Rodney Alcala in a New York courtroom in 2013
David Glove / AP
Rodney Alcala, who was incarcerated in Corcoran State Prison, died of natural causes on Saturday, according to prison authorities.
He was 77 years old.
In California, he was sentenced to death for five murders between 1977 and 1979, and was later found guilty of two more murders.
Alcala was arrested in the summer of 1979 after the murder of a twelve-year-old and has been behind bars ever since.
In appeal proceedings, however, two convictions for procedural errors were initially overturned.
As recently as 2010, he was found guilty of rape murder on five counts, based on DNA samples and other evidence.
In 2012, he was charged with two more murders from the 1970s in New York, for which he pleaded guilty.
Another indictment in an unsolved criminal case in Wyoming was added in 2016.
Investigators believe he may have tortured and killed dozens more women.
In the California trial, Alcala had acted as his own attorney.
The eloquent perpetrator showed recordings of the TV dome show "Dating Game" during the proceedings, for which he appeared in 1978 as a candidate.
At that time, he had already raped and murdered two young Californian women, according to the conviction.
fla / dpa