'Dating Game' Killer Sentenced In 1970s Murders

'Dating Game' Killer Sentenced In 1970s Murders

A California serial killer has been sentenced in New York to an additional 25 years to life after pleading guilty to murdering two young women in the 1970s.

Rodney Alcala said last month he wanted to plead guilty to the two New York murder counts so he could get back to California - where he was sentenced to death for convictions on five other killings - to pursue an appeal there.

The 69-year-old, dubbed the Dating Game killer, had complained that his jailers in New York would not give him access to a laptop computer and legal records.

Family and friends of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover filled the courtroom in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, having waited decades since the losses of their loved ones for this day.

Ms Crilley, 23, was found strangled with a stocking in her Manhattan apartment in 1971.

Ms Hover, also 23, was living in Manhattan when she vanished in 1977. Her remains were found the next year in the woods on a suburban estate.

The emotions in the courtroom were running high.

"This kind of case is something I've never experienced - hope to never again," Judge Bonnie Whittner said, choking back tears as she sentenced Alcala.

When she finished pronouncing the sentence, she put her head in her hand.

Alcala was indicted in 2011 in the killings of the two young women in New York, partly on evidence that emerged during a California murder trial.

Alcala has spent the last three decades tangling with California authorities in a series of trials and overturned convictions.

He eventually was found guilty in 2010 of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in southern California in the 1970s.

He represented himself at trial, offering a defence that involved showing a clip of his 1978 appearance on the popular former television show The Dating Game and playing Arlo Guthrie's classic 1967 song Alice's Restaurant.

Alcala had been a suspect in Ms Hover's death for decades and in Ms Crilley's killing for at least several years.

A detective went to talk to Alcala again in 2005. According to court papers, on learning that the investigator was from New York, Alcala asked: "What took you so long?"