A man sentenced to death for the murder of a 12-year-old girl and four other women in the US state of California has died of natural causes, authorities say.
Rodney Alcala, 77, died early Saturday morning at a hospital near Corcoran State Prison in California.
Alcala, who became known as the “Date Game Killer” after an appearance on a US television show, was convicted in 2010.
In addition to the California murders, he also admitted to the murders of two other women in New York.
Alcala was first sentenced to death in Orange County in 1980 for the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Robin Samso in Los Angeles the year before.
However, his conviction was overturned by the California Supreme Court and he was granted a new trial.
He then received the same sentence in a second trial, but that conviction was also overturned in 2003.
In the following years, investigators found forensic evidence linking Alcala to other murders in California.
At his trial in 2010, he was convicted of killing Samso and four other women, aged 18 to 32, between 1977 and 1979.
In September 1978, Alcala appeared on the US television show “The Dating Game”, in which a single woman asks three men hidden from her questions and then chooses one based on his answers.
Alcalá was chosen at the end of the show, but the woman later said she decided against dating him after talking to him backstage and described him as “creepy”.
In 2012, Alcala was extradited to New York after being charged with two other murders in 1971 and 1977. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in New York to 25 years to life in prison.
California prison officials said in a statement on Saturday that Alcala was suspected of being involved in several other murders.
No other details about his death were released.
California currently has about 700 people on death row, but Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered a moratorium on executions.