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The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders
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The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
In 1978, Rodney Alcala was a contestant on the "The Dating Game," one of America's most popular television shows at the time. Handsome, successful, and romantic, he was embraced by the audience—and chosen as the winner by the beautiful bachelorette. To viewers across the country, Rodney seemed like the answer to every woman's dreams. Until they learned the truth about his ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by St. Martin's True Crime
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Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Disclaimer: I pretty much did not like this book, so I ranted in my review. There is also bad language. So you have been thoroughly warned. If you loved this book, great! I didn't.

Rating: 2.5 to 3 stars

What I liked:

-The chapters were short, but there were a ton of them. So if I needed to, I could (and I did) take a break between chapters. I dislike stopping mid-chapter, but if a chapter is super long, and I feel like stopping I do. There were some long chapters, but only during key points and tr
♥ Marlene♥
Finished this book yesterday morning and I must say Stella Sands did a very good job. This book contains a lot of small chapters. For example one thing she did was write in bulleted form about the mayor news events that happened for example in 1977 and then she also added something Rodney Alcala was doing, or had done at that same time. Killed someone or was suspected of killing someone.

I also liked that she did start from the beginning. With his first victim. A lot of true crime authors think a
Mar 17, 2017 Fishface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This was a grisly read, not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. The author spares no detail in telling us what the killer -- diagnosed over and over as a sexual sadist with a Narcissus complex the size of Alaska -- did to his unlucky victims, but she does spare us the deadly details of the never-ending legal proceedings this guy seems to generate, maybe continuing to this day. I like the way the story was broken down into small bites, because otherwise reading about this more-than-thi ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Tabi34 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read anything by Stella Sands, but I will look for more of her work. So many true crime books are a listing of facts in a dry almost textbook manner, but Sands turns the facts into an interesting tale. Although I knew that the women she previews are going to die in the upcoming pages, it doesn't take away from the "oh no" factor. I kept hoping that one of them would get away; would turn up some place, safe.

The one word of warning I would add is that Rodney Alcala was a sadistic murdere
May 05, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimen
Well-written, I did enjoy all the very small chapters. Story is sad because this predator's crimes were so gruesome. Now rotting in San Quentin, I would have NO problem pulling the plug on this guy.
Feb 26, 2017 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
The career of sadistic serial killer Rodney Alcala ought to have resulted in a great true crime read, but Stella Sands writes as if she is being paid by the word. The Dating Game Killer's bloat is especially bad in its final stages, when the narrative slogs through all the victim impact statements from Alcala's final trial before sharing the reminiscences of some of the major players in the case, all of whom do little other than repeat things that we have already heard (at least once, if not mor ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't crazy about the writing style, but this book really fleshed out a case that I had seen in a documentary on TV. This vile man should have been stopped when he was caught raping his first 8 year old victim. If ever a man should have been taken care of and quietly dumped by police, Alcala is that man. There needs to be harsher penalties for violent rapists. So many other girls and young women suffered horrendously because this POS was not taken care of properly the first time. The details ...more
Mar 17, 2013 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the worst serial killers I have ever read about. Stella Sands does an excellent job telling the story and it is a sad one. California actually arrested this guy for a very sadistic crime and let him back out on the streets in two years time! Needless to say a lot of women are dead because of it. He got the death penalty for crimes he committed in the 70's and the son of a gun is still alive! I'm glad he didn't live in Texas, but if he had he would be dead by now. What is Californi ...more
Although an interesting telling of this brutal serial killer, this author put in too much fluff. She wrote about cases that had nothing to do with Rodney Alcala, which took away from the main story. There were also parts that were difficult to follow at times, but overall, it was an enjoyable read. The details were amazing and the book left me feeling like I knew just about everything I needed to know about this case.
Nicole G.
I'm fairly certain I'd heard of Alcala before, but didn't know much about him. Calling him "the dating game killer" is kind of a misnomer, in my opinion, because his rap sheet had nothing to do with his appearance on said show. But to say it isn't creepy. . .

This book got a bit repetitive and the short chapters were rather obnoxious, but other than that, it read quickly and was written in a fairly engaging style.
Denise Whelan
Jan 14, 2014 Denise Whelan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rodney Alcala was a sick and twisted individual! Robin Samsoe's death was the catalyst that convicted him! He never should have been released from jail that first time. All of these precious girls would still be alive if the laws cared about the victims and not the perpetrator! Stella Sands writes an outstanding true crime book. All that needs to happen now is that Rodney Alcala be put to death!
Mar 30, 2015 LATOYA SAUNDERS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to say that I really liked the book because the subject matter is somewhat disturbing.

I will say that "The Dating Game Killer" is a well written story about the life of Rodney Alcala and his unfortunate victims.

If you are in the mood to be frightened then traveling into the mind of this sadistic sociopath will definitely satisfy.

Not for the faint of heart.
Aug 30, 2014 Vendula rated it it was amazing
I have wanted to read this book for quite long time but I was a little bit scared to start it. And I was right. This book is "awful". This is the worst serial killer I have ever heard/read about. I cannot understand how somebody could did such a things. It was difficult to read but in the end i enjoyed it. Stella Sands did great job, well written.
Nov 13, 2011 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Page turner. Shocking. Still cannot believe the man is still alive, where is true Justice? Also did not realize when I first read this that I saw a newscast about his trial in 2010 till I was reading this. Prayers for the victims families.
Aug 09, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella Sands weaves a horrifying tale of the true story of photographer Rodney Alcala, sociopath and sadistic murderer of girls and women across the country and who still sits in prison today. Terrifying and sad.
Ronnie Cramer
Oct 23, 2014 Ronnie Cramer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a word: creepy.
Ace Fanning
May 23, 2014 Ace Fanning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This man is deeply disturbed-- but the book was fascinating and extremely well written!
It's a good reading, however it's not my type of book. Reading this book I realize I don't like True Crime genre. Still I finished it.
Oct 02, 2012 Estelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
LIke many true crime, its very detailed. however come to a point, there are too repetitive.
Apr 24, 2013 Leanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It boggles my mind how the guy could've been let out of prison after serving only a few years for brutally raping and attempting to murder an eight-year-old girl!
Della Scott
Jul 31, 2012 Della Scott marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Matthew Jankiewicz
A fascinating look into the horrific crimes of serial killer Rodney Alcala.
Karen Belom
i am only giving this book two stars because he was so creepy
J.D. Holman
Jun 29, 2012 J.D. Holman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most savage serial killer/rapist you could read about. Not sure if I'll give this one a review on my blog.
Kevin Bryson
Kevin Bryson rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2016
Cassidy rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2011
Claire rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2016
Jennifer White
Jennifer White rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2015
Mickey rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2016
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