There are some spoilers in this review!
Richard Ramirez Case 101
Richard Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas in 1960 and influenced by his family. He was often surrounded by violence through stories or as a first hand witness with his cousin. Ramirez dropped out of high school in ninth grade and moved to California when he was 22. There he started killing in 1984 in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas until he was caught in 1985. As local police departments were searching for the Night Stalker, given to him by the news media, he continued to outsmart them. There clearly was a serial killer roaming the streets of California. When he was finally caught and charged with murders, attempted murders, sexual assaults, and burglaries in 1989, Ramirez was sentenced to death. While none of this will be too much of a surprise for those who know about the case, this docuseries is excellent in that it also involves the love/hate relationship between media and police as well as the victims’ families. It is rated TV-MA, has four episodes, and is three hours and nine minutes long.
A Stab in the Dark
The good thing about this case is the general human population, the common person, if you will. Most murders and major crimes go unsolved. The percentage of those solved and convicted is pretty small. No wonder why people should rely on themselves first to protect themselves (within reason). When I lived in LA, it took the police two hours to arrive to the apartment for a non violent offense. It took a long time. Now when this guy waving around a machete and threatening people in the apartment complex, they were there in a hurry. It depends on the situation. I bring this up because even the best, brightest, and dedicated police detectives have huge obstacles to overcome. I have no doubt Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno did their best to capture the Night Stalker and yet it took them months to find out his name. Others who met Richard Ramirez in passing comment on his odd behaviors including the police once he was in custody. This includes his trial which he disgustingly played to the camera. I will never understand the appeal of being attracted to a serial killer and to be seen as charming where his followers feel sorry for him. I suppose it’s another type of brainwashing that occurs in society.
Watch the Trailer
Overall View of Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer
It isn’t hard for me to watch this kind of stuff. I will warn you there are some graphic scenes in this docuseries but the cat and mouse game of cop and killer is about as old as peanut butter and jelly. It’s something people find interesting. Los Angeles in the 1980s was a different time than it is today and thankfully his terror on society came to an end in 1985. He had been on death row over 20 years before he died in 2013 at the age of 53. He did not die soon enough for his victims and their families. They were the ones to suffer the most. If anything is learned from Richard Ramirez’s crime spree, it is that sometimes people are influenced to do very bad things and sometimes people are pure evil and not much else.
I rate Night Stalker Four Fingers and One Thumb at PERFECT at 100%.