Bachelor Number One

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Rodney Alcala had already had been convicted for the 1968 rape of an 8-year-old girl when he appeared on The Dating Game in 1978 — and won:

Mills, who was bachelor No. 2, said he had an almost immediate aversion to Alcala. “Something about him, I could not be near him,” Mills recalled. “I am kind of bending toward the other guy to get away from him, and I don’t know if I did that consciously. But thinking back on that, I probably did.”

Alcala was able to charm Cheryl Bradshaw from the other side of the “Dating Game” wall.

“Who will it be?” the host asked her at the end of the show. “I’ll take One [bachelor No. 1],” Bradshaw said, and out strolled Alcala.

If Alcala appeared likable to viewers at home, Mills said he was the complete opposite when they sat together in the show’s green room, where the show’s contestants waited before going on air.

“He was quiet, but at the same time he would interrupt and impose when he felt like it,” Mills said. “And he was very obnoxious and creepy — he became very unlikable and rude and imposing as though he was trying to intimidate. I wound up not only not liking this guy … not wanting to be near him … he got creepier and more negative. He was a standout creepy guy in my life.”

Within months of his “Dating Game” appearance, Alcala would become a killer, prosecutors said, abducting and murdering a 12-year-old girl in 1979. Before the decade was over, Alcala would claim four more victims, according to testimony at his trial.
Though Bradshaw chose Alcala as her date, she refused to go out with him, according to published reports.

You can watch the episode, if you’re so inclined:

Even without knowing that a serial killer is involved, I feel compelled to cringe at The Dating Game. How can you not worry about our civilization, watching a show like that?

In the 1970s, were they really letting convicted child-rapists out of prison in less than ten years?

(Hat tip to Todd, who knows a little too much about serial killers…)

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