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Psychologist testifies Alcala forgot murders

March 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
One week after Rodney Alcala was convicted for the third time of killing a 12-year-old girl, the penalty phase of his trial is under way.In a Santa Ana courtroom Thursday, Alcala called upon his psychiatrist and other witnesses.

Rodney Alcala, acting as his own attorney, is trying to convince jurors to spare his life.

Last week, the jury found 66-year-old Alcala guilty of kidnapping and killing a 12-year-old Huntington Beach resident Robin Samsoe, and guilty of torturing and slaying four women from Los Angeles County in the 1970s. Alcala never offered a defense for the L.A. murders.

Alcala's witness, Dr. Richard Rappaport, testified Alcala does not remember killing the four, possibly because he suffers from a borderline personality disorder, with psychotic episodes possibly prompted by stressful events, suggesting the horror of killing women could trigger amnesia.

"I just shake my head. I don't believe it. I think it's disgusting. He exactly what he was doing," said Dedee Parenteau, sister of Jill Parenteau, one of Alcala's victims.

Parenteau's sister Jill was murdered by Alcala in 1979 after he broke into the 21-year-old's apartment.

"He's committed this horrible, brutal murder. It kind of makes you angry. He doesn't care," said Dedee.

The court heard how Alcala, who was a winning Dating Game show contestant in the 1970s, has a high IQ, no signs of drug problems and grew up in a loving home.

Rappaport testified Alcala remembers earlier crimes, like when he tortured and sexually assaulted Tali Shapiro when she was 8 years old.

The prosecutor pointed out that Alcala only mentioned to the doctor the crimes he's already served time for, and the doctor is being paid $20,000 to be a witness for the convicted serial killer.