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A fascinating but little known story
on 27 January 2013
Rodney Alcala is known as "The Dating Game Killer" simply because he appeared on a dating show in the US during the period in which he committed the crimes for which he has been convicted. He actually was chosen by the bachelorette as her date (although she didn't go on the date with him as she thought he was a bit weird), but didn't harm anyone involved in the show. That said, he did immeasurable harm to a number of other women and their families, and it is this story that is told in the book. Stella Sands does an excellent job of telling us not only about Alcala, but about the young women and children he attacked, raped and killed. This is one of the things that makes this book stand out for me. Many books on murderers focus solely on the killers life and give us little insight into the victims. Sands has clearly researched each victim in detail and they come to life on the pages, making you realise what a tragic loss each life was and also what an impact their deaths had on their families and friends. Alcala has been on and off death row in California since 1980, but as the book points out, a proper sentence for an earlier crime may have saved the lives of the women and children he murdered. A fascinating read, but a terrible shame that he was allowed to commit the crimes which have made him infamous.