Set in Los Angeles, California in 1985, Night Stalker tells the true story of Richard Ramirez, a notorious serial killer known as the “Night Stalker.” The docuseries is told from the perspective of L.A. County Sheriff’s Department detectives Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno (who also investigated the Hillside Strangler) who eventually solved the case, with first-person interviews, archival footage and original photography throughout.
Here’s how Netflix describes the case: “In the sweltering summer of 1985, a record-breaking heatwave hit Los Angeles, along with a series of murders and sexual assaults that at first seemed disconnected. The victims were men, women and children. They ranged in age from six to 82. They came from different neighborhoods, racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Never before in criminal history had a single killer been responsible for such a grisly array of crimes.”
If you didn’t know, Ramirez was an American serial killer who was active from 1984 to 1985 in the greater Los Angeles area (and later San Francisco). You might recognize the name if you’ve been closely following American Horror Story—he was featured in seasons five and nine. Ramirez was responsible for at least 14 violent murders and was eventually convicted on all charges. It ended up being the most expensive trial in California history until the 1994 O.J. Simpson murder trial.
The docuseries is directed by Tiller Russell and executive produced by Russell, Tim Walsh, Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman.
As for the show itself, the vibe is modern L.A. film noir à la the recent Tarantino film Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. (Sold yet?)