Serial Killer Rodney Alcala Had at Least One Decent Parent

Rodney Alcala and his mother had something in common: they both wrote books. Of course that's where the similarities ended.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 6 2024, Published 5:39 p.m. ET

Rodney Alcala during his trial
Source: Getty Images

Rodney Alcala

Serial killer Rodney Alcala was the kind of murderer who was often described as creepy or cold by the individuals unlucky enough to cross his path without becoming victims. He was dubbed the Dating Game Killer after he appeared on the popular game show in 1978. He was already a serial killer when he smiled and gave hokey answers on national television. The show's bachelorette would go on to choose Alcala, but she backed out of their date after meeting him. Perhaps she, too, sentenced something was off.

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When he was finally caught and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, Justice Bonnie G. Wittner wept as she recounted his crimes, per The New York Times. "This kind of case is something I’ve never experienced, hope to never again," she said. "I just want to say I hope the families find some peace and solace." There was no one in court that day to support Alcala as both his parents had passed. Less is known of Alcala's father but his mother was quite accomplished. Here's what we know about her.

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Rodney Alcala's mother was an intelligent, educated woman.

According to her obituary, Alcala's mother passed away Feb. 18, 1999, at the age of 90. Some might be surprised by the fact that Alcala's name is still included in the list of people she was survived by. One could infer from this that either Alcala's mother accepted who her son was, or she simply didn't believe it was true.

It also mentions his father Raul Alcala, who died in 1962. Her second husband died in 1988. The bulk of Anna Maria Gutierrez-Eppen's obituary is devoted to her many accomplishments, and rightfully so. She was born in Torreon, Mexico on Jan. 10, 1909, and went on to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Gutierrez-Eppen's education didn't stop there as she got a Bachelors and Masters from the University of Southern California and another Masters from Cal State L.A.

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Alcala's mother was also a talented musician. She mastered the harp and reportedly performed with the Queen of Spain. She also somehow found the time to learn five languages and author a children's book. Alcala was later diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder which is thought to have been caused by the trauma inflicted upon him by his father's abandonment.

Rodney Alcala's known victims
Source: Getty Images
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Like his mother, Rodney Alcala also wrote a book.

In 1994 Alcala published a book from prison titled You, The Jury. It reads like an extension of his trial where Alcala served as his own attorney. The book is a step-by-step refutation of murder charges with a table of contents that would put any disgusting Reddit thread to shame. For example, chapter 12 is called "The Bicycle, Knife, and Earrings — Not Relevant!," while chapter 13 is titled "The Bicycle, Knife, and Earrings — Relevant!"

Like many incarcerated people, Alcala maintained his innocence until his death and doubled down in his book. The preface tells the story of a wrongfully accused man who was unfairly imprisoned due to the emotionally charged facts of the case and not reason. He then pulls a classic DARVO (deny, attack, and reverse victim & offender) by painting himself as the victim. In Alacala's own words, he was denied his right to a fair trial as everyone conspired against him. He died on July 24, 2021.

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