April 13, 2010

America's most wanted (bachelor)

Whenever I put together a custom quiz party, as I'm procrastinating from doing at the moment, I find myself revisiting some of my greatest trivia hits, adapting them for the client's needs. Tonight, for example, I dug up a fun old game, "Vice President or Serial Killer?" (John Breckenridge? Henry Lee Lucas? Richard Cheney?), and reformated it into "Client [of the company I'm doing the party for] or Serial Killer?" And so, I've been researching psychopathic murderers, and I ran into the name Rodney Alcala, the "Dating Game Killer."

Intriguing, right? Just a couple weeks ago, Alcala was sentenced to death for four murders committed in the '70s. Alcala's been in and out of jail for 30 years, given the death penalty a few times, it's hard to keep track and the details are pretty sordid; this guy is about as evil as they come. The relevant point here is that in addition to being walking evil, in 1978 he was a contestant on, you guessed it, The Dating Game.

Doesn't seem like such a bad guy there, does he? If I had to guess solely from that clip, I'd figure it was the bachelorette who was the psycho. What's most disturbing, though, is that this was filmed after Alcala had committed at least a couple murders. Authorities at the time didn't know he was a killer, of course, though he had been convicted—and for a few years, incarcerated—for raping a child. It's weird enough that a guy got only three years for sexually assaulting a child, but think about that: Then he went on The Dating Game! Was it that hard to find a single man in L.A. in the '70s? I mean, jeez, I had to go through a rather detailed interview to get on Jeopardy!, and that show didn't end with me taking a tennis lesson with anyone.

I wonder what it must be like from the point of view this bachelorette, Cheryl. She had her big moment of romantic fame, getting to pick the man of her dreams in front of millions of viewers, and she selected the batshit-crazy serial killer. I suppose she should be thankful she wasn't a victim (how was the date, though?), but that can't work miracles on your self-esteem.