Tearful NY judge gives Calif. serial killer prison sentence for deaths of 2 women in 1970s

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A California serial killer who was once a contestant on an episode of "The Dating Game" was sentenced Monday to an additional 25 years to life in New York after pleading guilty to murdering two other young women here in the 1970s.

The judge choked back tears as she gave Rodney Alcala a concurrent 25 years to life sentence.

Alcala said last month he wanted to plead guilty to the two murder counts so he could get back to California, where he was sentenced to death, to pursue an appeal there. He had complained that his jailers in New York wouldn't give him access to a laptop computer and legal records.

Alcala was indicted in 2011 in the killings of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover in New York, partly on evidence that emerged during a separate murder trial in California. Crilley was found strangled with a stocking in her Manhattan apartment in 1971. Hover was living in Manhattan when she vanished in 1977. Her remains were found the next year in the woods on a suburban estate.

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, offering a defense that involved showing a clip of his 1978 appearance on "The Dating Game" and playing Arlo Guthrie's classic 1967 song "Alice's Restaurant."

Alcala had been eyed in Hover's death for decades and in 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?"


Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.