NYPD cold-case investigators now believe that a week after arriving in Manhattan, Alcala killed Ellen Jane Hover, 23, daughter of the owner of the popular Hollywood nightclub Ciro's and goddaughter of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
In 1978, Alcala worked for a short time at the Los Angeles Times as a typesetter, and was interviewed by members of the Hillside Strangler task force as part of their investigation of known sex offenders.
In 1986, after a second trial virtually identical to the first except for omission of the prior criminal record testimony, he was again convicted and sentenced to death.
Additional evidence, including another cold case DNA match in 2004, led to Alcala's indictment for the murders of four additional women: Jill Barcomb, 18, a New York runaway found "rolled up like a ball" in a Los Angeles ravine in 1977, and originally thought to have been a victim of the Hillside Strangler; Georgia Wixted, 27, bludgeoned in her Malibu apartment in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 31, raped, strangled, and left in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, killed in her Burbank apartment in 1979.
During his incarceration between the second and third trials, Alcala wrote and self-published a book, You, the Jury, in which he claimed innocence in the Samsoe case and suggested a different suspect.
"I thought it was weird, but I was young, I didn't know anything," she said.
"When I asked why he took the photos, he said their moms asked him to.
Alcala's attorneys contested it; as one of them explained, "If you're a juror and you hear one murder case, you may be able to have reasonable doubt.
But it's very hard to say you have reasonable doubt on all five, especially when four of the five aren't alleged by eyewitnesses but are proven by DNA matches." He took the stand in his own defense, and for five hours played the roles of both interrogator and witness, asking himself questions (addressing himself as "Mr.
Alcala was arrested in late 1979 and held without bail.
In 1980 he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder, but the verdict was overturned by the California Supreme Court because jurors had been improperly informed of his prior sex crimes.
"One wonders what that did in his mind", Brown said. She played hard to get.'" Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old girl from Huntington Beach, disappeared somewhere between the beach and her ballet class on June 20, 1979.