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"One wonders what that did in his mind", Brown said. Her decomposing body was found 12 days later in the Los Angeles foothills.Samsoe's friends told police that a stranger had approached them on the beach, asking to take their pictures.Between takes you might find him skydiving or motorcycling." A fellow "bachelor" contestant later described Alcala as a "very strange guy" with "bizarre opinions".Criminal profiler Pat Brown, noting that Alcala killed at least three women after his Dating Game appearance, speculated that this rejection might have been an exacerbating factor. They think that something is wrong with that girl: 'She played me. Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old girl from Huntington Beach, disappeared somewhere between the beach and her ballet class on June 20, 1979.In 1954 his mother moved Alcala and his siblings (two sisters and a brother) to suburban Los Angeles when he was about 11 years old. To evade the resulting arrest warrant, Alcala left the state and enrolled in the NYU film school, using the name "John Berger".In 1971, he obtained a counseling job at a New Hampshire arts camp for children using a slightly different alias, "John Burger".In 1978, Alcala worked for a short time at the Los Angeles Times as a typesetter, and was interviewed by members of the Hillside Strangler task force as part of their investigation of known sex offenders.
Host Jim Lange introduced him as a "successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed.In 1980 he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder, but the verdict was overturned by the California Supreme Court because jurors had been improperly informed of his prior sex crimes.In 1986, after a second trial virtually identical to the first except for omission of the prior criminal record testimony, he was again convicted and sentenced to death.A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel nullified the second conviction, in part because a witness was not allowed to support Alcala's contention that the park ranger who found Samsoe's body had been "hypnotized by police investigators".
Additional evidence, including another cold case DNA match in 2004, led to Alcala's indictment for the murders of four additional women: Jill Barcomb, 18, a New York runaway found "rolled up like a ball" in a Los Angeles ravine in 1977, and originally thought to have been a victim of the Hillside Strangler; Georgia Wixted, 27, bludgeoned in her Malibu apartment in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 31, raped, strangled, and left in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, killed in her Burbank apartment in 1979.During his incarceration between the second and third trials, Alcala wrote and self-published a book, You, the Jury, in which he claimed innocence in the Samsoe case and suggested a different suspect.