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The decision to release Rodney Alcala would have catastrophic consequences.“His thrill is seeking his prey, capturing, torturing, hurting. “What he learned in prison was I’m not going to let my victims live.”It was the spring of 1979 in Southern California, and the disco era was in full swing.
But in Huntington Beach, 12-year-old Robin Samsoe enjoyed far simpler pleasures.
Bridget Wilvurt was Robin’s best friend.“We just lived to have fun,” Wilvurt tells Harold Dow.
“Everybody could be complaining about being bored, and me and Robin would find ourselves doing cartwheels and back walkovers.”The other love of Robin’s life was her mom, Maryanne.“She was probably the most loving child a mother could have.
How many little girls with long blond hair disappear that it took you three days? Matt Murphy has visited the site many times.“Robin had been up here for 12 days before her body was found,” Murphy tells Harold Dow.
’ He shook his shoulders and the tears were coming down his face, too. A fire crew conducting routine fire prevention maintenance had found Robin Samsoe’s remains in a remote location more than 40 miles from where she was last seen. “And there were 12 days for the animals to scavenge Robin’s remains, and also for the decomposition to take place.
Everything she did, she did to please me,” she says.
“I loved her warmth.”And Robin was the little sister her older brothers, Robert and Tim, doted on.“She loved ballet, she loved dancing, she loved gymnastics,” says Robert.
And a lot of people did.”Hodel says investigators went to the FBI.
“48 Hours Mystery” brings you the story of Rodney Alcala, which is the last story reported by the late Harold Dow. I need to talk to you.’ This male appeared at the door.“I will always remember that face at that door - very evil face.“And he says, ‘I’m in the shower. and that puddle of blood, it just looks like too much blood to come out of - a tiny little 8-year-old like that.”“She had been raped. “All of us were amazed at the amount of photographs he had there of young girls, very young girls. “Back then, you know, we didn’t have a lot of the forensics you have today.”Complicating matters, it seemed no one was willing to believe the gifted student could be responsible for such a heinous crime. Nearly two years later came the break they’d been waiting for. and they looked and there was Rodney Alcala’s photo - on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. They arrest him, take him into custody,” Hodel says. And he was living the life, kind of Bohemian lifestyle of a film student in the early 70s.”In August 1971, with Alcala finally in custody, Det. “I ask him, ‘So tell me about the Tali Shapiro incident.’ And basically he says, ‘Oh, I want to forget all about that.’ He said, ‘I don’t wanna talk about things that Rod Alcala did.’ As if it was a different person.”But with Tali living abroad and unavailable for trial, prosecutors had no choice but to enter into a plea agreement.
Dow was a “48 Hours” correspondent for 22 years - as long as “48 Hours” has been on television. And I had received a call,” Los Angeles Police Officer Chris Camacho recalls of that September morning in 1968. “We found - a lot of ID, picture ID of a Rodney Alcala. “So with Tali, it was kind of like God gave me a second chance to save someone.”Soon after Tali healed, her parents moved her out of the country.“I found out that they had moved to Mexico, that they did not wanna raise the daughter in this society any longer. And they looked up and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Mr. The girls knew Alcala as John Burger, their counselor at an all-girls summer camp in New Hampshire. “I get a phone call from the FBI saying, ‘We’ve got your man in custody, he’s ready to be picked up.’”In fact, Rodney Alcala had been hiding in plain sight for the last three years.“Rodney Alcala, after raping and almost killing Tali Shapiro, he fled to New York,” Murphy says. “Part of the problem for the prosecution back then is that Tali Shapiro’s family had relocated down to Mexico,” Murphy explains.
Murphy says he had no trouble charming his way back into the swing of things.“He got jobs.
He was hired by the Los Angeles Times as a typesetter… “And he was a registered sex offender during all of that, and nobody ever checked.”Rodney Alcala was even a contestant on TV’s “The Dating Game” and was chosen by the bachelorette.