The Dating Game was a Chuck Barris game show that began in 1965 and ran in various versions up through 1999. Like The Newlywed Game, it owed its popularity to sexual innuendo that produced giggles at the time, but just seems creepy now. Adding to the cringe factor is the fact that a convicted sex offender on parole managed to become a contestant. And he later turned out to be a prolific serial killer.
The man born as Rodney James Alcala is maybe not as well known as some of the more notorious serial killers such as Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, but he is certainly just as bad. Throughout the course of his grim killing spree he would ruthlessly rape, torture, and murder at least seven young women in California and New York under the guise of being a professional photographer, quite possibly dozens more. He was known as being particularly sadistic in his killings, often strangling a woman until she passed out, reviving her, and then starting the process over again, until she was dead. He was a cold hearted monster, but by all accounts a very personable and charming fellow to those who had no idea of his secret life, and this is probably best illustrated by the time he turned up on an episode of The Dating Game.
Alcala appeared on The Dating Game in 1978 as one of three bachelors to compete for a date with a young woman named Cheryl Bradshaw. Alcala won that competition. Read about Rodney Alcala and his TV victory at Mysterious Universe. See clips from the show here. -via Strange Company