March 8, 2010

Convicted last month of killing 4 women and a little girl, Rodney Alcala was once a winning contestant on "The Dating Game."

This account of the penalty phase of his trial goes on to analyze his 1978 TV appearance. There's an interview with one of the other contestants:
"[H]e was very obnoxious and creepy -- he became very unlikable and rude and imposing as though he was trying to intimidate. I wound up not only not liking this guy ... not wanting to be near him ... he got creepier and more negative. He was a standout creepy guy in my life."
Alcala's murders began within months of the show. Now, you can watch the old TV show on YouTube. And the weird thing is...



... everyone on the show is creepy. Really creepy.

51 comments:

knox said...

Yeah, can't say Alcala's any grosser than anyone else. But knowing what we know now, every one of his responses seem full of portent.

That show, and the Newlyweds, and that one with Chuck Woolery: all really, really bad. Sure to attract any number of sociopath types. Normal people are uncomfortable with the debasing of intimate relationships that occur on these shows.

MadisonMan said...

It was interesting that the woman refused to go out with him. Good for her. Somewhere in her psyche, alarm bells were ringing. Excellent idea to listen to them.

Palladian said...

It's rare that a civilization has its moments of decline so thoroughly documented and preserved.

1jpb said...

I wouldn't say creepy, I'd say baby boomery.

BTW, do baby boomers know how awful they (for the most part) have been and continue to be?

I'd even prefer Jersey Shore over these (and many other) boomers any day, and (obviously) Jersey Shore is horrible.

chuck b. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knox said...

Somewhere in her psyche, alarm bells were ringing.

Currently, my husband is reading "Without Conscience," a book about psychopaths. From what he's said about it, they have no feelings, but can learn to fake it, and to blend in.

Obviously, this guy couldn't. Not if that girl could detect it. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

knox said...

BTW, do baby boomers know how awful they (for the most part) have been and continue to be?

I recently heard an interview with John Yoo, where they asked him about his students, and if he felt negative about the future of the country.

He replied (paraphrasing here) "I'm optimistic. I really think the problem lies with the baby boomer generation. They've systematically destroyed every institution they've come into contact with. And now they're all going to retire, and they're going to keep anyone else from ever being able to retire."

High five, John Yoo.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's rare that a civilization has its moments of decline so thoroughly documented and preserved.

QFT

Yikes. Creepy and stupid at the same time.

Plus, what is really scary....I used to wear my hair just like that. Egads.

edutcher said...

The Boomers in question are the Ayers-Obama types. A lot of the Boomers (most, probably) were just as square as thier parents (whose generation contributed mightily to the problems we have now, BTW). Most Boomers didn't demonstrate, burn their bras, and a good many of them (3 million, I believe) went to Vietnam.

The problem is that the media, hard core Left even in the 60s, identified with the nutcases like Ayers and stereotyped everybody in that group the same way. I mean, even though they called "The Times They Are A-changin'" the "anthem of a generation", the real one was probably something like, "Yesterday" or "Help Me, Rhonda".

Paul said...

"Currently, my husband is reading "Without Conscience," a book about psychopaths. From what he's said about it, they have no feelings, but can learn to fake it, and to blend in. "

It really is true that in this country ANYBODY can grow up to be president!

Trooper York said...

That wasn't as creepy as the time that George W Bush was on the Dating Game!

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"... everyone on the show is creepy. Really creepy."

A fellow X-er once described what being a child in the 1970s was like, why it gave us a permanent distaste for the era and the culture that it embodied:

"ALL adults looked like criminals!"

Jeremy said...

And what's really weird?

edutcher took her place and dated him for six months.

Jason said...

Here's another crazy guy on the Dating Game.

A wild and crazy guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOT7heJgVcc

HKatz said...

I've read "Without Conscience" - it's pretty interesting (as well as alarming to consider how well they can blend in). However, there's usually some indication that something's "off" about a person like that - they can be super charming and seem to have a winning personality, but people will often note a deadness to the eyes or some other little slips and signs that make the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. These signs unfortunately can be very subtle and easily overlooked.

Even when someone creeps you out a little or makes you feel wary, your first thought usually isn't that he/she is a serial killer. And sociopaths don't necessarily become killers. They usually do bring about suffering and damage of some sort though.

traditionalguy said...

The easy willingness to demonise the Boomers as a group is much a pathology as it it to demonise any group. For every fruit and nut in California portrayed as "The Boomers" by the TV and media memes of the 1970s, there were 100 hard working good people. The Madison Avenue psychologists had learned by then how to sell the Boomer demographic to their advertisers as an easy to fool, homogeneous, and deliverable entity. That was as false then, as it's still false today. This video seems creepy because it was as unreal then as it is today. I say let's pick the Austrians (or fill in the blank) as the next group scapegoat for our problems and leave the "Evil Boomers" alone. There are good and bad in every group.

knox said...

HKatz,

My husband wanted to read it because he came across a list of traits, and began to suspect that someone we used to know is a psychopath.

I've met the guy in question, and one of the first things I noticed was how easily he would lie. And it was always subtle, just little tweaks and changes to a story or a situation. Always to make his role in it more impressive.

They usually do bring about suffering and damage of some sort though.

Definitely true in our case! To the tune of about $1,000.

rcocean said...

They created a cultural desert and called it the 70s.

Trooper York said...

"I say let's pick the Austrians (or fill in the blank) as the next group scapegoat for our problems and leave the "Evil Boomers" alone."

Let's just blame the lawyers. Even back in Good Queen Bess's time they wanted to kill all the lawyers!

traditionalguy said...

Thesis: All Rodney proves is the well known evil of long haircuts on men. That is a joke. The existence of Toxic Narcissism in emotionally dead men is not going to go away soon. The only strategy to deal with these people is to avoid them. But how do their wife and children avoid them?

traditionalguy said...

Trooper ...In the enlightened Georgia Colony founded by James Oglethorpe at Savannah in 1723, the basic laws forbade all Lawyers. These colonists were not docile for long, and we are now ruled by lawyers.

LoafingOaf said...

Wow. That was over 30 years ago. There may be shows as dumb as that on the air today, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything dumber. Well, okay, Jerry Springer's show is dumber. But The Dating Game was when there were just the Big 3 networks plus some local channels, not the hundreds of channels they've gotta fill up today. And they say the pop culture has declined....

Check Wiki and you'll see that a lot of pre-stardom celebs of today appeared on that show. Including last night's Oscars host, Steve Martin.

Alcala, who already had been convicted for the 1968 rape of an 8-year-old girl, was the first contestant to be introduced in the game-show episode.

Were they unable to do backround checks in 1978?

Shanna said...

everyone on the show is creepy. Really creepy.

I don't know, I think #2 looked smart enough to realize it was all idiotic, although not smart enough not to go on the show. But then, he was an actor, so possibly he was just trying to get exposure.

God that show was dumb! I don't know how anybody could keep a straight face.

Shanna said...

Though Bradshaw chose Alcala as her date, she refused to go out with him, according to published reports. Being rejected can have a profound impact on serial killers, Brown suggested.

Just finished the article and this bit really makes me think that girl ought to be glad she wasn't his first victim. Damn. Score one for intuition (or the gift of fear).

traditionalguy said...

The 1978 silliness was a proud apogee for the freedom of young singles to enjoy free love with whomever like a handshake. The Birth Control revolution of 1962 had opened wide a new door and the AIDs reality had not yet spoiled the party . The sillyness came from a public acceptance of boundary free sexual conduct for those wild and crazy young folks. No society really lives and survives having a good life that way.

Palladian said...

You want "Dating Game" creepiness? Try this.

Also notice the gulf between what was acceptable in 1970 and 1978. There was still a small candle of innocent optimism detectable in 1970. That had been snuffed out by 1978. 1970 was a culture deciding whether it wanted to thrive or decay. 1978 was a culture that had already done a few lines, downed a few quaaludes with a bottle of Black Tower and was speeding down a winding mountain road in a Camaro.

edutcher said...

Jeremy, you're projecting again.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Nice, Palladian!

1jpb said...

Here, imho, is an example of a non-creepy boy girl relationship.

1jpb said...

Palladian,

I think you meant "...a bitchin camero..."

Rod - Hey Jack, what's happenin'?
Joe - Oh, I don't know.
Rod - Well, rumor around town says you think you might be heading down to the shore.
Joe - Uh, yeah, I think I'm goin' down to the shore.
Rod - Whatcha gonna do down there?
Joe - Uh, I don't know, play some video games, buy some Def Leppard t-shirts.
Rod - Hey, don't forget to get your Motley Crue t-shirt, y'know, all proceeds go to get their lead singer out of jail.
Joe - Uh huh.
Rod - Hey, you gonna check out the Sandbar while you're there?
Joe - Uh, what's the Sandbar?
Rod - Oh, it's this place that lets sixteen year-old kids drink.
Joe - Oh, cool.
Rod - Y'know who's gonna be there?
Joe - Uh, who?
Rod - My favorite cover band, Crystal Shit.
Joe - Oh.
Rod - Yeah, they do a Doors show, you'd be really impressed, in fact, it goes a little like this:

Love me two times baby
Love me twice today
Love me two times girl
Cause I got AIDS
Love me two times baby, once for tomorrow, once cause I got AIDS

Joe - Wow, Pretty good Jim Morrison impersonation there.
Rod - Yeah, I hope those guys have a good sense of humor and don't take us to court.
Joe - Uh, what's the court?
Rod - Never mind that,
Joe - Oh, you mean like the People's Court?
Rod - Well, that's another story; the important thing here is you gotta ask me how I'm gonna get down to the shore.
Joe - Uh, how you gonna get down to the shore?
Rod - Funny you should ask, I've got a car now.
Joe - Oh wow, how'd you get a car?
Rod - Oh my parents drove it up here from the Bahamas.
Joe - You're kidding!
Rod - I must be, the Bahamas are islands, okay, the important thing now, is that you ask me what kind of car I have.
Joe - Uh, what kinda car do ya' got?
Rod - I've got a BITCHIN CAMARO!

BITCHIN CAMARO, BITCHIN CAMARO
I ran over my neighbors
BITCHIN CAMARAO, BITCHIN CAMARO
Now it's in all the papers.
My folks bought me a BITCHIN CAMARO with no insurance to match;
So if you happen to run me down, please don't leave a scratch.
I ran over some old lady one night at the county fair;
And I didn't get arrested, because my dad's the mayor.
BITCHIN CAMARO, BITCHIN CAMARO
Doughnuts on your lawn
BITCHIN CAMARO, BITCHIN CAMARO
Tony Orlando and Dawn
When I drive past the kids, they all spit and cuss,
Because I've got a BITCHIN CAMARO and they have to ride the bus.
So you'd better get out of my way, when I run through your yard;
Because I've got a BITCHIN CAMARO;
And an Exxon credit card.
BITCHIN CAMARO, BITCHIN CAMARO
Hey, man where ya headed?
BITCHIN CAMARO, BITCHIN CAMARO
I drive on unleaded.


I'm sure Palladian is a fan of the Dead Milkmen.

William said...

I knew a guy who appeared on a daytime quiz show. He was coached to appear peppy and enthusiastic, i.e. an asshole. He told himself that no one he knew ever watched daytime television, and there was the possibility of a big payday. It was some kind of game where he was paired with a minor celebrity. His celebrity was an obscure ballad singer who was dumb as paint. He lost in the first round. There was some kind of rule where you couldn't compete on another game show for a year. My friend said it wasn't worth the agita and wouldn't repeat the experience....There was a kind of grim fascination watching the clip. Perhaps there should be an updated Sociopathic Dating Game, where one of the contestants is a registered sex offender and the girl is ocassionally a paroled muderess. Of course, all involved would have to sign a release, but there would be some real Fatal Attraction vibes to the moves the contestants put on each other....The accelerating decay of western civ makes for some good tv.

PatCA said...

Alcala was also an employee of the LA Times. Another strike against the MSM.

Alcala and the LAT

Penny said...

Yeah it was a lot worse back then when the boomers were young...

Let's see what's going on in the TV dating world these days. I suppose no one watched "Flavor of Love" with Flavo Flav? Or maybe its offshoot "I Love New York"? NO? Well how about "All for the LOVE of Ray J" or "A Shot of Love" with Tila Tequila?

Then there was Ryan Jenkins who was on "Megan Wants a Millionaire". The show never aired. He was the guy who hacked up his model wife.

But dang that Dating Game was really creepy? You need to watch, or at least flip by, some of the trash that's on today.

Nichevo said...

You know what's creepy, the sound is coming in mono. I only hear it in my right ear.

Revenant said...

For every fruit and nut in California portrayed as "The Boomers" by the TV and media memes of the 1970s, there were 100 hard working good people.

Not really. If the bad apples were outnumbered that severely, we wouldn't have any real problems as a country. It is also silly to blame California for the country's problems -- heck, unlike the residents of flyover country, Californians are net contributors to the federal government.

But it is true that one can't pin the blame on the baby boomers. Most of the problems we struggle with today were inflicted on us by the Boomers' parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. For example, the entitlement infrastructure currently bankrupting our nation was foisted on us by people born in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Boomers' greatest failing is not cleaning up THEIR parents' messes.

Beth said...
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Beth said...

Palladian's comment reminded me of being 18 in 1978, and having stupid, rude encounters with concert-T wearing, metal listening, Dungeon and Dragon playing kids in the nearby suburbs. I recall coming up with a formula for knowing when one had crossed the parish line, and it involved a sudden increase in the CPSI factor - Camaros per square inch.

That's amusing only until I remember that at the same time I really wanted a Trans Am with a T-roof - and I'm sure I thought that made me oh so much more cool than those suburban goofs.

Palladian said...

"Palladian's comment reminded me of being 18 in 1978, and having stupid, rude encounters with concert-T wearing, metal listening, Dungeon and Dragon playing kids in the nearby suburbs. I recall coming up with a formula for knowing when one had crossed the parish line, and it involved a sudden increase in the CPSI factor - Camaros per square inch."

Wow, I guess a lot changed in 10 years. When I was a teenager, the people playing D&D (i.e. my friends) drove rusting Chevettes painted with acrylic paints, laughed at math jokes, wore robes to the Renaissance Festival, listened to Jethro Tull and frequently staged all-night Star Wars/Star Trek marathons where everyone would drink a 12-pack of Coca-Cola each to wash down the over-salted popcorn.

I did own a Megadeth t-shirt in high school, which I wore to my AP English class in 1992 to ├ępater le bourgeois. I was an early adopter (and abandoner) of the now-popular fad of ironic dress.

Palladian said...

Here's what I was wearing in 1978.

Robert Cook said...

John Yoo on baby boomers: "They've systematically destroyed every institution they've come into contact with."

John Yoo, torture proponent and champion of America's institutions.

What a fucking putz!

prairie wind said...

Paladian, do you still have those toy trucks or did your mom sell them at a garage sale? They don't make metal toys anymore; it's all plastic.

Funny...my daughter was singing the Barbie song this morning. "Life in plastic...it's fantastic!"

raf said...

I can't believe everyone is missing the most important lesson to be learned here: Dating Game contestants are dangerous. We have them on tape. We can act before any more damage is done. Someone call Holder.

wv: legrai. Legal rai... raid? certainly. rail? for riding them out of town? why not?

Shannon Bell said...

Okay Palladian, that was creepy. That was the definition of creepy. The hair stood up on the back of my neck creepy.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Brown tuxedos and brown leisure suits are wayyy under-rated.

SteveOrr said...

It is also silly to blame California for the country's problems -- heck, unlike the residents of flyover country, Californians are net contributors to the federal government.

No. California was a net recipient for most of its history, including the 70s. They have only recently become a net donor.

Besides, most of the "recipients" in flyover country are retirees collecting Social Security. That's their money. They earned it while living in California. But they collect it in Idaho, where it's so much easier to live on a fixed income.

But even if you were right, this would still be a silly point. States do not pay taxes. Nor do races or religions. Individuals pay taxes & we all pay at the same rate.

former law student said...

Hasn't anyone watched the creepiness of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette? (Also on ABC, btw.) These go on for week after week, ruthlessly eliminating the unworthy along the way, and are supposed to end in an engagement.

In contrast, the most that could happen in the Dating Game was one heavily chaperoned outing to a tennis boutique and an amusement park.

former law student said...

It's rare that a civilization has its moments of decline so thoroughly documented and preserved.

I guess Palladian hasn't seen Cheaters, Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, or Steve Wilkos

Revenant said...

No. California was a net recipient for most of its history, including the 70s. They have only recently become a net donor.

California was only a "net recipient" if you include the money spent on the military forces stationed here. That seems inappropriate to me, since those troops are here to benefit *America*, not California in particular.

Besides, most of the "recipients" in flyover country are retirees collecting Social Security. That's their money.

No, it isn't. Social Security is a welfare system; it is paid out of current tax revenues. If retirees were paid "their money", their Social Security checks wound only be a tiny fraction of what they are today -- no COLA, no inflation adjustments, etc.

LordSomber said...

Hey the '70's weren't all that bad as a kid. We had Donny & Marie, Pet Rocks, Pop Rocks and Pop Rock.
Then again my dad went to school with Chuck Barris, so that probably says something about my sensibilities...

bagoh20 said...

I loved the 70's...what I can remember.

The shows then were lame, but not openly dysfunctional and cruel like many today. Todays shows often consist of multiple scenes of intimidation, ridicule, selfishness, treachery, and pretty much everything we consider terrible in people. In fact, that is the quite purposeful aim: to show people doing the worst thing they can be cajoled into. We never had that because we still had some limits that we had not gotten around to abandoning just for the hell of it yet. That was then, this is now and it's much worse. Today the producers would salivate over the opportunity to get a sociopath on their show.

bagoh20 said...
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