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Accused killer admits lying to investigators

February 10, 2010 8:06:22 PM PST
While on the witness stand, accused serial killer Rodney Alcala admitted to lying to investigators about what he was doing on the day one of the victims were murdered.Wednesday, jurors heard about Alcala's prior felony convictions. Alcala admitted that in 1968, he was arrested for child molestation in Hollywood. He fled California, but when he later returned, he was convicted in 1971 on that crime.

In 1980, he was also convicted of rape in Riverside. Wednesday's questioning centered on his alleged involvement in the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. On the stand, he denied killing her.

Alcala had to be reminded not to interrupt as the prosecutor cross examined him. The 66-year-old is accused of killing Samsoe as well as four Los Angeles women in the 1970s.

Alcala was twice convicted and sentenced to death for Samsoe's murder, and twice the convictions were reversed on appeal. Alcala says he didn't kill her. If that's the case, the prosecutor asked Alcala, why did he lie to police after his arrest after Samsoe's remains were found not far from his home? Alcala told a detective he took photos mainly of landscapes and sunsets, even though nearly all of his photos were of people including teenage girls.

"If you're innocent, truth is your best friend," prosecutor Matt Murphy said to Alcala.

"No, if you're being interviewed, anything you say can be twisted. I was not about to say anything that would be incriminating," replied Alcala.

Tuesday, Alcala outlined in detail what he did June 20, 1979. He admitted that he photographed a girl at Sunset beach but claims he was at Knott's Berry Farm later that day to apply for a photo job when Samsoe disappeared.

Holding up Alcala's day planner, the prosecutor pointed out that there's no mention of the errands he claims he carried out. A witness has testified that Alcala was seen trying to take photos of Samsoe in Huntington Beach on the day she was kidnapped.

In his defense, Alcala played part of The Dating Game from 1978 in which he participated. He said that if you look closely, you can see that he owns gold ball earrings. Samsoe's mother has testified the earrings were worn by her daughter. They were found in Alcala's storage unit in Seattle where he moved after her murder.

Court proceedings ended earlier than expected Wednesday because of a power outage at the courthouse. Testimony will resume Thursday morning.