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Serial killer on dating game

Steve Braccini: Based on the autopsy, they declared it a homicide. A fellow that they believe was the last person that she was seen with. Ellen had written his alias, "John Berger" in her calendar. Christine and her boyfriend had a stormy relationship. Soon after Christine disappeared, Kathy Thornton began searching for answers.Alcala, meanwhile, had left New York and was on his meandering road trip back to California. In the spring of 1977, Christine was heading to Montana with her boyfriend to pan for gold. Kathy Thornton: She let my mom know that she was going to be having a baby … She undertook a systematic effort to track Christine and her boyfriend's whereabouts that would last almost 40 years -- through marriage, motherhood, divorce and a career.

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Everything was kind of …"We don't know." "We have nothing." "We can't help you." … Everybody could be complaining about being bored, and me and Robin would find ourselves doing cartwheels and back walkovers.Rodney Alcala was only in the city a week before adding to the New York crime wave. Anita Feinberg: Ellen was a very dear college friend. Her father owned the famed Hollywood nightclub Ciro's. had marked on her calendar that she was going to see someone named John Berger on the date that she disappeared Remember, Alcala had been using the name John Berger. Melissa Mourges: Her body wasn't found until a year later, buried on the grounds of the Phelps Memorial Hospital in Westchester, near the Rockefeller Estate.His next victim: a 23-year old musician and artist named Ellen Hover. Anita Feinberg: Until they actually found her, there was always a glimmer of hope … Ellen's body was so decomposed police had to use dental records to identify her. …I always thought that he had done something to her.Police say a photographer and one-time contestant on "The Dating Game" was also a chameleon and a serial killer -- perhaps the deadliest in U. history -- and investigators are unsure if they will ever know how many victims he left behind In Los Angeles in 1968, 8-year-old Tali Shapiro was walking to school when a car pulled up alongside her. And I had received a call, a beige-colored car with no license plates following this little girl. And they looked up and said, "Oh my gosh, that's Mr. He took the deal, but the judge's sentence stunned those working the case. and the parole board let him go after 34 months after what he did to Tali Shapiro.Chris Camacho | Former detective, LAPD: I was out doing my patrols. Steve Hodel | Former detective, LAPD: A Good Samaritan, a witness, sees the little girl, the little 8-year-old Tali get in the car. Camacho began frantically searching the house for her attacker. So less than three years later, Rodney Alcala was a free man again.A homegrown serial killer – known as "Son of Sam" – was terrorizing the city. Her family's high profile made the story front-page news as the NYPD kept up the hunt for her. Detectives thought they were onto something when they found an important clue in her apartment.

By this time, the Cornelia Crilley case had been cold for six years with no suspects. Ellen Hover came from a prominent show business family. Anita Feinberg: Her mom called me and said, "Anita, have you heard from Ellen? Steve Braccini: The detective did a great job for a missing person's case. Melissa Mourges | Manhattan prosecutor: Ellen Hover …

In 1977, Rodney Alcala was out of prison and living in New York.

It was bad news for the New York cops who already had their hands full. I didn't think anything of it until a couple weeks -- until it hit the newspapers.

…get it -- get it cleared out."But what Alcala didn't know was that police had found a receipt for the locker during a search of his home at the time of his arrest. It was February 1980 when Rodney Alcala went on trial.

Matt Murphy: Over the course of two-and-a-half months, there were almost 50 witnesses that testified. The jury convicted Alcala and sentenced him to death. Marianne Connelly: You know there's only one perpetrator, a little stone, but the ripples keep going and there's victims and victims and victims and victims.

But finding Alcala was going to be no simple matter. Three years after his attack on Tali Shapiro, Alcala's dark side once again emerged. Steve Braccini: Obviously the cause of death is strangulation. The police focused in on Cornelia's murder, but with almost 2,000 killings in New York in 1971 investigators could not close the case. He landed a job as a counselor at an arts and drama camp for girls.