The Night Stalker Review
Unfortunately this docuseries just did not hold my attention.
Maybe it’s because I already know the Night Stalker story so well from seeing it in other TV shows and films, but there was one thing that happened a lot in this docuseries that really annoyed me…
Richard Ramirez was the Night Stalker, a man who has been convicted of 13 counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder among a lot of other criminal acts. He was prolific around 1984 to 1985 and mainly stuck to the Los Angeles area although some of his crimes happened in San Francisco too.
He liked to see himself as the ‘son of Satan’, he was all about satanic looks and practices including pentagrams and helping the dark lord in his master plan. He came from a troubled background and it seemed the way that he was brought up had a significant impact on who he became later in life.
One thing I found fascinating about this documentary and something that I didn’t think I knew before was that he didn’t actually die of the death penalty. Ramírez was on death row for over 20 years and was supposed to die in a gas chamber but it never came to, and I don’t actually know the details of why it didn’t, but I found it really fascinating that he only died eight years ago, which seems like no time at all when you think how long ago these horrific crimes took place.
One thing that really annoyed me with this docuseries, compared to others like the Yorkshire Ripper, was how glamorous and sensationalised this series seemed to make it. It had lots of reconstructions of crime scenes that seemed very voyeuristic and it just came across a bit strange to me. All the sound effects and the music behind it all was so over the top too, it really annoyed me.
Are these crimes not sensational enough? Is the fact that 13 people died not enough for you to think the series will be interesting enough? No, you have to take it to the next level and glamorise the killings and show things that didn’t need to be shown. Why do I need to see a retelling of the Night Stalker lifting up the gun to his eye to be able to shoot the person? Why do I need to see the gun zoomed in on with a bullet flying from it and stuff? It was all just too much.
I did enjoy this docuseries in some ways and it did give me some new insight into who Ramírez was, what he did, and how his life was after he was caught. As I said I never realised he didn’t die on death row but I feel it could’ve been done in a much better way. In a way it reminded me of the Madeleine McCann documentary we had on Netflix previously, that was almost like a come to Portugal advert rather than a look at a terrible crime that happened and we still don’t know the whole truth. I feel this show was trying to entice people too much through the editing and clever shots and imagery, when really the storyline of what this man did and the horrible things he committed should’ve been enough.
What do you think of The Night Stalker?
Until next time.