Though we’re used to seeing creeps on dating shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, they’re usually not criminals. But Rodney Alcala, the so-called “Dating Game Killer” was already a murderer at the time of his TV appearance. Now he’s back on TV, of sorts, thanks to two TV specials about his grisly crimes.
Alcala was cast Bachelor No. 1 on a 1978 episode of the ABC game show, introduced as a “successful photographer.” He ended up winning a date with that episode’s bachelorette, Cheryl Bradshaw, but she refused to go out with him afterward. “I started to feel ill,” she told The Sunday Telegraph in 2012. “He was acting really creepy. I turned down his offer. I didn’t want to see him again.”
What The Dating Game producers overlooked, however, was that Alcala had allegedly raped and beaten an 8-year-old girl a decade prior. (Prosecutors