Using an alias, Rodney Alcala moves to New York City and kills: Part 3

Alcala assumed the name of John Berger and began attending New York University. Cornelia Crilley was found dead in 1971. Alcala is arrested while working at a summer arts camp.
5:10 | 01/09/21

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Transcript for Using an alias, Rodney Alcala moves to New York City and kills: Part 3
While the FBI is on the hunt for Rodney Alcala, he's actually living on the east coast under an assumed name, John Berger. So, in 1968, John Berger walks into nyu and applies to their school of the arts. So, there he was in New York, a fugitive now for three years. What better place to be a sexual predator than go to a feeding frenzy like New York. So, New York in the early 70s is certainly, from the civic standpoint, rather challenged. It's mayor Lindsay's second term. He's having a hard time delivering services to people. Snow removal, garbage, police feel like they're under siege. Crime is certainly up, violent crime. And it's during this crime wave in New York City, that Alcala is able to fly under the radar, and he strikes again. Cornelia crilley grew up in queens. She had two sisters and two brothers. Catholic family, very well-respected in the neighborhood. Had a very happy childhood. She was beautiful. She had long, beautiful Irish hair and Irish eyes, big smile, very friendly and funny. A few years after high school, Cornelia met dream man, Leon borstein, and they began dating. I was 29 or 30. She was probably 23 at the time. She wanted to become a twa stewardess. At that time, they were known as ambassadors to the world and had a lot of prestige. And once she was accepted, she got an apartment with a couple of her stewardess friends on east 83rd street. In fact, in the east side of Manhattan, an area becomes known as the girl belt, because for the first time, young women are living on their own and experiencing their careers as they never had in the past. I had gotten a job in a Brooklyn d.a.'s office, so in the middle of the day, I got a call from her mother saying she couldn't find her. I said, okay, when I leave, I'll go find her. I'm sure she's at the apartment. Mrs. Crilley was trying to get in touch with her daughter, and she didn't answer the phone. She was living in a building where I could go into the building without a key. I knocked on the door, and there was no response. That's when I called the cops. And they came over. I was at the front door when they broke in the back window. They opened the door. They told me that she had been killed. She was down on the floor of her New York apartment. She had been strangled with nylon stockings and also had bite marks on her breast. She'd been raped and brutally murdered. We got a call from the police department that somebody still had to identify the body. So I went over to the morgue. The crilley case, it's very unique because she had just moved in the apartment. She's a new girl. No one knew her. So that was a drawback for the detectives in the beginning. New York pd has this brutal crime scene and no suspects. We had almost 2,000 murders that year. It wasn't peace, love, and joy. Detectives hit a lot of dead ends with this case. They had nothing, unfortunately, and the case went cold. While still enrolled as a student at nyu, Rodney Alcala, aka John Berger, actually spent his Summers as a counselor at an arts camp in New Hampshire. So, in August of 1971, two campers take the little dirt road down to the post office. And all of a sudden, it starts pouring. They run inside the post office to get cover, and they start looking around to see what is in the post office. And there's the good old FBI ten most wanted list. They go from one to the next to the next. Each one looks more horrible than the preceding one. They look at this, and they're, like, hey, that's Mr. Berger. So, they go back to the camp and they tell the head counselor, we saw this ten most wanted poster of somebody who looks like our John Berger. So, he said, don't say anything to anyone, and I'll go down to the post office and take a look. So, he comes back, he calls the FBI, and he says, I think we have your man. I get a phone call and it's the FBI in New Hampshire. They say, hey, we've got your guy in custody, Rodney James Alcala. I said, you got him in custody? Fantastic. This has been three years that Alcala has been on the lam and that Hodel has been looking for him. So, on the 12th of August, 1971, I, with a partner, picked him up, took him to the airport, flew him back. We got our guy. You know, he's going to prison for at least 20 to 30 years. The parents didn't want tali to testify. They said it would be too traumatic. So, I think the big fear was, oh, my god, will Alcala get away with it? And what's dangerous in the case of a sociopath is they're

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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