Rodney James Alcala (born Rodrigo Jacques Alcala Buquor; August 23, 1943) is a convicted rapist and serial killer. He was sentenced to death in California in 2010 for five murders committed in that state between 1977 and 1979.
In 2013, he received an additional sentence of 25 years to life after pleading guilty to two homicides committed in New York in 1971 and 1977. His true victim count remains unknown, and could be much higher.
One police detective called Alcala “a killing machine” and others have compared him with Ted Bundy. A homicide investigator familiar with the evidence speculates that he could have murdered as many as 50 women, while other estimates have run as high as 130.
Prosecutors say that Alcala “toyed” with his victims, strangling them until they lost consciousness, then waiting until they revived, sometimes repeating this process several times before finally killing them.
Police discovered a collection of more than 1,000 photographs taken by Alcala, mostly of women and teenage boys, many in sexually explicit poses. They speculate that some of his photographic subjects could be additional victims.
In 2016, he was charged with the 1977 murder of a woman identified as one of his photo subjects.
He is sometimes called the “Dating Game Killer” because of his 1978 appearance on the television show The Dating Game in the midst of his murder spree.