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Closing arguments wrap OC serial killer trial

February 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Closing arguments have begun in the trial of a man accused in five Southern California murders in the 1970s.Representing himself, Rodney Alcala presented closing arguments Monday afternoon in an emotional day in court. At least one juror appeared to be crying. Sobbing could be heard from some family members of victims as they listened to the prosecutor outline what happened to their loved ones.

"When you're talking about a guy like that, who is hunting through Southern California, looking for people to kill because he enjoys it," said Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.

Murphy outlined in graphic detail why jurors should find Rodney Alcala guilty of the brutal murders of four women in Los Angeles County and a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl in the 1970s.

Prosecutors allege Alcala raped and tortured the women before killing them.

Jill Barcomb, like the other women, had ligature marks on her neck.

"He was choking her out, unconscious, barehanded, and allowing her to regain consciousness, because he enjoyed that," said Murphy.

Georgia Wixted suffered multiple fractures.

"That man right there raped that beautiful young woman with a hammer," said Miller.

Prosecutors allege Alcala posed the bodies of Jill Parenteau and Charlotte Lamb. DNA links Alcala to four murders.

Alcala, acting as his own attorney, even questioned himself on the stand as he focused his defense on Robin Samsoe.

"The Samsoe case is based on poor premises, all of which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," said Alcala.

Witnesses have testified Alcala was taking photos of girls at the beach the day Samsoe disappeared on her way to ballet class in 1979. Her body was later found not far from Alcala's Monterey Park home.

"He turned this beautiful girl into a rotting corpse eaten by animals," said Murphy.

Alcala tried to raise doubt by bringing up inconsistencies in witness testimony.

The prosecutor alleges Alcala kept Samsoe's earrings as a trophy in his storage unit in Seattle, where Alcala moved after Samsoe's murder. Alcala has testified they were his earrings.

Earrings with DNA belonging to Charlotte Lamb were also discovered in the same place.

"Charlotte Lamb is telling you all what Rodney Alcala does -- he murders women and he steals their earrings," said Murphy.

Alcala has always said that he was at Knott's Berry Farm when Samsoe was kidnapped.

Twice he has been convicted and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder.


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