The Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer on Netflix is a true crime documentary about the murders and sexual assaults that took place in 1980s, Los Angeles.
There were previous concerns on how appropriate the portrayal of the infamous Night Stalker would be so it was no surprise when it’s release sparked discussions over it’s realistic and gruesome nature.
The completed four-episode series about serial killer, rapist, and burglar Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, who terrorized the people of California gives a detailed representation of the days that went by in catching him.
“After watching the trailer I feel scared,” Ms. Meeks, mother of current Edison student Kayla Meeks, said. “It definitely makes me more concerned about your surroundings and how evil people could be.”
Although unsettling remarks have been made about the documentary and it’s display of violence, it also gives incite to the specific mental and behavioral responses of the Night Stalker.
“I think it’ll be very informative because it will probably give you an idea of a serial killer’s thoughts and who to look out for and be aware of,” Ms. Boyd, mother of current Edison student Imani Boyd, said.
The documentary mentions details about Ramirez’s upbringing and how he suffered from multiple traumatic events and drug abuse. This included being tied to a cross in a cemetary overnight by his own father, hearing horror stories from his cousin’s who served in the army during the Vietnam War and witnessing that cousin commit murder.
“Practically all the things that could poison a child were part of his life” reporter of Ramirez’s case, Tony Valdez said.
The gore presented within the series could be overwhelming to viewers despite Netflix’s intention of giving a realistic representation of the murders. Other concerns arose about the famous content company’s decision to release this documentary as it glamorizes the Night Stalker and his actions to the media.
“It’s kind of adding onto the whole romanticization of serial killers since the creators are profiting off of someone that murdered people,” Muntasha Lopa, 12th grader and former psychology student, said. “But since it’s a documentary I’m assuming it’s informational about everything the killer did and how they were caught and the people they killed.”
The series possibly inflicted more paranoia through its emphasis on Ramirez’s aggressive and immoral behaviors. Thus, a common agreement is that it surely visualized the horrible reality of the evil that exists within the world and made viewers question the theme of nature versus nurture.
“Is there such a thing as a bad seed when a baby is born? Is he already a serial killer, already made or is he created?” (Richard Ramirez, 1994).