During this period, Alcala convinced hundreds of young men and women that he was a professional fashion photographer, and photographed them for his "portfolio." A Times co-worker later recalled that Alcala shared his photos with workmates.
"I thought it was weird, but I was young, I didn't know anything," she said.
A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel nullified the second conviction, in part because a witness was not allowed to support Alcala's contention that the park ranger who found Samsoe's body had been "hypnotized by police investigators".
Additional evidence, including another cold case DNA match in 2004, led to Alcala's indictment for the murders of four additional women: Jill Barcomb, 18, a New York runaway found "rolled up like a ball" in a Los Angeles ravine in 1977, and originally thought to have been a victim of the Hillside Strangler; Georgia Wixted, 27, bludgeoned in her Malibu apartment in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 31, raped, strangled, and left in the laundry room of an El Segundo apartment complex in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, killed in her Burbank apartment in 1979.
Detectives circulated a sketch of the photographer, and Alcala's parole officer recognized him.
Alcala was arrested in late 1979 and held without bail.
In 2003, prosecutors entered a motion to join the Samsoe charges with those of the four newly discovered victims.
Alcala's attorneys contested it; as one of them explained, "If you're a juror and you hear one murder case, you may be able to have reasonable doubt.
Prosecutors said that Alcala "toyed" with his victims, strangling them until they lost consciousness, then waiting until they revived, sometimes repeating this process several times before finally killing them.
Alcala compiled a collection of more than 1,000 photographs of women and teenage boys, many in sexually explicit poses.
"When I asked why he took the photos, he said their moms asked him to.