Written By: Micah Croom
With over 50 new selections recently added onto Netflix’s platform, it’s hard for consumers to narrow down to a select few and decide which ones are worth spending their time on binging. However, if you’re into suspense thrillers and murder mysteries, the streaming service certainly has you covered.
One of the most relevant shows recently introduced onto the platform is a documentary series, based upon a bone-chilling serial killer case that took place in the mid 1980’s. The name of the production is called Night Stalker, which became the nickname of the notorious suspect, Richard Ramirez. Richard Ramirez was originally a native of El Paso, Texas, born as the youngest of five children. With the strong influences of an abusive father and a vulgar, war-hungry brother, Richard grew up surrounded by violence and spent many nights sleeping in the cemetery in order to avoid the continuous trauma transpiring at home. This, in turn, led to him practicing Satanism, and believing that his only purpose here on Earth was to create chaos and wreak havoc on as many lives as possible. By the year 1985, Ramirez was invading houses all across the greater Los Angeles area and slaughtering entire families, including men, women, and children; no one was spared. For older generations, this is a case already once witnessed, but what sells the production to newcomers is the way it is illustrated in how the investigation came to be.
Dan Curtis, producer of the Night Stalker, starts out with old recordings of the “Golden Era” of L.A. and what it used to be like. He then gradually transitions over to revealing the dark side of the city, as well as all of the sinister ongoings that resided amongst Hollywood as well. Curtis then introduces us to one of the main characters of the series, Gill Carrillo, a former soldier-turned-cop that ultimately helps narrate the progression of the case along with other eyewitnesses and detectives from the case. The series does a great job of displaying reenacted visuals and archived recordings, in order to provide viewers a greater sense of context for how the investigation played out, from beginning to end. It even adds some vocal recordings from the killer himself, when he was finally taken into custody. Although the answer to who the suspect could be is revealed from the start, the series itself does an excellent job of preserving certain mysteries and disclosing them at the right time, in order to further reignite that suspense of discovering the Night Stalker, yet again.