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Accused O.C. serial killer represents self

February 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
It was a dramatic day in court Tuesday in Orange County where a man was charged with the murders of four women and a 12-year-old girl.Rodney Alcala is representing himself and spoke directly to the jury Tuesday.

The alleged serial killer is said to have a very high IQ. The court Tuesday morning was packed with people who just wanted to hear what he had to say.

Rodney Alcala apologized to the judge after rambling on for an hour. The 66-year-old is representing himself in the trial.

Prosecutors allege DNA links Alcala to four murders in the 1970s. The women were sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.

In his opening statement, he made no mention of 18-year-old Jill Barcomb, 27-year-old Georgia Wixted, 32-year-old Charlotte Lamb or 21-year-old Jill Parenteau.

Instead, Alcala focused on Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl. Alcala was twice convicted of murdering her, in 1980 and 1986, and he was sentenced to death. Both convictions were reversed on appeal.

"Nobody should have to live 30 years like we have," said Marianne Connelly, Samsoe's mother.

Connelly has testified at each trial that earrings found in Alcala's storage unit in Seattle, where he moved after the murder, were worn by her daughter.

Alcala insists the earrings were his. Prosecutors allege Alcala asked to photograph Samsoe and her friend in Huntington Beach on June 20, 1979. Her mutilated remains were found two weeks later not far from his Monterey Park home.

"The police searched my house and at my house they didn't find anything that connected me to Robin Samsoe," said Alcala Tuesday.

Alcala admitted he was photographing girls at the beach but insists he was at Knott's Berry Farm later that day when Samsoe was abducted while cycling to ballet class.

Alcala showed a video of someone traveling the route Samsoe might have taken to show there was little time to kidnap her. He also said witness descriptions of the suspect do not match him.

Earlier in the trial, Alcala cross-examined Connelly, Samsoe's mother. She admitted she brought a loaded handgun into court in 1980, but didn't use it.

Outside court Tuesday, Connelly said she regretted not acting back then, given what she's endured.

"I still look at blond girls when they walk past me and see if they turn around," said Connelly. "I forget a lot of things, except the most important thing I can't forget, and that's her and how she died."

The trial continues.