Serial kill dating game
Although Alcala was ruled out as the Hillside Strangler, he was arrested and served a brief sentence for marijuana possession.
During this period, Alcala convinced hundreds of young men and women that he was a professional fashion photographer, and photographed them for his "portfolio." A Times co-worker later recalled that Alcala shared his photos with workmates.
He is sometimes called the "Dating Game Killer" because of his 1978 appearance on the television show The Dating Game in the midst of his murder spree.
Alcala was paroled after seventeen months, in 1974, under the "indeterminate sentencing" program popular at the time, which allowed parole boards to release offenders as soon as they demonstrated evidence of rehabilitation.
Less than two months after his release, he was re-arrested after assaulting a 13-year-old girl identified in court records as "Julie J.", who had accepted what she thought would be a ride to school.
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".
In 1971, he obtained a counseling job at a New Hampshire arts camp for children using a slightly different alias, "John Burger".