February 15, 2010
"Suspect plays ‘Dating Game’ video in murder trial"The title of this post is the headline of this new AP article that seems to be a fitting macabre the day after Valentine's Day. Here is how the piece starts:
A convicted rapist who could face the death penalty in five alleged serial killings from the 1970s presented "The Dating Game" defense Tuesday during a surreal court session in which he questioned himself on the witness stand.
Rodney James Alcala, 66, who is acting as his own lawyer, played a clip from an episode of the game show that he won in September 1978 in an attempt to prove his innocence in one of the killings.
Alcala told jurors they could see a flash of two gold ball earrings in his double-pierced left ear as he gives the game show's signoff salute. Prosecutors believe a pair of gold ball earrings found in a red pouch in a Seattle storage locker rented by Alcala belonged to the youngest of the alleged victims, 12-year-old Robin Samsoe of Huntington Beach, in Orange County.
But Alcala told jurors the clip proves he owned the earrings almost a year before Samsoe's disappearance on June 20, 1979. In the segment, he can be seen dancing to the closing music while wearing a black bell-bottom pantsuit and open-necked white shirt....
Alcala, a photographer and UCLA undergraduate with a purported IQ between 160 and 170, made the highly unusual decision to represent himself in the potential death penalty trial and took the stand in his own defense. During an often bizarre day of testimony, the defendant referred to himself as Mr. Alcala as he posed questions and then responded with long and sometimes rambling answers. Prosecutors will begin their cross-examination Wednesday.
February 15, 2010 at 09:47 AM | Permalink
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A defendant who represents himself at a criminal trial has a smart guy for a client.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 16, 2010 4:28:40 AM
Is the case likely to turn on earrings...as opposed to damning DNA samples?
Posted by: John K | Feb 16, 2010 11:33:40 AM