The other day I posted about serial murderer Rodney James Alcala, who has since been convicted of five counts of murder. As I noted in my post, Alcala was an L.A. Times typesetter who was going around showing co-workers child porn — a tidbit that somehow got omitted from an L.A. Times Column One story about Alcala.
The cover-up continues.
After Alcala was convicted, an L.A. Times blog post noted the convictions, and included a detailed timeline of Alcala’s history. Detailed . . . with one major omission: the dates of Alcala’s employment at the L.A. Times.
Unlike the Column One story, the blog post does at least mention Alcala’s past employment with the paper — if not his habit of showing child porn to his colleagues. But the dates that he was employed are obscured with a phrase describing him as a “onetime typist at the Los Angeles Times.”
Why is this interesting? Because the timeline begins this way:
1972 — Alcala is convicted in the 1968 rape and beating of an 8-year-old girl.
And we know from the L.A. Weekly — the same source that provided the details about his child-porn sharing — that he was employed at The Times in the late ’70s:
In one fantastic irony, even as the L.A. Times was publishing sensational articles in the late 1970s about the mysterious Hillside Strangler, who terrorized much of L.A. at that time, Alcala, who worked typesetting articles for that paper, was being questioned by the LAPD in relation to those very murders.
. . . .
He brought his photography portfolio to show his Times workmates, she says, and the photos were “of young girls. I thought it was weird, but I was young, I didn’t know anything. When I asked why he took the photos, he said their moms asked him to. I remember the girls were naked.”
Gonzalez adds that she wasn’t “smart enough or mature enough to know” that she was looking at child porn. Yet incredibly, she describes how L.A. Times’ management in the 1970s had a golden opportunity to turn Alcala in, but did nothing: “There were other people in the department who were in their 40s and 50s. The [Times] supervisor at the time — she saw it.” Instead, the reaction at the newspaper was, “We thought he was a little different. Strange about sex.”
So they didn’t just have a guy going around showing child porn to colleagues.
They had a guy who had been convicted of a violent child rape who was going around showing child porn to colleagues.
And management knew about it, and did nothing.
Just to flesh out the timeline a little further: the Hillside Strangler murders occurred between October 1977 and February 1978. So that would be the time period during which those murders were being discussed in the L.A. Times. While convicted child rapist Alcala was showing around his child porn, with the knowledge of L.A. Times supervisors.
And several of Alcala’s murders occurred after that:
June 24, 1978 — Charlotte Lamb, a 32-year-old legal secretary from Santa Monica, is found in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled with a shoelace.
June 14, 1979 — Jill Parenteau, 21, of Burbank is found strangled on the floor of her Burbank apartment.
June 20, 1979 – Robin Samsoe, 12, disappears near the Huntington Beach Pier. Her body is found 12 days later in the Sierra Madre foothills.
Yeah, it’s kinda little wonder they describe him as a “onetime typist” rather than fitting his L.A. Times employment into that timeline.
Thanks again to Ben S.