Serial killer Rodney Alcala has died at age 77 from natural causes while on death row.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed his death on Saturday.
Alcala, also known as the "Dating Game Killer" after appearing in, and eventually winning, the 1978 show, became a contestant despite serving prison sentences for assaulting an eight-year-old in 1968, and a 13-year-old in 1974. He was also a registered sex offender.
It is believed that he killed as many as 130 people.
Alcala was originally sentenced in 1980 for the kidnapping and murder of a 12-year-old girl, Robin Samsoe, the previous year, but the conviction was overturned in 1984. He was granted a new trial and was convicted and sentenced to death again in 1986, but the conviction was overturned in 2003.
A new trial was granted, and in 2010 he was again convicted and sentenced to death. Alcala was also charged for the murders of four women after DNA evidence linked him to the victims. He was sentenced to an additional 25 years to life in prison in 2013, after pleading guilty to two more murders.
Prosecutors said Alcala stalked women like prey and accused him of taking earrings as trophies from his victims, according to the Associated Press.
"You’re talking about a guy who is hunting through Southern California looking for people to kill because he enjoys it," Orange County, California, prosecutor Matt Murphy said during Alcala’s trial.
Testifying in court, Samsoe's mother said that a pair of earrings found in Alcala’s storage locker belonged to her daughter, but he claimed they were his own. California prosecutors stated that Alcala took earrings from at least two of his adult victims, including a pair of rose-shaped earrings found in his possession from one of his victims who had his DNA on her body.
Following the verdicts, more than 100 photos of women and girls found in Alcala's possession were released by authorities hoping to link him to other unsolved murders.
"There is murder and rape and then there is the unequivocal carnage of a Rodney Alcala-style murder," said one of the victim's brothers, Bruce Barcomb, as Alcala was sentenced to death.
There are at least 700 inmates on death row in California, but in 2019 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order halting all executions in the state.
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