Dating Death will explore the tumultuous times of the 1970s, and unveil how Rodney Alcala’s reign of terror spread from Los Angeles to New York.

An arts student, Alcala cultivated his photography skills at UCLA and NYU. Through his acquired photography skills, Alcala was able to prey on both young women and children right across this trend- laden, fad-happy decade. His collection of over 1,000 photographs are authorities’ main resource for linking Alcala to other potential victims, however due to the explicit nature of many of these photographs only a small percentage have been released to the public in hopes of discovering the subjects' identities and whereabouts. 

The series will travel back in time to his first known crime in Los Angeles 1968, when he kidnapped, raped and almost killed an 8-year-old girl. After the victim’s family refused to let her testify, Alcala faced a very short incarceration. After his early release in 1974, Alcala was in and out of prison for years on misdemeanours. Eventually, a federal investigation would uncover a string of victims across four state boundaries, from 1968 to 1979, and lead to his arrest. Preying on women and children, Alcala managed to deceive and trap his unsuspecting targets by posing as a successful photographer. With an IQ of 160+, he used his intelligence and presentation skills to engage his victims in order to exploit them for his sadistic games. 


3 x one hour




Peninsula Television


USA & Ireland

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