A serial killer already sentenced to death in California has received a prison sentence in New York after he admitted killing two other young women here in the 1970s.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the sentencing of Rodney Alcala Monday in a packed courtroom. The judge choked back tears as she gave him a concurrent 25 years to life sentence.
Alcala was indicted in 2011 in the killings of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover in New York, partly on evidence that emerged during a separate murder trial in California, where he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
He said last month he wanted to plead guilty to the two murder counts so he could get back to California and pursue an appeal of his death sentence.
The 69-year-old former photographer and one-time dating-show contestant has been behind bars since 1979.
The DA credited detectives in the Forensic Sciences/Cold Case Unit for their work in solving the cases. In late 2010, he says, the unit began an exhaustive re-examination of the homicides of Ms. Crilley and Ms. Hover, including a full re-investigation of evidence. Vance says the new evidence gave prosecutors sufficient cause to seek an indictment.
In a press release, the District Attorney expressed his wishes for the victims' families: "I hope it also brings them peace of mind to know that their loved ones’ killer has finally been held accountable and brought to justice. Cold cases are not forgotten cases, and you do not get away with murder.”