REVEALED: The REAL footage of Dating Game serial killer that inspired Anna Kendrick's new film about actress trying to make it big in disco-era Hollywood

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  • Reading time:7 min(s) read

  • Anna Kendrick directed ‘Woman of the Hour,’ her new movie which follows the game show contestant who picks Rodney Alcala, a serial murderer and rapist
  • Alcala’s answers were charming, funny and steeped in cheeky innuendo during the actual game show in 1978, clips show. He died in prison in 2021 

The original footage of The Dating Game serial killer that inspired a new movie about the sickening killer has been unearthed. 

Anna Kendrick directed and starred in ‘Woman of the Hour,’ her new movie which follows the game show contestant who picks Rodney Alcala, a serial murderer and rapist, to go out on a date. 

It’s believed that Netflix have paid $11 million to acquire Kendrick’s first directing gig.

Alcala’s answers were charming, funny and steeped in cheeky innuendo during the actual game show in 1978, clips show. He died in prison in 2021 – and it’s believed he could have killed up to 130 people during his evil spree. 

At the time, the 35-year-old made light work of convincing pretty contestant Cheryl Bradshaw behind the screen to pick him on hit 1970s game show The Dating Game.

Alcala appeared as Bachelor Number One on the show winning the affections of bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw (left). The original game show has inspired the new movie

Alcala appeared as Bachelor Number One on the show winning the affections of bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw (left). The original game show has inspired the new movie 

Anna Kendrick (pictured seated on the left, playing Cheryl Bradshaw) in her new movie, Woman of the Hour. Her character picks Rodney Alcala - who is a rapist and murderer. The actor playing him is seated on the far right

Anna Kendrick (pictured seated on the left, playing Cheryl Bradshaw) in her new movie, Woman of the Hour. Her character picks Rodney Alcala – who is a rapist and murderer. The actor playing him is seated on the far right

Alcala, far right, appeared on the popular game show The Dating Game in 1978, just a year after he had murdered his second victim

Alcala, far right, appeared on the popular game show The Dating Game in 1978, just a year after he had murdered his second victim

But unbeknown to her, the show’s producers and the millions of viewers tuned in at home, the smiling photographer had already murdered two women and would go on to rape and mutilate four more and a 12-year-old girl.

And in a moment of spine-chilling foreboding, Alcala clinches the show by telling her: ‘We’re going to have a great time together, Cheryl.’

It was this appearance in 1978 that would earn him the moniker, ‘The Dating Game Killer’.

Appearing beside two other love-searching hopefuls, he appears confident, funny and ordinary – far from the violent and depraved sociopath he later turned out to be.

Cheryl Bradshaw, the contestant tasked with choosing one of three blind dates behind the screen, asks for their favorite time of day, to which he offers the chilling reply: ‘The night. Night-time’.

He then tells her suggestively: ‘I’m called the banana, and I look really good.’

The audience roar with laughter and applause. It is enough to convince Cheryl and the screen draws back to reveal her date.

Producers insist, however, that the pair never actually went on that date.

Cheryl is played by Anna Kendrick herself in ‘Woman of the Hour.’ Daniel Zovatto plays the killer.

Alcala pictured during his third trial in the early 2000s, after appealing his murder charge in the death of a 12-year-old girl

Alcala pictured during his third trial in the early 2000s, after appealing his murder charge in the death of a 12-year-old girl

Anna Kendrick stars in 'Woman of the Hour,' which has just been acquired by Netflix

Anna Kendrick stars in ‘Woman of the Hour,’ which has just been acquired by Netflix

Alcala’s first known committed crime occurred in 1968, when an eye-witness called police after seeing him lure an eight-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro into his Hollywood apartment.

When police arrived, they found Talia alive but she had been raped and brutally beaten with a steel bar and was laying in a pool of her own blood.

Alcala had fled the scene and later left the state, enrolling in NYU to study film under Roman Polanski, under the pseudonym ‘John Berger’.

In June 1971, 23-year-old TWA flight attendant Cornelia Michel Crilley was found raped and strangled in her Manhattan apartment. Her death would go unsolved until 2011 when DNA evidence linked Alcala to the killing.

In the meantime, Alcala was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list that same year. He was arrested within months after children at a New Hampshire arts camp where he was working as a counselor recognized his image on a wanted poster.

He was extradited back to California to face trial for attempted murder, but Shapiro’s parents refused to let the girl testify at trial and he later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault, securing parole after just 17 months in 1974.

Billing himself as a professional fashion photographer, Alcala, who is said to have an IQ above 160, convinced hundreds of young men and women to pose naked for him for his ‘portfolio’.

He would also often lure in his murder victims the same way, before strangling them until they passed out. When they’d reawaken, he’d begin torturing them by raping and beating them within an inch of their lives.

Alcala would then kill them, often by strangulation, then rearrange their limbs into explicit positions and photograph their naked bodies.

He was eventually detained for the final time in 1979, after murdering 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.  

Alcala reportedly encountered blonde-haired Samsoe on the beach in Los Angeles with her friend Bridget Wilvurt and approached them.

Bridget later explained: ‘He honed in on us, like a shark in the water… and he goes, “Can I take your girls’ pictures?” … And Robin goes, “Sure.”’

Alcala later left the girls alone but Robin later rode off on her bike to a ballet studio where she was due for practice.

She never turned up and no one ever saw her alive again. 

As part of their probe, investigators found hundreds of pictures of young boys and girls in a Seattle storage locker rented by Alcala.

Some were released by the Huntington Beach Police Department in 2010 amid fears those depicted may have been additional cold case victims from unsolved disappearances or murders.

Alcala was eventually detained for the final time in 1979, after murdering 12-year-old Robin Samsoe
Samsoe was murdered the same year that Alcala appeared on the Dating Game

Samsoe was on her way to ballet class when she was abducted  

Georgia Wixted, 27, was a registered nurse whose bruised and battered body was found on the floor of her Malibu studio apartment near her brass bed on December 16, 1977

Georgia Wixted, 27, was a registered nurse whose bruised and battered body was found on the floor of her Malibu studio apartment near her brass bed on December 16, 1977

The body of 19-year-old Jill Barcom was found at the side of a road in Los Angeles in 1977
Charlotte Lamb was a legal secretary from Santa Monica who was killed at age 32 whose naked body was found on June 24, 1978, in the laundry room of a large apartment complex in El Segundo

The American serial killer is believed to be connected to crimes in New York, Washington, San Francisco, and Wyoming 

As part of their investigation, investigators found hundreds pictures of young boys and girls in a Seattle storage locker rented by Alcala
They were released by the Huntington Beach Police Department in 2010 amid fears some of those depicted may have been additional cold case victims

Alcala compiled a collection of more than 1,000 photographs of women and teenage girls and boys, many in sexually explicit poses. 

Among the photographs were also a series of trophies from some of his victims, such as jewelry, including a pair of gold earrings that matched the description of those worn by Robin on the day she disappeared.

Four years after he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, he appealed his case and won a new trial. He was later tried and convicted again, receiving the death sentence for a second time.

He launched a second successful appeal in 2001 and went for trial a third time.

When prosecutor Matt Murphy took up the case in 2003, he reexamined the evidence found at Alcala’s storage locker for DNA.

 Some of the DNA unearthed matched that of four other woman who were either found dead or disappeared during the 1970s, confirming Alcala to be a serial killer.  

Alcala was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison as his execution was  postponed indefinitely because of a moratorium on the death penalty instituted by California State in 2019

Alcala was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison as his execution was  postponed indefinitely because of a moratorium on the death penalty instituted by California State in 2019

One of the victims was 19-year-old Jill Barcomb, whose body was found at the side of a road in Los Angeles in 1977, having had her face mutilated and with ligatures around her neck.

Alcala was also found to have murdered 27-year-old nurse Georgia Wixted who was found naked an brutalized in Malibu in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, whose body was found strangled and raped in an apartment complex miles away from her home in June 1978; and Jill Parenteau, a 21-year-old college student who was found raped and murdered in her bedroom in June 1979.

Alcala was convicted of those women’s murders in 2010, then 66, and sentenced to death.

He later pleaded guilty to two more murders in New York City in 1977 and 1978, and then later charged in 2016 with the murder of Christine Thornton in the summer of 1977. He denies murdering Thornton. 

He died in 2021.  




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