At the third trial Alcala, acting as his own attorney, told jurors, often in a rambling monotone, that he was at Knott's Berry Farm when Samsoe was kidnapped.(He offered no defense of any kind in the other four cases.) As part of his closing argument, he played the portion of Arlo Guthrie's song "Alice's Restaurant" in which the protagonist tells a psychiatrist he wants to "kill." He was convicted on all five counts.Police subsequently found her earrings in a Seattle locker rented by Alcala.In 1980 Alcala was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder, but his conviction was overturned by the California Supreme Court because the Orange County Superior Court trial judge had allowed the jury to hear about the Tali Shapiro case, and Alcala's other rape and kidnapping convictions.He is also a suspect in at least two unsolved murders in New York.Authorities have compared him to Ted Bundy, and fear that, as evidence continues to mount, he may prove to be one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.Unable to convict him of rape and attempted murder without their primary witness, prosecutors were forced to permit Alcala to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Another pair of earrings found in Alcala's storage locker matched the DNA of one of the two victims.Once again, he was paroled after serving two years of an "indeterminate sentence." In 1977, despite his criminal record and official registration as a sex offender, he was hired as a typesetter by the Los Angeles Times in the midst of their coverage of the Hillside Strangler murders.During this period Alcala also convinced dozens of young women that he was a professional fashion photographer, and photographed them for his "portfolio." Most of those photos remain unidentified, and police fear that some of the women may be additional victims (see below).In 1964, after what was described as a "nervous breakdown", he was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder by a military psychiatrist and discharged on medical grounds.Education Alcala, who claims to have a "genius-level" IQ, graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts after his medical discharge from the Army, and later attended New York University using the alias "John Berger", where he studied film under Roman Polanski.