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"The Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer" on Netflix

I binge-watched it this afternoon. I'll post my review inside.

by Anonymousreply 42Last Sunday at 1:48 PM

You mean Kolchak?

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by Anonymousreply 101/13/2021

It was beautifully filmed, although maybe a little too flashy in its cinematography and editing. It's such a compelling story that I couldn't help getting creeped out, and fascinated by how he was caught and how many women became sexually obsessed with him during his trial and attended his trial. He is so hideous when he shows his disgusting, rotted, gapped teeth, but he did have fabulous eyes and cheekbones which I can see why those women found him magnetizing in a bizarre way.

I'm glad they didn't focus it on Ramirez himself, but it was a big mistake to focus it on the two detectives, since they did not have a lot of appeal. But then that was the problem of "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," and there they focused on Michelle McNamara, which was a worse mistake because no one except Patton Oswalt and their friends really cared about her storyline.

The whole thing was worth it for that amazing woman who was abducted and raped by him when she was six years old, and who was so willing to identify him at trial later that year because she was so fearless. She didn't have to do that in the end, but she was so inspiring--and i loved when she said how she had gone on to find a career, a husband, and a family despite what he had done to her. You felt she was a real (and incredibly strong) survivor.

by Anonymousreply 201/13/2021

I couldn't look at that photo of Ramirez snarling at the camera with his hideous teeth that they kept showing for long periods --it really unnerved me.

by Anonymousreply 301/13/2021

I’m watching way too many serial killer shows

by Anonymousreply 401/13/2021

Scary connection: my aunt lived a block away at the time from where he killed a young woman in the San Gabriel Valley.

by Anonymousreply 501/13/2021

Kolchak is the only Night Stalker...

by Anonymousreply 601/13/2021

r6, see r1.

by Anonymousreply 701/13/2021

Richard Ramirez is one of the most puzzling serial killers because there was no pattern to who he killed. He did not kill based on gender or age or race or even location. They've had almost no other serial killers who did this--they almost always fit some sort of pattern as to who they kill, where, and sometimes even when.

by Anonymousreply 801/13/2021

I thought this was going to be about EAR/ONS. Thank god it’s Ramirez! Easily the most terrifying serial killer, he just edges out the Zodiac for me (though generally I find Zodiac more interesting).

Looking forward to this. Thanks OP.

The NBC made for TV movie about this story from back in the 80s is really good, too. Scared the hell out of me as a kid.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Thursday at 2:00 AM

R1- My first though as well. 😃

by Anonymousreply 10Last Thursday at 2:57 AM

I wish there'd been more commentary by the lady in the heart glasses.

by Anonymousreply 11Last Thursday at 2:49 PM

I was a five year old in LA when he was killing. I have never, ever been so scared in my life. I am not a MARY!, but I won't be watching this. I lived it.

by Anonymousreply 12Last Thursday at 3:07 PM

The lady in the heart-shaped glasses is hilarious. Her comments about Ramirez's groupies had me laughing out loud.

by Anonymousreply 13Last Thursday at 3:15 PM

The best documentary mini-series I've seen in this genre was "The Ripper," which was released last month, about the Yorkshire Ripper. It did the best job showing you about his victims' lives, so you didn't feel they were just a series of targets, and that they were real people who mattered.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Thursday at 5:26 PM

Loved The Ripper, too!

by Anonymousreply 15Last Thursday at 5:40 PM

Netflix is killing it with these serial killer docs.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Thursday at 5:51 PM

The Ripper was great. It's unbelievable that they could have caught him sooner if the police realized he wasn't killing only dirty, tainted, unwashed prostitutes.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Thursday at 7:16 PM

Did they mention me?!

by Anonymousreply 18Last Thursday at 7:46 PM

Re: The Night Stalker

Finished watching it tonight. As an Angeleno, I lived through it back in the day. Excellent overall -- but I could've done without some of the directorial flash, like seeing bloody hammers drop in slow motion. Also, it's kind of strange that, despite all the attention paid to the 2 detectives, they had very little to do with apprehending Ramirez in the end. (He was identified via a stoolie in San Francisco and caught through the actions of the East L.A. community.)

Re: The Ripper

Another excellent true crime docuseries. I liked the focus on the victims but, if anything, it should have been longer in order to delve into the myriad police fuck-ups along the way. (I've read several books about Sutcliffe and the number of times he escaped detection & identification is mind-blowing.)

by Anonymousreply 19Last Thursday at 8:00 PM

Watching episode 2 now. Wow, is this series ever “slick”. Why do these production companies think they need to add all these macro lens close-ups and slow-motion shots, and fake 3D morphs of old film photos? Or the profile shots of the interviewees? Or the homicide chief sitting at the bar with his drink?

I enjoy the retelling of the story, and the crime scene photos are shocking/interesting, but the above-mentioned visual effects are soooo tacky. Do they really think the audience is so ‘challenged’ that they need to use all these graphics to keep people’s attention? The EAR/ONS + Michelle McNamara series wasn’t this bad, neither was The Ripper.

The documentaries on the Zodiac blu ray are like a master class in how to present this kind of subject matter in as clinical a way as possible and still be absolutely enthralling and terrifying.

by Anonymousreply 20Last Thursday at 8:09 PM

[quote]Do they really think the audience is so ‘challenged’ that they need to use all these graphics to keep people’s attention?


by Anonymousreply 21Last Thursday at 10:22 PM

R20 here, I watched through episode 3, and the series is so good. They either eased up on the visual effects by that episode (assuming at that point the audience was “hooked” and there was no reason to keep up with the ridiculousness), or I got used to them. I can’t wait to see episode 4 tonight! I actually felt scared last night when I was cleaning my contact lenses before going upstairs to bed, I kept turning around to make sure no one was behind me. Double checked the door to the deck to make sure it was locked...

by Anonymousreply 22Last Friday at 7:56 AM

[quote]despite all the attention paid to the 2 detectives, they had very little to do with apprehending Ramirez in the end. (He was identified via a stoolie in San Francisco and caught through the actions of the East L.A. community.)[/quote]


I thought so, too! The LA Detectives investigated the early crimes, identified the markers of a serial killer, and gathered some preliminary biographical data, but they did not actively try to capture him. Of course, their LA partners erred at critical points: they never investigated the impounded car, pulled the surveillance from the dentist's office, etc.

In contrast, SF proactively chased him. The press conference alerted everyone on what to look for (even if they disclosed the precious shoe), the reward shook out the informant, they beat the name of the killer out of one his associates. All of which led to Ramirez's picture being everywhere, enabling citizens to take matters into their own hands.

Obviously, Ramirez was fencing the stolen property; I can't believe LA didn't shake down every fence in the city. They sat on the fingerprint, waiting for name. Ramirez was killing at will. Couldn't someone at least compare the prints from burglary arrests fitting the attacker's general description to their print.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Friday at 9:28 AM

Richard had Satan on his side, and Satan is known to make cops act stupid.

by Anonymousreply 24Last Friday at 12:46 PM

Ramirez is a “made” psychopath vs. “born”. If you know the story of his early life it’s hard to imagine most people going through what he did and making it out sane.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Friday at 2:00 PM

For all you know, they might have, r23. Richard Ramirez had (surprisingly) a very light criminal record when the mob finally caught up with him--it would have been nearly impossible to link him to previous crimes. They didn't have the kind of computer technology then that they do now to match the discovered fingerprint with all fingerprints in their database.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Friday at 3:50 PM

r26 - not really.

Individual fingerprints tend to fall into patterns such as arches and loops. Before computers, LE used these commonalities to classify them by pattern. With additional information about the suspect, such a known burglaries, height, hair color, etc, they narrowed it down to a manageable number.

Moreover, a print could be sent to the FBI to compare against federal files. This was used to ID the Black Dahlia, who had an on-base conviction for underage drinking and fingerprints on file with military.

➕ Gil specifically said during the documentary that they had not done any comparisons because they lacked a name to compare them to. In fact, LE conducted searches all the time, some to just to identify dead bodies.

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by Anonymousreply 27Last Friday at 4:21 PM

They would have had no narrative through-line had they focused on the SF police alone. But they could have not focused on just two cops--they could have focused on several,.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Friday at 6:18 PM

This series was so short. I expected it to continue past his arrest, covering his trial and romances in detail. Kind of a bummer that it just ended with the 2013 update on him. Makes me want to watch more, including the old TV movie about the case.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Friday at 10:24 PM

This series was great at capturing the 80s LA vibe, but as with so many true crime docs, it suffers from too much self-congratulatory chest-puffing and dick-waving by the cops. And not just by the cops, by the fucking reporters too. This made for pretty tedious viewing by the end.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Saturday at 12:22 AM

When I was much younger, I had the impression that Bundy and Rameriz were like superhuman comic book villains who had plans on world domination. Mythic-like even. I was floored when I discovered that they would just randomly walk up to front doors, and if they were unlocked, they'd simply stroll in and kill everybody.

It was stunning and anti-climatic at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Saturday at 12:41 AM

^Ramirez^ my bad

by Anonymousreply 32Last Saturday at 12:42 AM

Any similar podcasts to this show?

by Anonymousreply 33Last Saturday at 11:51 AM

One of the things they discuss on the show, r31, is one lovely elder couple who were murdered by Ramirez simply refused to lock the doors. "I'm from the Midwest, and we just don't do that sort of thing there," said the wife in the couple to their granddaughter, when the granddaughter told her just days before she was killed that there was a serial killer going after people in the LA area and that they should really start locking their doors...

by Anonymousreply 34Last Saturday at 5:26 PM

I’m watching Part 1 now. Very chilling. The 6 year old survivor’s story will stay with me. How do you process that? Plus, Ramirez from all accounts stunk to high heaven. Dear God!

by Anonymousreply 35Last Saturday at 5:46 PM

My only complaint was that the series had little to no background info on Ramirez. I would have liked a bit of that as mentioned by R25.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Saturday at 5:47 PM

i thought it was too long, some parts were boring. i had no idea he sexually abused little kids.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Saturday at 5:59 PM

Did anybody see the movie where Lou Diamond Phillips plays Ramirez? Was it any good?

by Anonymousreply 38Last Sunday at 9:21 AM

r38, I have, the movie is pretty good. Lou Diamond Phillips is excellent, Bellamy Young unfortunately is not.

by Anonymousreply 39Last Sunday at 11:10 AM

[quote] I expected it to continue past his arrest, covering his trial and romances in detail.

They purposefully decided not to do that so as not to glorify him.

by Anonymousreply 40Last Sunday at 11:11 AM


that was horrible... I do wish they did a little more after the arrest and his childhood

by Anonymousreply 41Last Sunday at 1:47 PM

R39, thanks. Sounds like it's worth checking out.

I'm surprised the Netflix doc didn't mention Ramirez staying at the ever-lovely, notorious Cecil Hotel.

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by Anonymousreply 42Last Sunday at 1:48 PM
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