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But first, she planned to play on the beach for a few hours with Bridget. " And man, he -- he took that camera, turned his head down, and you could almost see like smoke coming off his dress shoes. Robin's ballet teacher called when she did not arrive for her lesson later that day. Marianne Connelly: It was probably the most horrifying time of all, you know, not knowing.Bridget Wilvurt: I could definitely see a gentleman with dark hair. And Robin goes, "Sure." And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, pops up Jackie Young, my neighbor. Police continually questioned the one person they thought might know where Robin could've gone: her best friend, Bridget.A homegrown serial killer – known as "Son of Sam" – was terrorizing the city. Her family's high profile made the story front-page news as the NYPD kept up the hunt for her. Detectives thought they were onto something when they found an important clue in her apartment.

In 1977, Rodney Alcala was out of prison and living in New York.

It was bad news for the New York cops who already had their hands full. I didn't think anything of it until a couple weeks -- until it hit the newspapers.

Looking back through this, it was staring me in the face that … Kathy Thornton didn't know the name Rodney Alcala -- but one day, she would. The other love of Robin's life was her mom, Marianne.

It was the spring of 1979 -- Rodney Alcala had been back in California for almost two years and 12-year-old Robin Samsoe was enjoying the Southern California beach life. Marianne Connelly: She was probably the most loving child a mother could have. On June 20, 1979, Robin was going to start her first day of work answering phones at a ballet studio in exchange for lessons. Bridget Wilvurt: And Robin had thrown her beach towel and everything into her bag, and she's like, "Well, I'm going to get going." And I go, "Well, take my bike and don't stop." That was the last time anyone saw Robin alive.

I mean he -- he honed in on us, like, really like a -- like a shark in the water, honing in on a seal. Bridget Wilvurt: And I -- I said -- I go, "it was the man, that man that took our picture." On July 2, 12 days after Robin last said goodbye to her friend and rode off on her bike, a fire crew found the body of a child.

Marianne Connelly: I said, "Let's go see her." He said, "We can't do that." I said, "That's my baby, of course, I'm going to see her. " He said, "Because it took us three days to identify her." I said, "What's wrong with you people?The woman who won a date with him ended up backing out, saying she found him "creepy."Her intuition probably saved her life. Steve Braccini: We'll never know how many women are lucky …'Cause every woman that crossed that guy's path was a potential victim.Matt Murphy: His parole officer saw that and -- and called the detectives and said, "Look, there's a guy that used to be on my caseload. His name is Rodney Alcala."It had been nearly 11 years since Alcala had left 8-year-old Tali Shapiro for dead. He lived with his mother in Monterey Park, a stone's throw from the mountains where Robin's remains were located. That he -- nobody could account for his whereabouts at that time. Rodney Alcala was arrested on July 24 and charged with the kidnap and murder of Robin Samsoe. Pat Ellis | Huntington Beach Police Dept.: At one point he mentions him having a storage locker in Seattle, Washington, that the cops don't know about. Matt Murphy: So at that point, those are all the nuts and bolts that you need for a successful prosecution.Detective Pat Ellis said Huntington Beach Police got an unexpected tip when Alcala's sister came to visit her brother in jail. …He says, "Do me a favor, get the stuff out of there. Nearly one year after Robin Samsoe's murder, prosecutors were ready.They say, "A check at this address failed to reveal any contact with Christine Ruth Thornton." …

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