(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - California's highest court has cleared the way for a convicted serial killer to be brought to New York to face charges in two 1970s killings.
Rodney Alcala, 68, a former amateur photographer and TV dating-show contestant was sentenced to death in California in 2010 after being convicted of strangling and sexually torturing four women and a 12-year-old girl in the 1970s.
The jury convicted Alcala on February 25, 2010 of killing Robyn Samsoe, 12, as well as Jill Barcomb, 18, who had just moved to Los Angeles from Oneida, N.Y.; Georgia Wixted, 27, of Malibu; Charlotte Lamb, 32, of Santa Monica; and Jill Parenteau, 21, of Burbank. After the California convictions, Alcala was charged with murdering two 23-year-old women in New York City in the same decade.
It was unclear when Alcala might arrive in Manhattan although arrangements could take a few weeks.
Through a lawyer, Alcala had argued that being sent to New York would undermine his efforts to appeal his California conviction and death sentence. He said he needed to be at hearings and do other preparatory work himself because he had acted as his own lawyer - a move that produced a defense that entailed showing a TV clip of himself on a 1978 episode of "The Dating Game" and playing Arlo Guthrie's 1967 song "Alice's Restaurant."
But the California attorney general's office said Alcala could work on his appeal just as well from New York City's Rikers Island jail complex as on death row at San Quentin State Prison, particularly since he has an appellate lawyer.
Neither California Attorney General Kamala Harris's office nor Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr.'s office had immediate comment Thursday. Alcala's lawyer didn't immediately respond to a telephone message.
In New York, Alcala is charged in the 1971 strangling of flight attendant Cornelia Crilley and the death of Ellen Hover, daughter of a one-time Hollywood nightclub owner. She disappeared in 1977; her remains were found the next year in the woods on a suburban estate.
A New York conviction wouldn't affect Alcala's sentence in California, but Manhattan prosecutors have noted that a conviction in New York could essentially be insurance for law enforcement in case Alcala wins yet another California appeal, which happened once before. Alcala likely would be sent back to California's death row if convicted in New York.