There was a lot of Holiday theme specials in the 1970’s that involved a lot of song and dance, a lot of musical and random guest stars, and a lot to tongue and cheek jokes. One of my favorite specials was the one that Paul Lynde made called:
This special premiered on October 29, 1976 on ABC:
And it had an array of guest stars such as Betty White, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Haynes, Tim Conway, Billy Barty, Roz Kelly, Florence Henderson, Donny and Marie Osmond and the band Kiss. It only aired once but you can still find the special on various streaming platforms.
I found out about the special a couple of years ago when I first starting watching Night Flight. I saw a post on their Instagram account ( @nightflightofficial ) about it. I was intrigued because any picture or discussion about a 1970’s tv Halloween special is totally up my alley!
Plus when I was reading the description about the special it had a lot of my forever icons in it. Such as Betty White, Kiss and Margaret Hamilton.
So I gave the special a chance and watched it. It has slowly become a yearly tradition for me.
The central characters are Paul Lynde as himself, Billie Haynes as Witchiepoo and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Margaret Hamilton plays Paul’s housekeeper and takes him to her sister’s house (who is played by Billie Haynes) to get alway from kids who were bothering (by tying him up and singing and dancing around him.
However Paul sees that both sisters turn into witches, and they want Paul to become their Public Relations man in order to spread the word that all witches are not bad:
In exchange for his PR they grant him three wishes and he cashes all of them. Paul has very random requests the first is his wish to become a trucker:
Paul returns back to the sister’s house and complaining to them that since they are witches that they need to live a more interesting life. So they decide what could be more interesting than having the band KISS play at their house:
His second wish is wanting to go to the Sahara Desert so he can be seduce by a snow queen named Lady Cecily Westinghouse (played by Florence Henderson)
Wanting to share the enormous satisfaction of his wealth from his last two wishes Paul decides that he is so grateful he gives his last wish to the two witches:
And what do witches want more than anything in life? They want a disco in their house:
All and all this special is so quirky and fun that it is definitely worth a watch!
Fun Fact about this special: This is KISS’s first prime time TV appearance.
If you are interested in watching this. It is available to watch on YouTube and Amazon Prime. Has anyone else watched this? If so comment below your thoughts on it.
“Most of my drive comes from my upbringing. I’m a first generation American, my family is from Cuba and spent some time in a refugee camp in Guantanamo Bay (where I was actually conceived) before coming to the United States, so that puts a lot of weight on my shoulders to succeed. I’ve always been a performer, always caught up in a theater or playing my violin ever since I could remember.
I became a teacher at nineteen and was just never happy with it. After some time I just snapped and threw myself back into the theater and even went on to pursue a career in dance.”
2. How did the concept of clown dancing come about?
“Haha I’ve always been perceived as “a clown”. I always got the “male comedic relief” role in plays growing up and was just always referred to as “a clown”. I totally owned and since I’ve always been fascinated with them, even came up with the persona of “Pagliacca the Blind Clown”, a play on the old Pagliacci joke, you know, the one with the man who goes to the doctor about being depressed? Anyways, she comes out during Halloween time with a new look every year and wreaks havoc at Haunted Houses and what not. Dancing wasn’t really available to me as a kid (specifically ballet). So now as an adult, for the past two years now, I’ve been intensely training at a local dance studio and have shown enough success to start training en pointe. I hope I can dance for a big show, even a circus, one day as “Pagliacca”.
3. If you had to make a top five Halloween theme movie list. What movies would you pick and why?
“My Halloween theme would definitely have to be anything related to possessions or ghosts! Unseen forces always freaked me out; can’t really fight back with your dukes, right? I’d start with The Exorcist (1973), then Witchboard (1986), Amityville II: The Possession (1982), “Demons (1985), and last but not least The Omen (1976)! The scores for these films just amp the creepy atmosphere up by the thousands”!
4. Out of all of the things you do in your career what is your favorite thing and why?
“After everything is said and done, performing is by far the most rewarding part. Getting to put all my hard work out there for people to enjoy is just an experience worth reliving over and over again. Becoming someone else and taking on a role are why I wake up every day and strive to outdo myself every time!”
5.Are there any upcoming events or news that you would like to share?
” If all goes well under the current circumstances, the theater I’m collaborating with, “Outcast Theater Collective”, should be putting out a big surprise closer to Halloween and I should be updating our studio’s dance performances on my page as we get closer to showtime!”
If you would like to learn more about Margarita. Her following contact information is below:
Hello everyone! I decided to make more of a theme for this part of this section. With Halloween coming up next month I decided to talk about five lesser known characters from the Treehouse of Horror episodes!
Jonathan “John” Nerdelbaum Frink Sr (appeared on Treehouse of Horror XIV) he is the dad of Professor Frink. However their relationship wasn’t a real father-son bond. John was known as Bonaire scientist (more of the lines of Indian Jones) and his sone was more known as a Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis) kind of scientist. However the senior Frink did not live to see his son achieve the highest honor (Nobel piece prize) because he got bitten by a shark while testing out a new invention he created. A suntan lotion made with blood
The younger Frink was so distraught that his dad wasn’t there to see him get his prize he decided to dig up his dad’s grave and bring him back to life.
Unfortunately when the young Frink did that there was a side effect. Since his dad had a side of his body missing because of the shark bite he took it upon himself to get the missing parts from other people. And he became a Frankenstein kind of creature.
He ended up taking body parts from the following people: Snake, Comic Book Guy, Mr. Burns, Sideshow Mel, Krusty the Clown, Ned Flanders, Patty, Nelson Muntz, Kearney and Principal Skinner.
Leprechaun- (appearances on Treehouse of Horrors- XII, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII) this character wasn’t only on the treehouse of horror episodes. He is also known as Ralph’s imaginary friend who tells him to burn things:
He is also on the local bowling team “Are they Reals.”
He also got married on one of the Treehouse of Horror episodes. Fun fact
Lard Lad and Lard Lad Donuts ( first appeared on Treehouse of Horrors VI)- Personally this is one of my favorite episodes in the treehouse of horror shows.
This shop is in the section of Springfield known as “Fast-Food Bouleward.” And it is a popular hangout place of the Springfield police force. Lard Lad Donuts did run into hard times. At one point it was shut down due to a rat infestation. Also the Lard Lad statue came alive when Homer stole his donut and tried to get it back.
Fun Fact about this character: The name of the mascot and shop is a tongue-in-cheek version of Bob’s Big Boy and Randy’s donuts and Bakery.
Bad Dream House:
Appearance: Treehouse of Horror. Homer decides to move out of their home and into this less expensive mansion. However this mansion is extremely picky about who lives inside their walls.
Homer is not even phase with the vortex in the kitchen or the eerily feeling Marge and Lisa have being inside the house. During their first night in the house every member of the family except for Marge turned again each other:
However when the family tries to talk to the house (Yes the house talks!) about living in peace with each other. The house decides that is it not worth the effort and literally destroys itself:
Fun fact about this character: The inspiration behind this episode was from the Amityville Horror:
Appeared on Treehouse of Horror IV: So this character actually scared me when I was little that I could not go to sleep the night that I watched the episode. I was also paranoid enough for the next month to check the sides of school bus to make sure that it wasn’t on the bus.
The Gremlin’s main purpose was to cause terror and destruction to the townspeople of Springfield. Especially towards the kids of Springfield Elementary. To my knowledge he only appeared on that one episode. But it was scary enough to last an impression on me to include this character on the list:
Fun Fact about this character. It was inspired by a character from the Twilight Zone TV series.
I’m a double Scorpio and a triple psycho (j/k hehe). I am an Illustrator living in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, with my tiny fur family and supportive partner. Although my main focus is art, I work part time at a Crystal shop in an antique mall- which can be quite fun and often provides some otherworldly and visual inspiration. My work is greatly influenced by Japanese Ghost Scrolls, Horror Manga, 60’s/70’s Italian Horror, sweet lil vintage Halloween Décor and of course nature.
As a child I always had been adamant about being a Vet but once I realized that meant sometimes operating on hurt animals or even “putting them down” I changed my tune (I guess I just thought the job entailed hanging out with animals all day) Once I recovered from my dashed Veterinarian dream I whole- heartedly threw myself into my artwork. School was tough for me since I was 100% on the ADHD train but Art was the one thing that came easily. I remained viciously on that path until college, earning my Associates Degree in Illustration from The Hussian School of Art in 2008.
I always did things my own way and that also went for how I got my art out there. Being a gallery artist was and still is a dream of mine. I was getting frustrated with having to pay to apply to shows that I wasn’t getting into so I took things into my own hands. I began selling my work on the streets of Old City during first Fridays. From the streets I moved onto being a part of some independent pop- up group art shows put on by various venues and artists : Sales Gaspillee, Dark Arts, Boot and Saddle, Tattooed Moms.
Since then I have curated three group art shows at Tattooed Moms on South Street, Philadelphia : my first show “Walpurgisnacht” in 2017, second “Grave Hallucinations” in 2017 and “Fever Dreams” in 2018. Also organizing the first ever group art show at Johnny Brenda’s “Astral Shadows” in 2018. My original works can be seen and are for sale at the “Upstairs Smoking Section” in The Dive Bar in Philly. I am so grateful for all of these venues giving me support to put on these events and am hoping to do more in the future, although it may be some time given the worlds’ current circumstances.”
2. What was the first piece you created?
“As I mentioned in the intro I have been creating since I was very young. I happen to be visiting my parents and they dug up a bunch of my old drawings which I will include a shot of. The one I’m looking at now is on construction paper and in crayon, I had drawn a black cat with a pretty tough look on his face and for some reason he is wearing a Batman costume and has very intense muscles.
This was probably drawn around the time Batman Returns came out because I had a huge crush on Batman and AND Catwoman and I just like cats in general. I do specifically remember drawing this in my grandma’s basement.
But my favorite first piece of art is from 2nd grade we had to make our own books and mine was about a bear. My most cherished image from that book is a bear standing next to a flower that is very BIG and has a human face- and in front of the bear is a blue mushroom that has angry eyebrows and the flower is saying “Ho no the bear!” I’m assuming I meant “Oh no” but like I said the ADHD is strong in this one.”
3. I’ve noticed some of your art has an eye mixed in with a fruit or vegetable- what made you choose produce and an eye as an art theme?
“This current theme of eyes in produce is new for me. My usual style is very planned out and detail oriented. This new style started a couple years ago when I made my final project for graduating my meditation course. I painted a big fleshy eye in a cloudy sky with an ouroboros around it. I didn’t plan this piece at all, it was something I would see when I meditated so I thought it would be perfect for the project. This was the first time ever done a style like that. So with currently having a part time job and trying to stay relevant on social media I try to create a new painting every week in order to keep in practice- and for whatever reason, doing the eyes is easy for me. I really enjoy picking out which fruit, vegetable or fungus I’ll be working on that day. It feels therapeutic and meditative, I like to take my time and see where the piece takes me.”
4. What has been your favorite series of art you created and why?
“My favorite is the Succubus series I did in 2014. It represents particularly difficult time in my life where I was going through a lot of changes and loss. I really identified with the Yurei ghost scrolls, they represented women who died in a violent manner, committed suicide or who were treated harshly during life , they would came back to get their revenge on those who wronged them.
In that time, creating these paintings was how I was working through the hurt I felt. I made these paintings all at once and you can see how they are tied together. Now I can look back on that as transformative time and am glad I made it through. I am hoping to revisit this style soon.”
5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?
” Yes! I’ve recently created an Esty shop: LeahSabatelliArt. It is only a few days old but I hope you guys will check it out! I’ll have my art prints, original paintings and handmade jewelry available!”
If you like to learn more about Leah and her art. The following contact information is below:
Next week is banned book week! It runs from September 28,2020- October 3, 2020. For those who are not familiar with this week. It is a celebration for the right to read! It started in 1982 by library activist Judith Krug after she notice a large amount of books were being banned from public libraries and schools. She brought up the event to the Association of American Publishers’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and they liked the idea so much and it has been a thing ever since.
So here are some books that have been frequently challenged or banned and the reasons why:
The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood. Reason(s) why it is on the list: Themes of Sexuality, anti-Christian views, discussion of suicide and violence.
The House of the Spirits (1982) by Isabel Allende. Reason why it is on the list: Sexual content.
Goosebumps (the entire book series 1992-1997) by R.L. Stone. Reasons why it is on the list: Themes of violence, supernatural entities and youth disobedience,
Draw Me a Star (1992) by Eric Carle- reasons why it is on the list: nude pictures of Adam and Eve and explicit sexual content.
As I Lay Dying (1930) By William Faulkner- Reasons why it is on the list: Issues of death and abortion.
Native Son (1940) by Richard Wright. Reason why it is on the list- themes of the sex and violence.
The Stupids ( entire series 1974-1989) by Harry Allard. Reasons why it is on the list: encouraging bad behavior, themes of death and foul language.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981-1991) by Alvin Schwartz: reason why it is on the list- violence and not ok for the age group it as aim for.
Daddy’s Roommate (1991) by Michael Willhoite. Reason why it is on the list: LGBT themes.
Family Secrets (1985) by Norma Klein. Reasons why it is on the list: foul language, themes of sex, incest, smoking and adultery.
To see a full list of these banned books the link is below:
“I am a 26 year old visual artist and makeup artist hailing from the Northeastern sector of Pennsylvania. I studied Special Effects Makeup under the Tom Savini Special Make-up Effects program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with aspirations to go back to school for Mortuary Sciences and Funeral Directing. I grew up with a love of 80’s metal and cheesy B-rated horror flicks, as well as a fascination with true crime and the more macabre areas in life. I have been featured in 2019’s “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Beyond The Bizarre” book as well as publications in multiple magazines. As a hobby I collect taxidermy, oddities, religious antiques and am an avid reader always on the hunt for first editions.”
2. What made you want to start your custom art business?
“I first showcased my work at a RAW Artists show in Pittsburgh in June of 2014, the amount of love and support I received there from the vendors and patrons really made me want to continue to sell my work and try to peruse this as a side career. Fast forward 7 years and I have been consistently busy with my artwork between creating ready to ship items for my Etsy and custom commission work for clients. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with demand but it always makes me so happy seeing people hush about my work in reviews and/or social media posts.” 3. What movies or subjects Have inspired you in creating your customs pieces?
“My work has its roots in the classic horror films and tv shows (The Universal Monsters, The Munsters, The Addams Family, etc). Currently a lot of my work is based on 80’s horror films and the aesthetic of autumn/Sam Hain.”
4. If you had to curate a Top 5 movie list for the fall. What movies would be on your list and why?:
“Oh boy, this is one of the toughest questions I’ve been asked. My Top 5 Fall Movies list (in no particular order because I love these all dearly) is:
1. Young Frankenstein- it’s the perfect combination of slapstick comedy and horror to kick off spooky season with.
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch- Lets face it, Tom Atkins effing rules and who doesn’t get instant fall vibes with those killer masks?! Pun intended.
3. Sleepy Hollow- the scenery and aesthetic of the film just SCREAM fall to me. It’s definitely one of my most watched flicks during the season.
4. The Lost Boys- what’s not to love about leather wearing, motorcycle riding, Vampires? The 80’s boardwalk in Santa Carla AND Tim Cappello oiled up playing sax?! SIGN ME UP for one of the best late summer/early fall vibing flicks.
5. Children of the Corn- Corn fields, creepy children in wide brimmed hats, and sacrifice. This movie is what fall is all about. “
5. Do you have any exciting news or promotions that you would like to share?
“I have some very exciting upcoming events and news that I can share! I’ll be vending at the 2020 NEPA Horror Film Fest as well as I’m in the running for the title of 2020’s Miss Spooky Scranton! On top of that I will be having a 10% off sale on my Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/misscalliemarie) from November 1, 2020- November 10, 2020 with no coupon code needed! It’s a belated celebration of Samhain and the fall season as well as a great kick off to the Holiday season! I’ll also be announcing on my Instagram (@miss_callie_marie) a few available commission spots to get some spooky artwork to you lovely people in time for the holidays.”
If you like to learn more about Callie Marie the following contact information is below:
When I was little my family would often vacation at Disneyworld. My brother was very insisted that we go eat at the Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe for lunch. So when lunch time came we went inside and the first thing I heard is jazzy kind of music. I turned and saw this dinosaur looking thing playing the weirdest looking piano. I was so impressed by his skills that I made my family eat near him as I swayed with my burger in my hand to the music. And I tried very very hard to hum to the music he was playing.
As I was getting older I realize that his name is Sonny Eclipse and this animatronic lives inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland.
Sonny Eclipse may not be a well known Disney character because he only resides in the Cafe. But here are some facts about this outer space cool cat singer.
His set is 27 minutes long and he has such creative names for this songs such as “Yew York, Yew York”, “Planetary Boogie”, and “Bright Little Star.” His set include an invisible set of back up singers called “The Space Angels.” And like any lounge act his set includes bad jokes and heckles the audience. Here is a YouTube of his set:Sonny Esclipse Set
Sonny first debut at Cosmic Ray Starlight Cafe was in 1995 and he is from Yew Nork City that is located on the Planet Zork. He sings about his hometown in the song “Yew York,Yew York.”
Sonny is one the hardest working lounge singers at Disneyworld and is a main staple at the Cafe. So when he is removed for refurbishment reasons his absent is often noticeable.
Sonny plays on something called a “Astro-Organ” the keys light up when he plays so you know he works hard for the money.
Sonny had a family member that worked at Star Tours as a security guard in the spaceport customs department named Zzzzyxxx. But they rarely saw each other because Sonny was at Disneyworld and Zzzzyxxx was in Tokyo Disney.
“My name is Maddie Copp, and I’m an illustrator, sculptor, 80’s and 90’s nostalgia nerd, and a dog hiker and trainer on the side! I own and operate ‘Island of Misfit Toys’ and ‘Copp Creature Shop’ with my husband, Justin Mattarocchia-Copp. We have our own studio space in Somerville, MA that we share with a few other artists, and musicians.
I primarily design and illustrate my own tarot decks, paint, sculpt cute, creepy, and fantasy-themed art dolls and 3-D characters, and make the occasional puppet! I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and pursued that path pretty unblinkingly all the way through college, earning my BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. I interned at ‘Puppet Showplace Theater’ in Brookline, MA (go check them out!) following my graduation from college, and learned all about making mouth-style puppets, putting on puppet shows, and painted the theater windows for upcoming shows. I also spent time archiving and organizing a lot of cool, OLD puppets that the theater was storing (including Pelham Puppets, and some hand puppets held and used by Jim Henson!).
After I left Puppet Showplace, I eventually circled back to focusing on my illustration degree when my friend, Carly, had a dream one night (literally haha!!) that I should illustrate my own tarot decks, and she told me about it (because of my life-long interest in tarot and the occult). And that was that! My first tarot deck, the Twin Peaks inspired Tarot, was born. Which is currently my most popular item in my Etsy shop! When my husband and I aren’t drawing, painting, animating, sculpting, puppet-ing, and generally being weird, hermit-y, and trying to reject “normal” 9-5 pursuits– we are running our off-leash dog-hiking business, Red’s Rovers (named after our hound-son, Red).”
2. Can you talk about the Twin Peaks tarot’s cards you just made? What made you want to make a set of cards on this subject vs. Another?
“The Twin Peaks Tarot deck is very special to me, and it seems it already is for many other people as well. Which I’m so happy about!! The deck started as a passion project in response to my love for David Lynch and Mark Frost’s show from the 90’s, Twin Peaks. People had been telling me for years “Maddie, go watch Twin Peaks!”, “Knowing you, you’ll love Twin Peaks!” And admittedly, being the distractable person I am, I put off watching it for years. Then ‘Stranger Things’ by the Duffer Brothers came out. Weirdly enough, that was my gateway to Twin Peaks! I remember loving Stranger Things Season 1 so much, and my husband one night walked by me while I was re-watching it (again) and was like “Honey, if you like Stranger Things this much, you should really give Twin Peaks a try.” And that was what it took I guess! I basically binge watched ALL of it (Season 1, 2 and the Return, as well as ‘Fire Walk with Me’ and ‘The Missing Pieces’) in a two-week period. I was hooked!! The thing that struck me most about ‘Twin Peaks’ were the layers of symbolism to decipher and work through, which honestly I think is the appeal for most hardcore fans of the show. As I mentioned, my friend Carly had a dream randomly that I started illustrating my own tarot decks, and told me about it (which in itself is a very Twin Peaks-like occurrence!). Then one day while I was at work, it was like a lightning bolt hit me—what if I did a Twin Peaks themed tarot deck?? I started re-watching the show (again) and started trying to go through each card, working out which scenes, characters, and symbolism would translate well to tarot. It seemed like such a natural fit for a tarot deck, to me. I had to do it!!”
3. Who are your top 3 favorite Twin Peaks characters and why?
“Oh man…that’s a tough one! I feel like there are SO many excellent and necessary characters in the show. I tend to think of most of the characters in Twin Peaks as a sort of spiderweb of necessary protagonists and foils, whose personalities and side-plots compliment and build off one another, in such a way that if one were to not exist, the story would completely fall apart.
But I digress haha– I think if I HAD to choose, I would say Agent Cooper, Laura Palmer, and The Log Lady.
It’s safe to say Agent Cooper and Laura Palmer are effectively the main characters of the show, and their stories ultimately end up being the most intertwined, especially if you watch all the way through ‘The Return’. To me, Laura and Agent Cooper go through the largest transformations of any other characters through the series, and seem to embody both the best and worst qualities of human nature (which is also a recurring theme throughout the show). Though Laura is depicted as already deceased through most of the series, while she was alive, Laura was outwardly a witty, bubbly, beautiful girl.
Privately however, she suffers with substance abuse,mental illness, psychic/spiritual abuse, and to top it off, an abusive home life, and unhealthy love life (which is covered in ‘Fire Walk with Me’). Similarly, Agent Cooper (who is later assigned to solving Laura’s murder) is outwardly a charming, dapper, intelligent, perfectionist FBI agent. Privately however, he suffers with his own past traumas and perceived failings. Both of these characters, who are initially made to seem “perfect” (almost visibly like a real-life Barbie and Ken), are later made to confront their darker, uglier selves (even literally, inside the Black Lodge). To me, Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper are two of the most relatable characters, for this reason. They are an embodiment of the struggle we all face every day in society to appear outwardly “normal”,“happy” and “perfect”.
Though, the Log Lady (or Margaret Lanterman) MAY actually be my #1 favorite, just because I feel like her character is so well done. She’s introduced as the reclusive crazy lady in town (the old widow carrying a literal log around, saying it can talk, flicking the light switches frantically at town meetings, etc.), but she turns out to be a remarkably important character in the show, whose predictions about the future of Twin Peaks and its inhabitants come true time-after-time. Even helping the Twin Peaks police department and Agent Cooper with a murder case that just keeps getting weirder and weirder. For me, the Log Lady symbolizes the quiet (maybe crazy sounding) voice inside all of us, tapping into our intuitions and gut-feelings, challenging our perception of the world around us, and asking, “what if?”
4. What is the most popular item in your shop and why do you feel that is?
“Currently the most popular item in my shop is my Twin Peaks Tarot deck, but more specifically, the separate listings I have for the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. I have found while some folks really prefer buying the whole deck all in one go, MANY folks who buy from my shop have either never used tarot before, have just started watching Twin Peaks, or are on a budget (like most of us!), so would rather “dip a toe in” and buy JUST the Minor or JUST the Major cards first, to see how they like it, before purchasing the rest. I originally had them listed separately just because I was going so slow illustrating all the cards, and didn’t want to keep folks waiting for the whole deck to drop at once. But it ended up being something people asked for specifically later on!”
5. Do you have any exciting news or promotions that you would like to share?
“YES! I am going to have a new Beetlejuice themed tarot deck dropping in my shop soon, as well as a bunch of various 80’s and 90’s themed nostalgia prints and stickers I’ve designed myself. I am aiming to have everything listed by or before mid-September!”
If you like to learn more about Maddie. The following contact information is below:
The Dating Game was a popular that ran off and on between 1965 up until the 1990s. They were a lot of memorable contestants on the show but one in particular stood out to me. Rodney Alcala (born on August 23, 1943):
Why does he stand out to me? Because Rodney Alcala is a convicted serial rapist and killer and has killed somewhere in the excess amount of over a hundred women. He is referred as the “Dating Game Killer” because he made an appearance as one of the eligible bachelors on the show in 1978. The lady contestant actually ended up picking Rodney as her date but declined to go out with him. She said that he was creepy and didn’t feel conformable to go on a date with him.
Rodney’s first documented crime was as early as 1968 when he was in Los Angeles and someone saw him coax a young girl between the ages of 8-10 into his apartment to take photos of her. He would use the ploy of being a well known photographer and take photos of his victims before he would raped and murder them. The person called the police and from there the police broke down the door to find that Rodney had severely beaten and raped the girl.
However Rodney fled the state shortly after the crime all the way to New York City and changed his name to “John Berger” and went to school to NYU. In 1971 he changed his name again to “John Burger” to be able to work at an art camp for children in New Hampshire as a counselor. However that did not stop him from killing. In June 1971 he raped and killed a women name Cornelia Michel Crilley who was between the ages of 22-25 and was a flight attendant for TWA.
She was found in her apartment and at the time her killer was gone once the police found her body. Her case was finally solved in 2011 by an imprint of a bite mark that wound found on her body matched Rodney’s exactly.
Rodney was on the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives list of 1971 and it was two kids from the art camp who saw that list from a poster at the local post office. Rodney was arrested and brought back to California to face charges for what happened in California years previously. However the family of the victim had moved to Mexico and would not allow the girl to testify again Rodney. So he was charged with a way lesser crime and was paroled after 17 months. But as soon as he got out he was quickly arrested for assaulting a minor again. He found the 13 year old girl walking to school and he tricked into thinking that he was going to give her a ride to school. He was once again served a light sentence and was paroled after two years.
During the time of his horrible murdering spree he would continue his ploy of taking provocative photos of hundreds of young men and women most of them were in their teenage years. Telling them it was for a well known magazine or for his portfolio.
Finally in July of 1979 Rodney was arrested for the abduction and murder of a 12 year old year in Huntington Beach, California. She disappeared the previous month on her way to her ballet class. She never made it to the class instead her body was found 12 days later after she was reported missing. When police questioned her friends about her missing and later killed. They mentioned the a gentleman approach them asking if they wanted their photos taken. They were able to have a rough sketch of the person who was asking about taking photos and matched Rodney’s description.
They police had a search warrant for Rodney’s residence as well as his mother’s residence. And upon searching his mother’s house they found a receipt for a locker all the way in Seattle, Washington. When they search the locker they found a pair of earrings that belong to the little girl.
Rodney was arrested tried and sentence to death in 1980 for the murder however the decision was overturned were the California Supreme Court felt like the jury in that case was ill informed of Rodney’s prior crimes.
Rodney was retrial in 1986 and was serve the same death sentence ever . He was also tried for other murders that were connected to him in at least five other states that happen in between 1970-1979.
NO one knows for sure how many people died by Rodney’s hands however his photographs documents over hundreds and hundreds of people. Police is still trying to figure out the exact number of people. It is sad to me that a lot of families are still missing loves ones by this monster.
Thanks to the scientific advances of DNA it has boost a lot of the cold cases connected to Rondey Alcala and as early as 2003 he was convicted of the murder of Christine Thorton.
The police has release at least 100 photos that Rodney took online in hopes that it will help identify those people and hopefully help solved those missing people. Rodney is currently still serving time at California State Prison.
For more information about this. The following information is below:
I have a lot of forever icons. A lot of them were well known but off the beaten path and others are not as so well known. I usually do not write about my forever icons because I feel like I am always learning something new about them. But I decided that this was was worth writing about.
I found out about Luisa, Marchesa Casati Stampa di Soncino when I was at my local library and came across this book:
This book was in the biography section and I thought the cover was interesting. Why is this lady on the cover walking with a bunch of wild animals and why is she matching with them? So I checked out the book and read it on the metro while communing to the Smithsonian Museum and back. And wow Luisa was an amazing woman! Her fashion and her life were so iconic! So I decided to share some facts about one of my forever icons:
Luisa Casati was born on January 23, 1881 and died on June 1, 1957. She was a muse, an Italian heiress, artist’s model and a patron of the arts during the first half of the 20th century. Her full name is Luisa Adele Rosa Maria Amman.
Her father was a very wealthy textile manufacturer and a count. She had one sister. Her mother died when Luisa was 13 and her father died when she was 15. Her parents passing made her and her sister the wealthy ladies in Italy during the late 1890’s. They were both made orphans in a short amount of time but very very wealthy ones nonetheless.
Luisa height was mentioned to be about 6 feet some say she was taller. She had deep red hair and was very trim with very intense eyes and extremely pale skin.
Her most memorable traits where her deep green eyes which she would enhance with heavy amounts of fake eyelashes, and kohl. There was even a rumor that she dilated her eyes with belladonna. Which is a poison and is extremely toxic
She married quite young at the age of 19 to Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino. Luisa seemed more impressed with his title and wealth then his personality in terms of being in love with him. They had one child together named Cristina Casati Stampa di Soncino. However after the first year of the birth of their only child.
The couple fell out of love and decided it would be best for both of them to separate. They lived separate lives however legally they were still married until Camillo death in 1946.
However during the time she was living separately from her husband she was known to had many lovers. Although one man stuck with her for many years named Gabriele d’Annunzio (a writer). She described their relationship as intense and he was more experienced than Camillo.
During her separation and her new love Luisa started to come out of her regularly shy shell. She started going out to dances and putting herself more out there and spending large amounts of money which was putting herself in debt in the process.
Her legend of her spending and her features started to be the talk of Europe. Even rumors started to spread around Europe about her weird personal tastes and that she hired servants to serve her while only wearing gold leaves in select places on their bodies. Even her decor in her house were rumor to contain ashes of her ex-lovers. She even had a wax figure of herself in her home and would used it during dark dinner parties. If she found herself in a dull dinner party at her house she would used the wax figure in her place and slip away.
She kept an array of exotic animals as pets including peacocks, and cheetahs. She would often take these animals for walks late at night only wearing a fur coat. She even used her pets as jewelry. Such a painted gold boa constrictor as a necklace or she would make her lovers leave bite marks in the form of a necklace.
Luisa had a huge interest with anything with the dark arts and carried a crystal ball with her and attempted many many times to contact loved ones who had past.
She was a muse of many popular artists at the time such as Man Ray, and Kees van Dongen to name a few. She wanted to be captured as much as possible by artists because she wanted to live on in these pieces of art.
Luisa always played with different kinds of poisons. Her drink of choice was gin and opium.
Her main residence was on the Grand Canals in Italy and where much of her scandals took place. The residence is better known as the residence of Peggy Guggenheim which later became the Guggenheim museum in Venice, Italy:
Luisa faced bankruptcy in the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit. She accumulated almost $25 million dollars in debt and could not pay off anything to her debtors. Even when she sold all of her belongings in order to pay off some of her debt it still wasn’t enough. There was rumors that one of her enemies were present at one of auction: Coco Chanel. One of the items Coco Chanel bought from the auction were this set of bronzed deer
After Luisa couldn’t fully pay off her debt she went to England to live close to her daughter (who was married at the time). She definitely lived in much humbler surroundings for the rest of her life. A one bedroom apartment.
Luisa did not take getting older well and living in the surroundings that she did in the last half of her life. She did remain friends with some of her people in her past as such Cecil Beaton. He attempted to photograph her in her later years but would always shy away from the camera. Some of her friends would still come by for her seances.
Her neighbors would often find Luisa digging their other people’s trash looking for feathers to put in her hair or anything she could use for her outfits.
Luisa died on June 1, 1957 after having a stroke in England at the age of 76. Before Luisa was going to be buried one of her friends broke into her apartment and grabbed a taxidermy beloved pet of hers and pair of false eyelashes so they could be buried with Luisa. There was also a rumor that she was buried wearing leopard from head to toe. The most insulting thing was that her name on her tombstone was spelled wrong: It was written as “Louisa” not “Luisa”
Her personality and fame is still used in fashion culture today. The fashion brand Marchesa was inspired by her and named their brand after her.
In 2007 Alexander McQueen did his spring line paying homage to her:
And those are just a few examples of how impactful her fashion and personality was.