Prosecutors seeking the death penalty against 65-year old Rodney Alcala in custody on a Huntington Beach, Calif. murder case that rocked the community when 12-year old Robin Samsoe was abducted in 1979, are considering adding New York slayings to the case. Samsoe was a young ballet student abducted while riding her bike near her home some 30 years ago in what once ranked as one of the top 10 safest cities for its size. (In 2008 Huntington Beach ranked 32nd, according to FBI crime statistics).
Detectives in Los Angeles County linked Alcala through DNA evidence to four unsolved murders and detectives are trying to piece together his DNA link to murdrs nationwide.
Now in his third trial after appeals, if a jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances, it could set the stage for a penalty phase to determine punishment of either life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty. On older victims, Alcala, investigators believe that Alcala who is reported as having an IQ of a genius, used his camera and charm as a method of approaching women and getting them to lower their guard.
When the young Huntington Beach ballet student disappeared on June 20, 1979, Alacala was allegedly seen taking photos of young girls near the Huntington Beach Pier shortly before her disappearance. Her remains were found 12 days later in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills near Alcala’s mother’s home. Alcala was additionally indicted for four murders in Southern California that put him on the seria killer list, with older victimes ranging in age from 18 to 32 and residing in L.A. to Santa Monica, Malibu and Burbank.