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Like many of the notorious serial killers operating in the 70s (think Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, the Hillside Strangler), Alcala took advantage of more lax cultural norms - inefficient law enforcement protocol and the lack of DNA technology - to carry out his brutal crimes.
But investigators had a unique edge in this case: Alcala kept a collection of about he had taken, some of them depicting his victims.
The most intriguing true crime tales are the ones that continue to unfold for decades, holding our attention captive long after the perpetrator has been put away.
One such case is that of Rodney James Alcala, the so-called Dating Game Killer.
To receive this diagnosis, Alcala would have had to exhibit a persistent pattern of disrespect for the rights of other people, disregard for right and wrong, and a lack of guilt or remorse for his actions.
Fortunately for Shapiro, that is all she can remember of the horrific experience.
With her attacker on the loose and no knowledge of his whereabouts, the Shapiros left the country.
Rodney Alcala was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list, but background checks were rather lax in the 70s.
Alcala committed his first known violent crime in Hollywood in 1968.
He lured eight-year-old Tali Shapiro into his car while she was walking to school.
The rapist and attempted murderer fled to the east coast, where he changed his name to John Berger and lived undetected for years.