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People Can't Sleep After Watching Netflix's Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer

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People Can't Sleep After Watching Netflix's Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer

Netflix documentary Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer dropped on the streamer last night, and people are already binging it in one.

The hotly anticipated four-part series examines the horrific crimes committed by real life killer Richard Ramirez throughout California in the mid-1980s.

But the harrowing first person interviews and accounts of his killing spree have left some people so terrified they've been unable to sleep.

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"Went to sleep watching #nightstalkernetflix last night - made Alexa turn on all the lights in the house at 3:30am - cause I heard a noise," one person wrote on Twitter. "It was our dog flopping around in his sleep. Yup, it's that intense."

Another concurred: "Boyfriend and I just binged Night Stalker on Netflix. Someone please tell me how I'm supposed to sleep after this #nightstalkernetflix".

"Brutal nights sleep and I swear I've woke up and checked the house three times #nightstalkernetflix," said a third.

As another shared a meme of Family Guy's Stewie Griffin sitting wide awake and rocking back and forward, writing: "Me after having binge watched the Night Stalker at night time knowing I will have to sometime sleep again But not tonight!!!! @netflix #nightstalkernetflix".

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Using original photography, harrowing interviews with victims and their loved ones and archival footage, the series gives a true feel of the huge effort it took to track Ramirez down and end his killing spree.

A synopsis reads: "In the sweltering summer of 1985, a record-breaking heatwave hit Los Angeles, along with a series of murders and sexual assaults that at first seemed disconnected.

"The victims were men, women, and children. They ranged in age from six to 82. They came from different neighbourhoods, racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Never before in criminal history had a single killer been responsible for such a grisly array of crimes.

"Never before in criminal history had a single killer been responsible for such a grisly array of crimes. Racing against the clock to stop this nocturnal monster were a young detective named Gil Carrillo from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the legendary homicide investigator Frank Salerno.

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Ramirez terrorised California (Credit: Los Angeles Police Department)
Ramirez terrorised California (Credit: Los Angeles Police Department)

"As they worked tirelessly to solve the case, the media hounded their tracks, and panic gripped California."

Before his arrest in August 1985, Ramirez had terrorised residents of Los Angeles and San Francisco for 14 months, killing 13 people, attempting to kill five more and raping, assaulting and burgling countless others.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, a 12-year-old Ramirez had begun hanging out with his older cousin as a young boy to escape his abusive father who had given him two serious head injuries.

However, his cousin Miguel, a U.S. Army Green Beret had a sick fascination with torturing women and would tell his cousin stories of his exploits in Vietnam, involving raping women and even showing him photos of him posed with their severed heads.

Later, Ramirez witnessed his cousin shooting his wife in the face during a domestic argument and later moved in with her sister and her husband, a peeping Tom who would take his brother-in-law on his nighttime exploits.

Police recall their experiences in the doc (Credit: Netflix)
Police recall their experiences in the doc (Credit: Netflix)

Soon after, Ramirez began taking LSD, adopted Satanism and developed sexual fantasies, much like his male mentors.

In April 1984, he then went on to make a string of horrific attacks, with his MO to be breaking into homes, shooting people, often raping the women and stealing valuables.

Ramirez's capture was in large part down to 13-year-old James Romero, who alerted his parents to an intruder outside their house as Ramirez fled the scene. Before he ran off, the young boy raced outside and managed to note the colour, make, and style of the car, as well as a partial license plate number which he gave to police.

Soon after, Ramirez broke into the home of Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 29, where he shot Carns three times in the head and raped Erickson (they both unbelievably survived the injuries). She was later able to give a detailed description of the assailant to police.

Now that a media mugshot was released of Ramirez on every major newspaper, police began searching bus terminals guessing the killer might be fleeing the city. In fact, Ramirez was returning back to LA after a failed visit with his brother in Arizona.

Richard Ramirez in 1989 after hearing his verdict in court (Credit: Shutterstock)
Richard Ramirez in 1989 after hearing his verdict in court (Credit: Shutterstock)

Arriving back on the morning of August 31st, he walked past police officers into a convenience store. At this point, a group of elderly Mexican women began pointing at him, identifying him to police as "El Matador" (or "The Killer") after seeing his face in the papers.

In a panic, he ran - hopping over fences and attempting two more car-jackings - and was eventually stopped by a group of local residents who beat him with a metal bar until the police came.

On September 20th, 1989, Ramirez was sentenced to death in California's gas chamber but died of complications related to B-cell lymphoma in his cell, in 2013.

If you haven't watched this one yet, it sounds truly gripping - but avoid binging before bed!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment, Netflix

Joanna Freedman
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