The crimes Alcala committed date to the late 1970s.

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He had somehow got on the popular game show The Dating Game despite a 1972 conviction for raping an eight-year-old girl.

Tali Shapiro was raped and beaten with a steel bar, but because her parents refused to let her testify at Alcala's trial, he was paroled in 1974 after spending 34 months in jail on a lesser charge of child molestation. Alcala enjoyed photographing his victims – mostly attractive young women – after murdering them and putting their corpses in distorted, grotesque poses.

By the time they arrived, Alcala had struck Shapiro with a steel rod and raped her.

When they knocked on the door, he escaped out the back and evaded arrest. In 1971, Alcala is believed to have raped and strangled Cornelia Crilley, a Trans World Airlines flight attendant, in her Manhattan apartment.

In 1968, Alcala committed his first known crime, when he lured an eight-year-old girl into his Hollywood apartment – and then raped and beat her with a steel bar.

Alcala fled the state and rolled in the NYU film school under the alias of “John Berger.” In 1971, the FBI added Alcala to its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list.

Alcala's first known victim was an eight-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro, whom he abducted as she was on her way to school.

After he lured her into his car, a witness followed him back to his apartment on De Longpre Avenue and called the police.

His father, Raoul Alcala Buquor, abandoned the family when he was young. In 1968, he graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and later studied film under Roman Polanski (whose wife would later become a victim of the Manson Family) at the New York University under the name "John Berger".