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Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS. : COURTS : Judge Sentences Alcala to Death for Murder of 12-Year-Old Girl

August 24, 1986| Times staff writers Mark Landsbaum and Jerry Hicks compiled the Week in Review stories.

"Hogwash. He's as guilty as anybody who has ever come through this department."

That's what Superior Court Judge Donald A. McCartin, usually known for his soft-spoken, low-key demeanor, said in rejecting Rodney James Alcala's claim that he did not kill a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl in 1979.

In sentencing the 41-year-old Alcala to die in the gas chamber, McCartin characterized the abduction and murder of Robin Samsoe as "vicious and malevolent in every sense of the word."

It was the second time that Alcala, a part-time photographer from Monterey Park with a history of assaulting and sexually abusing young girls, had received the death sentence for the Samsoe killing.

His first conviction and sentencing in 1980 were overturned by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the jury in the guilt phase of that trial should never been told about his criminal past.

He was convicted for a second time last May, and on June 20 the jury returned another death verdict.

Alcala's record of assaults, including two terms in prison, dated back to 1968. He was free on bail awaiting trial for yet another attack when Robin Samsoe's body was found in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest on July 2, 1979, 12 days after she was last seen.

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