Conviction Includes 1977 Malibu Murder
• Jury Finds Man Guilty of Five Grisly Murders in ’70s
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
An Orange County jury has convicted Rodney Alcala, 66, of four brutal murders—a 12-year-old girl and three women, including 27-year-old Malibu resident Georgia Wixted—that occurred in the late 1970s.
After six weeks of testimony, the jury took just two days to reach a decision of guilty on one felony count of kidnapping and five felony counts of murder. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty on the basis of a gruesome series of special circumstances that includes committing multiple murders, murder with torture, murder during the commission of rape, murder during the commission of kidnapping, murder during the commission of a burglary of an inhabited dwelling, and murder during the commission of a robbery. The penalty phase is slated to begin this week.
Alcala, who has twice before been sentenced to death for the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe of Orange County and had the convictions overturned, is expected to receive a third and final death sentence.
Forensic evidence linking Alcala to the four other murders began to emerge in 2006, when previously unavailable DNA analysis was used to analyze evidence collected at crime scenes.
Wixted, a nurse who lived alone in an east Malibu apartment, was found dead on the floor of her bedroom in December of 1977. According to the forensics information, she reportedly died of strangulation and massive head injuries, and her corpse had been badly mutilated.
Sheriff’s detectives retrieved and retained biological evidence from the Wixted case, including samples containing DNA, and a partial palm print. Computer matching technology that did not yet exist when the crime was committed, subsequently connected the cold case to Alcala.
New analysis of forensic evidence also linked the other three victims, Jill Barcomb, 18, slain in November of 1977; and Charlotte Lamb, 33, and Jill Parenteau, 21, killed in June of 1979, to Alcala.
In what many legal observers have described as a bizarre move, Alcala refused legal council and served as his own attorney at his trial, cross-examining himself and the witnesses, including the mother of Robin Samsoe.
Alcala also presented as evidence video footage of himself as the winning contestant of a 1978 episode of the TV game show “The Dating Game.”
There is as yet uncorroborated conjecture that Alcala could potentially be connected to as many as 30 unsolved murders that took place in the same time period.
For now, Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Gina Satriano, who are prosecuting the case, are seeking the death penalty for the existing six felony charges.