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Netflix's Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer Drops On Wednesday

Netflix's Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer Drops On Wednesday

Netflix's new true crime documentary, Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer, drops on the streaming platform on Wednesday.

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

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

Watch a trailer below:

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

Ramirez had no pattern to his murders (Credit: Shutterstock)
Ramirez had no pattern to his murders (Credit: Shutterstock)

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Ramirez was eventually captured after 13-year-old James Romero alerted his parents to an intruder outside their house and 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.

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

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.

The Night Stalker's story is now one of the most famed US true crime cases (Credit: Shutterstock)
The Night Stalker's story is now one of the most famed US true crime cases (Credit: Shutterstock)

In the trailer for the new docu-series, we see one of the Night Stalker's victims recall: "He has this horrible big grin and he's missing all these teeth.

"He just stared at me, like a killer clown".

A policeman then says: "There was no doubt about it, this was a pretty sick individual," as archive footage shows dead bodies being taken out of a house on stretchers.

On the fact Ramirez' victims varied so drastically in age, and the murder weapons differed each time, a he adds: "We had never seen anybody like this in criminal history. The pressure was on to stop the mad man who was doing all this".

Some true crime buffs might know Ramirez' story thanks to American Horror Story: 1984.

The first episode of the ninth series, 'Camp Redwood', follows Brooke Thompson (played by Emma Thompson) who up and leaves her home town to work at a remote summer camp, following a terrifying encounter with 'The Night Stalker'.

We have a feeling this documentary is going to be a truly chilling watch...

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment, Netflix

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]