than 100 witnesses. In his statement, he said that was “combined” with info from L.A. prosecutors and cops. Vance insisted that it wasn’t just DNA or other physical evidence that cracked the case.

However, when Bob Morgenthau was still D.A., NYPD cops went to California in 2003 to get a dental impression showing that his teeth matched a mark on one of the two New York women’s bodies, the L.A. Times notes.

More from the L.A. Times:

Authorities believe Alcala went to New York at least twice between 1968 and 1977, once after he was tied to the rape and beating of an 8-year-old girl.

During that period, Crilley was found raped and strangled with her own nylon stockings in her Manhattan apartment. Around that time Alcala was working at a summer camp for girls in New Hampshire, authorities said.

In July 1977, Ellen Jane Hover disappeared from New York City and her body was discovered the following year near her family’s estate. Before she disappeared, she had written the name “John Berger” in a planner, a name police believe Alcala used as an alias while in New York.

The Southern California killings began just a few months later.


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