So everyone and their mother were talking about Night Stalker, so my boyfriend and I decided to give it a watch. We ended up binging it in one night, it’s only four episodes, so not a hard binge.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is a Netflix mini-series that released on January 13th, 2021, so it’s very recent. The series follows detective Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno on their journey to find the murderer the media gave the title of ‘Night Stalker’. It also has interviews with reporters from that time, victims, and the family members.
One thing I really enjoyed about this series is that they didn’t mention the murderer’s name, until it came up in the actual timeline. I knew who it was, but I never really knew how they found out, so it was really interesting to see how the detectives came by it.
The documentary is definitely more focused on the police investigations and the city, rather than the murderer himself. They also make sure to give more information on the victims. Warning: It is super, duper graphic. They showed actual crime scene photos, nothing blurred, it was extremely intense, so just keep that in mind. It shows a lot more than other crime documentaries I’ve watched.
My favorite part was how he got caught, not by police, but by the community in East L.A. He was running from the police, and tried to assault a woman and steal a car, but he definitely went to the wrong neighborhood. A neighbor heard her, and pulled him out the car and from there more people started showing up. They beat him to a pulp, until the police showed up and took him in custody.
One of the most frustrating parts in the case, was when the mayor of San Francisco made a huge mistake. Most of the crimes took place in L.A., but then he veered to San Francisco, so the L.A. team shared what they knew with the San Francisco team. One key piece of evidence was the fact that Ramirez kept wearing the same pair of shoes at every crime, so they were able to connect the crimes together. They had tracked the brand, and found out one pair was sold in the area, which was huge. Of course, that was to be kept private, because if the murderer knew that they could connect him to his crimes in that way, he would just change shoes. Unfortunately, when the mayor of San Francisco did a press conference about the assault in San Francisco, she mentioned that key part of the case.
Highly recommend if you like crime documentaries that follow the case from the beginning. I saw some people were disappointed because they thought it was going too slow, but I really enjoyed learning the entirety of the case. It discussed the issues between the local police and FBI, the reporters getting an inside tip and using it to get what they wanted, and more things that some documentaries might leave out.
Let me know your thoughts!