Netflix’s ‘Night Stalker’ Tracks The Terrifying Crimes Of Real Life Boogeyman Richard Ramirez

A must-watch for all true crime fans

This year has featured enough terrifying current events to frighten us into 2021.

For true crime fans, streaming services have kept their catalogue filled with royal documentaries and Broadway-inspired musicals—which we’re not complaining about—leaving said fans without new content to feast their eyes on.

However, Netflix’s lastest docu-series about one of the most notorious serial killers will chill even the most seasoned true crime enthusiast to the bone. 

Enter Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer.

The documentary follows the crimes of serial killer Richard Ramirez, who terrorised Los Angeles between 1984 and 1985. Night Stalker also shows the race for a young detective and homicide investigator to solve the case while the world continued to fear a ‘boogeyman’ who had no pattern of methodology in his crimes. 

Intrigued? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the docu-series—from the plot and true story to where you can stream it in Australia.

Night Stalker
(Credit: Netflix)

What Is The Plot Of Night Stalker?

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer chronicles the crimes of Richard Ramirez, one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history.

Set against the hazy scenery of 1980s Los Angeles, the docuseries follows the race of young detective, Gil Carrillo, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alongside homicide investigator, Frank Salerno, to solve the case as the media stoked fear of a boogeyman who had no pattern of victim or methodology in his crimes. 

The four-part series includes interviews with survivors, and features archival footage and original photography. It paints a portrait of a Los Angeles grappling with the very real possibility that anyone could be one of the Night Stalker’s victims. 

Directed by Tiller Russell, the idea for the docuseries came to fruition after his producing partner, Tim Walsh, came to him with the idea after meeting one of the detectives who worked the case, he revealed in an interview with People.

When creating the Night Stalker series, he chose to make a point of telling the story of Ramirez’ killing spree as it happened, in order to put viewers in the thick of it.

“We wanted to make it as present tense as possible so that it’s unfolding in a way where you’re able to… evoke the moment-to-moment horrors and chills that people were experiencing,” he said.

Fascinated? Check out the trailer below to see for yourself.

WATCH BELOW: Night Stalker Trailer

What Is The True Story Behind Night Stalker?

Dating back to 1984 and reaching its peak in the summer of 1985, Richard Ramirez’s murder spree spanned across the entire state of California.

Reaching his crime spree peak in 1985, Ramirez is believed to have killed his first victim in San Francisco in 1984. From then, he managed to continue terrorising the city of Los Angeles until he was caught in August 1985 after a group of people recognised him from a photograph and detained him until police arrived

Throughout that his murder spree, the state lived in fear of Ramirez, the real-life bogeyman, who would sneak in through open windows and doors at night to rob, sexually assault and murder unsuspecting victims.

“Victims ranged in age from 6 to 82,” says Russell. “Men, women and children. The murder weapons were wildly different. There were guns, knives, hammers and tire irons.”

“There was this sort of feeling that whoever you were, that anybody could be a victim and anybody could be next,” he said.

This isn’t the first time that Ramirez’s story has been featured onscreen, however, Russell says his series is the most comprehensive. “So to this day in L.A., when you drive around, that’s why there are bars on the windows.”

Night Stalker

Where Can We Watch Night Stalker In Australia?

Looking for your next binge-watch? Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer will be available to stream on Netflix on January 13, 2021.

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