Any type of media production associated with serial killers is one that seems to snag my attention. Like my dad said to me the other day, it is possible I should have studied criminology in post-secondary school since I find it so enthralling, but alas, here I am with an English degree.
On the topic of serial killers, I caught wind of one that debuted via Netflix that has garnered a lot of discussion as of late. Titled Night Stalker, the documentary describes the investigation of a series of murders in the mid 80s in California committed by an eventually convicted Richard Ramirez. The documentary depicts interviews with Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno, two Los Angeles detectives, in which they describe their experiences in trying to not only identify Ramirez, but further catch and prosecute him for the countless murders and attacks he was responsible for at the time.
Ramirez, while a serial killer, was an interesting one. Rather than adhering to a strict ritual that many serial killers tend to abide by when committing a murder, Ramirez was rather inconsistent with his crimes and his choice of murder weapon, hence why tracking him down wasn’t exactly easy for the detectives assigned to his case. He was eventually convicted of 13 counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of sexual assault and 14 counts of burglary.
Ramirez was given a few nick names by media outlets at the time of his crimes, but the one that stuck, Night Stalker, is a result of him committing the majority of his crimes at night, following his victims, breaking into their homes and attacking unsuspecting individuals.
This documentary is very well done, in my opinion, although it is quite gory in terms of the actual crime scene photos it showcases. If you have a weak stomach, I wouldn’t recommend watching it, but for those of us who don’t, it’s worth the watch.