"Bachelor number one is a successful photographer. Between takes, you might find him skydiving or motorcycling."
That's how Rodney Alcala was introduced on TV show Dating Game in September 1978.
With his smooth-talking charm and suggestive quips, the Texas-born man won over bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw that day. After three rounds of questioning, she chose him from among three anonymous suitors.
But once the cameras stopped rolling and Alcala promised her an unforgettable date, Bradshaw grew uneasy.
"I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy," she later told The Sunday Telegraph. "I turned down his offer. I didn't want to see him again."
That instinct may have saved her life.
Watch: Rodney Alcala on Dating Game.
Had producers of Dating Game performed a background check before casting Alcala, they would have discovered an extensive criminal record and an entry on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
By then, Alcala had killed four women. But that was only the beginning of a rampage that is believed to have claimed the lives of dozens more.
The crimes of Rodney Alcala.
In 1968, eight-year-old Tali Shapiro was walking to school along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles when a stranger offered her a lift.
The schoolgirl hesitated, but he claimed to know her family and enticed her into his car by saying he had a beautiful picture to show her.
“I remember being shown a picture, and that was the last thing I remember," Shapiro later told a court, according to LA Weekly.
That stranger was Rodney Alcala.
Alcala took Shapiro to his nearby apartment where he strangled her with a metal bar and raped her.