Friday, 23 April 2010

The Photographs of Rodney Alcala!

US serial killer and amateur photographer Rodney Alcala -- dubbed the Dating Game Killer for a successful appearance on the show -- was recently sentenced to death for the third time (the first two convictions were overturned).

In an unusual move, police have released some 215 photographs found in a storage locker of Alcala's, photographs believed to be taken by him & quite possibly containing many as-yet-unknown victims. To date, 21 women from the pictures have been identified, all of them still alive (though one says Alcala did molest her).

If the amount of photos is unprecedented, it's only fitting: Alcala may be the US' most prolific serial killer, suspected of killing more than 34 people. Often compared to Ted Bundy, and similarly possessed of great charm and a high IQ, Alcala strangled and resuscitated those he was killing so as to prolong their deaths. Afterward, he often posed the dead bodies into positions for more photographs.

Because Alcala's killings took place in the 1970s - he's been in custody since 1979 - the released photos are filled with evocative touches of a by-gone era: flares, long straight hair, huge headphones, groovy fashions, now-vintage LPs, a t-shirt bearing the slogan "I'm in debt but I love my Vette".

Not to mention that you are, when viewing these pictures, very literally seeing things from a killer's point of view. What would Laura Mulvey say?

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