Jim Lange, the host of ABC’s The Dating Game, stands on stage in 1978, a floral motif bedecking the set behind him. He points to his left to introduce the eligible bachelors who want to date the woman of the hour. The first suitor he presents is Rodney Alcala, whose smiling face becomes chilling once you’re aware that he’s a serial killer.
What exactly constitutes a serial killer remains a topic of some debate. However, in most cases, experts agree that a person in this category derives some kind of psychological pleasure from committing murder. They tend to act on their own and kill more than one person over a timeframe that’s longer than a month.
Many consider Jack the Ripper to be modern history’s first serial killer. He roamed the streets of London’s Whitechapel neighborhood, a part of the city where many criminals could be found at the time. There, in 1888 Jack the Ripper selected his victims, murdering at least five women, all of whom were thought to be prostitutes.