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Afterward, a distraught Barris checked into a New York hotel and wrote his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," in two months. The book (and the 2002 film based on it, directed by George Clooney) were widely dismissed by disbelievers who said the creator of some of television's most lowbrow game shows had allowed his imagination to run wild when he claimed to have spent his spare time traveling the world, quietly rubbing out enemies of the United States."It sounds like he has been standing too close to the gong all those years," quipped CIA spokesman Tom Crispell.

Rodney Alcala, one of the most infamous serial killers in U. history, would eventually be arrested and sentenced to death in 1980 for the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.

(He remains in prison in California.) While Alcala's body count is unknown, police estimate the now-73-year-old man killed at least dozens of women, with some counts running as high as 130 – and there are still over 100 photographs of unidentified women who may have been his victims.

Barris, who offered no corroboration of his claims, was unmoved."Have you ever heard the CIA acknowledge someone was an assassin? Seeking escape from the Hollywood rat race, he moved to a villa in the south of France in the 1980s with his girlfriend and future second wife, Robin Altman, and made only infrequent returns to his old haunts over the next two decades.