In 1978, Rodney Alcala won a date on the popular TV show, The Dating Game. What no one knew was that he was a prolific serial killer in the middle of a cross-country murder spree. In this six-part series, co-hosts Tracy Pattin (Hollywood & Crime) and Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don’t Breathe) take listeners on an unbelievable journey into Alcala’s twisting secret life. He hid behind normal jobs as a typesetter at a prominent newspaper and a summer camp counselor. How did this predatory monster fool employers, prison psychiatrists, and parole boards — all while committing heinous crimes from coast to coast? And how did a one-time appearance as a game show contestant help lead to his capture? From the makers of Dirty John, Dr. Death, and Young Charlie, learn the story of the most famous serial killer you’ve never heard of - The Dating Game Killer.
Listen today at wondery.fm/shrinkDGK.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The dating game killer transports you to the nineteen Seventys when serial killers and paranoia terrorized America for years Rodney. Our colleague Criss crossed the nation, leaving a trail of mayhem and mysterious deaths behind him. He would lower as victims in by promising to take their photo charm them and then be sure that they were never seen again.
in the middle of his string of murders. He appeared as a contested on the popular television show, the dating game. How was it that a cold blooded serial killer made it onto it?
tv, show that millions of people watched and no one could see
what he really was. We now can say for certain that all collar was one of the most deadly serial killers in american history police. Are
that our colleague murdered five people,
the real number might be closer to one hundred from wandering the team that brought you over my dead body and Hollywood in crime comes the dating game.
Color the gruesome story of the most famous serial killer that you ve never heard of you're about to hear a preview of the Dating game killer
while you listening, be sure to subscribe to the dating game killer on Apple podcast over every listening right now
I welcome the daring gave away assigned to meet our first radiological batteries for game number. One
on September, eighteenth nineteen. Seventy eight millions
tv viewers tuned into one of America's most popular game shows in living rooms across the country. People watched as the stage set rotated to reveal the contestants who would vie for a date with the evenings. First bachelor rat graduate, otherwise a successful the jag over we'll gotta start when his father volume in the dark room at the age of thirteen fully developed, the lights came up as the camera moved into a tight shot of bachelor number one.
He smiled wide at the audiences. Warm welcome nodding with self confidence. His white dress sure was open halfway down his chest is long main of curly. Dark hair was perfectly quaffed, brushed back and cascading down his shoulders.
number one: there is a young lady with a wealth of experience. Welcome of you well sensational.
Cyril Bradshaw strode onto the stage and sparkling miti dress with puffy sleeves and revealing scoop neck. Her view of the bachelors was blocked by a bend in the flower power inspired barrier name age. Hosts Jim Lang quickly explain the rules once she could ask the contestants whatever she liked, except their name age, occupation or income. Then he introduced the bachelors number one, which is
loaded Cheryl. Please we're gonna have a great time together. Shirl we got in the style of the show. Charles questions were playful and heavy with sexual innuendo
bachelor number one was particularly adapted matching her tone in bravado and double on Tonga. He was comfortable in front of the camera growing provocatively and commanding her to get over here. He played to the audience and they responded. That's in their number were you for dinner. I you call
And what do you look like I'm cold, the banana really. Can you feel like you're sweating he'll, be
backstage before the show began? Bachelor number
demeanor had been less engaging. He seemed able to turn the charm on it will, but it vanished as soon as it no longer suited his purposes as he and the other contestants waited to take their places on stage he got in the face of one of his rivals. I always get the girl
He snarled his eyes dark empty pits again. Cheryl we reached the moment the truth. As you heard from the bachelors, we got some great dramatic presentations and good answer, but now I'm an ask you a question: will lead Davy Bachelor number one bachelor number, two,
bachelor number. Three in its thirteen years on the air, the dating game had introduced America too many guess who would go on to celebrate a careers
it's alumni. Lomna were fair, Fawcett, rattles and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tonight's lucky bachelor would be no exception
within a year. His name would be known nationwide, though
it wouldn't be for landing his own movie contract. Rather, he would be known to law enforcement agencies from Hollywood too.
work and his dating game appearance would become. Legend
be spots or through the windshield from half a block away, she's carrying books,
no doubt on our way to school as the angles
closer to the sidewalk. He can see her lips moving in an improvised little to when the light
changes to read he paused to the current leans across the front seat.
He knows how he needs to sound practices,
modulating his voice for every occasion he will
the adult, authoritative, yet none threatening the kind of person her parents have taught her to obey.
He rolls down the window and smiles as she looks over him. He motions for her to come closer
he offers her a ride to school, as if it's the most natural thing, a daily routine,
tells him she's not supposed to talk to strangers and continues on her way,
and is the car forward alongside her doesn't
recognize him. He asks she looks back at him
Scrunch is its shoulders. It slightly dejected. She doesn't remember him. He tells
his friends with her parents.
When he senses her uncertainty. He knows to back off.
Just the right amount, pull don't push touched the ground,
She stopped and leaned toward the window. He tells areas a picture he wants to shore
Her parents have seen it already and said: she'd really like it. Where is, she asks,
he smiles again and reaches for the door handle knowing,
almost their duty and he says making it a casual is possible
you can show it to on the way to school. This is the critical moment. He knows
Slightest off no reaction from him will scare her away. She looks
any widens his eyes in a welcoming signal. She opened the door
and slides into passenger seat, even
her in the car. He knows it's only the first step she can jump out at any moment, so we need to keep
Monitoring is every expression and gesture.
His voice soft. He asks about school, it's ok. She tells him
he turns off sunset and traffic is lighter she's distracted now, looking at the window,
When they turn onto Delong pray in West Hollywood, she says
not the right way to school. He tells area
off somewhere for just a minute when he pulled over in front of the apartment complex,
she looks around the unfamiliar street. He smiles again. He knows how critical
next few seconds are there fifty feet from his door
She seems concern now
only a minute he assures are promising to get her to school on time.