The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders
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The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders

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by Stella Sands
     
 

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In 1978, Rodney Alcala was a contestant on the "The Dating Game," one of America's most popular television shows at the time. Handsome, successful, and romantic, he was embraced by the audience—and chosen as the winner by the beautiful bachelorette. To viewers across the country, Rodney seemed like the answer to every woman's dreams. Until they learned the

Overview

In 1978, Rodney Alcala was a contestant on the "The Dating Game," one of America's most popular television shows at the time. Handsome, successful, and romantic, he was embraced by the audience—and chosen as the winner by the beautiful bachelorette. To viewers across the country, Rodney seemed like the answer to every woman's dreams. Until they learned the truth about his once and future crimes...
Ten years before his TV appearance, Rodney was charged with the sexual assault and attempted murder of an eight-year-old girl. In the decades that followed, he would be accused of seven murders—and, as new DNA evidence continues to be uncovered, the list may grow. The case is so disturbing that it's been documented in several news outlets, from People magazine and USA Today to 48 Hours Mystery and Dr. Phil. The Dating Game Killer is the shocking true story about the dark and twisted man.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Stella Sands true-crime THE DATING GAME KILLER recounts in detail the horrific torture-murders of Rodney James Alcala, one of our nation's most coldblooded serial killers. Ms. Sands presents the crimes and evidence with professional skill and objectivity, using the actual prosecutors and courtroom testimony to "make the case." But it is the real life voices of the victims' many family members and their untold story [until now] of how they were forced to experience Justice delayed and Justice denied that truly chills us to the bone. A must read!” —Steve Hodel, New York Times bestselling true-crime author, Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, Detective Supervisor, LAPD Hollywood Homicide Division (ret.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312535896
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
241,319
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Dating Game Killer

PART I

Chapter One
Nineteen sixty-eight was one hell of a year.
Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Nearly seventeen thousand U.S. armed forces died fighting in the Vietnam War.
In the face of such real-life violence, dark currents began to flow through American culture. The horror movie Rosemary's Baby, directed by Roman Polanski, was a surprise success in Hollywood--both with critics and at the box office. It was about a group of Satanists who trick a young newlywed into carrying and giving birth to the devil's spawn. (In a disturbing real-life twist the following year, the sociopathic cult leader Charles Manson ordered the brutal slaying of Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and four others in the Los Angeles hills. Charles "Tex" Watson, who was the Manson Family disciple in charge of committing the murders, told one of the victims, "I'm the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's business.")
As images of carpet bombings and body bags from Vietnam dominated the airwaves, young Americans increasingly began to challenge authority and "the Man." As cars cruised up and down Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip, radios blared edgier, angrier rock and roll: "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan, "What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye,"Eve of Destruction," by Barry McGuire. Musicians from bands like the Doors, the Byrds, Cream, and the Animals played the Whiskey-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip--and partied with abandon at the Chateau Marmont Hotel up the street. Los Angeles became a mecca for the most hedonistic aspects of this emerging counterculture: psychedelic drug use, sexual freedom and experimentation, smoking grass.
Amidst all this turmoil and social upheaval in 1968, an event occurred that is not well documented by the era's historians: "Tali S.," age eight, was abducted on her way to school.
Copyright © 2011 by Stella Sands.

Meet the Author

Stella Sands is Executive Editor of Kids Discover, an award-winning magazine with over 400,000 subscribers geared to children 7 to 12 years old. She is author of four crime books, The Good Son, Murder at Yale, Behind the Mask—all available from St. Martin's Press True Crime Library—and Baby-faced Butchers, as well as other works including Odyssea and Natural Disasters. Her plays, Lou Passin' Through, Black-eyed Peas, and E-me, have been produced in Off-Off Broadway theaters in New York City.

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The Dating Game Killer 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
koren56 More than 1 year ago
Very interesting story of a serial killer who once appeared on The Dating Game TV show in the 70's. This book is 400 pages. I thought the court proceedings could have easily been condensed but otherwise a very interesting book. I got annoyed with the author for telling us repeatedly that there was no DNA testing in the 70's. I was also disapponted that the actual story about his appearing on the tv show was really only a couple of pages and then a page towards the end of the book. I liked the short chapters. Perfect for someone like me who sometimes only has time to read a few pages. Also it didnt bounce around in time, which I really liked. So, all in all, some likes, some dislikes, and a four star rating.
MetsRoom More than 1 year ago
Actually the Dating Game had very little to do with it..but it was still a great true crime story. I have never read anything by Stella Sands before, but I will look for more after reading this book. As always, true crime is the most chilling genre.
PONeill More than 1 year ago
This book cohesively relates factual history on a particularly brutal time on the CA coast. It shows how many loopholes both judicially and politically contributed to so many deaths of innocent young women. It also chronicles the decline of Rodney Alcala as an attractive young seducer of women into his frightening physical appearance as an older and very cunning predator. It reminded me of "The Portrait of Dorian Gray"! If you enjoy courtroom proceedings and true crime details this book is a winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing was competent and did a good job of taking the reader through the killer's history and trials. It did get repetitive near the end when the author went through a detailed description of the trials, including rehashing the crimes and victim testimony. Skim the last 100 pages to skip over the repetition and see the killer's defense strategy, or lack thereof. Could have used a better editor.
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