Former Los Angeles Police Officer Chris Camacho reached the location and knocked on the door. I will always remember that face at that door, very evil face. I got to get dressed." And I told him, "OK, you got 10 seconds." … Chris Camacho: She was gagging and trying to breathe, and I thought one for the good guys. We found a lot of ID, picture ID of a Rodney Alcala. The suspect, 25-year-old Rodney Alcala, had slipped through the officers' fingers. Matt Murphy: He was hired by the Los Angeles Times to work … Even worse, he was chosen to be a contestant on "The Dating Game" TV show -"The Bachelor" of its day. Leon Borstein |Cornelia's boyfriend: She had a beautiful face. Leon Borstein: I was living with her temporarily while she was getting her own apartment -- right around the corner -- to share with another stewardess. When Borstein came home from work, he was surprised to find her door locked. Melissa Mourges | Manhattan prosecutor: When her boyfriend -- was trying to reach her, and was unable -- the police came. Prosecutor Melissa Mourges was struck by the ferocious nature of the killing. We didn't have the forensic tools that we have – today … Matt Murphy: Two girls went to their local post office and they looked and there was Rodney Alcala's photo on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list. With no main witness, prosecutors had no choice but to offer Alcala a deal: plead guilty to a lesser charge of child molestation and register as a sex offender.By the time the fire crew actually found her body, she was just bones. Bridget's description resulted in this composite sketch, which was released to the media all over Southern California. Matt Murphy: Buried under all the stuff was this tiny little silk bag filled with earrings. But when police showed the jewelry to Robin's mother, she recognized a pair of gold ball studs that she said Robin often borrowed.Matt Murphy: His parole officer saw that and -- and called the detectives and said, "Look, there's a guy that used to be on my caseload. His name is Rodney Alcala."It had been nearly 11 years since Alcala had left 8-year-old Tali Shapiro for dead. He lived with his mother in Monterey Park, a stone's throw from the mountains where Robin's remains were located. That he -- nobody could account for his whereabouts at that time. Rodney Alcala was arrested on July 24 and charged with the kidnap and murder of Robin Samsoe. Pat Ellis | Huntington Beach Police Dept.: At one point he mentions him having a storage locker in Seattle, Washington, that the cops don't know about. Matt Murphy: So at that point, those are all the nuts and bolts that you need for a successful prosecution.
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.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.Thinks it's suspicious, follows him, and puts a call into LAPD. I need to talk to you." This male appeared at the door. We could see in the kitchen that there was a body on the floor, lot of blood. A.: They say a picture says a thousand words and that image of those little white Mary Janes on that floor with that metal bar that he used to strangle her with, and that puddle of blood, it just looks like too much blood to come out of a-- a tiny little 8-year-old like that. Moments later, he walked back into the kitchen and witnessed a miracle. Matt Murphy: Had it not been for that police officer, Tali Shapiro would have died on Rodney Alcala's kitchen floor. There was a lot of photograph equipment and all of us were amazed at the amount of photographs that he had there of young girls, very young girls. With Alcala in the wind, former Detective Steve Hodel was grasping at thin air. Back then, you know, we didn't have a lot of the forensics you have today. Chris Camacho: I was flabbergasted to say the least. And Alcala had no trouble charming his way back into the swing of things. And he was a registered sex offender during all of that, and nobody ever checked.At the same time Rodney Alcala was on the road, a 29-year-old woman from Texas, Christine Ruth Thornton, was traveling through the West with her boyfriend. In 1989 I contacted the Department of Human Services …They say, "A check at this address failed to reveal any contact with Christine Ruth Thornton." …p .main-container #login input[type=text], .main-container #login input[type=password] .main-container #login input[type=text] .main-container #login input[type=password] .main-container #login div .main-container .remember-forgot .main-container .main-container .main-container #login div label .main-container button .main-container #social .main-container #social span .main-container #social span.facebook .main-container #social span.google .main-container #social span.twitter .main-container #social span.yahoo .main-container .main-container .