Netflix is bringing subscribers even more true crime documentaries to check out in 2021, starting with an extensive four-part miniseries covering infamous murderer Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez. Called Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer will tell the story of one of the most vicious serial killers in American history, a real-life boogeyman that brought California to a standstill. The series will arrive on Jan. 13, and the streamer has released the official trailer ahead of its release.
Richard Ramirez carried out his grisly murders and sexual assaults in Los Angeles starting in the summer of 1985. Seemingly unrelated at first, the victims included men, women, and children and ranged in age from six to 82. They came from different neighborhoods, racial backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels. Until he was identified by police, investigators and the press had come to know the murderous madman by his infamous nickname of the Night Stalker.
According to the logline, "never before in criminal history had a single killer been responsible for such a grisly array of crimes. Racing against the clock to stop this nocturnal monster were a young detective named Gil Carrillo from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the legendary homicide investigator Frank Salerno. As they worked tirelessly to solve the case, the media hounded their tracks, and panic gripped California."
The documentary series will fully delve into the impact the Night Stalker's crimes left on not just the community, but the entire country. It will include first-person interviews, archival footage, and original photography, "painting a portrait of how it felt to live in fear at a time when absolutely anyone could be the Night Stalker's next victim." Ramirez died in prison while awaiting his execution in 2013, but he remains one of American history's most feared criminals.
Many true crime shows have covered the Night Stalker's crimes in the past, but this four-part Netflix series may provide the most comprehensive look into his harrowing story yet. Ramirez has also inspired several scripted movies about the Night Stalker, beginning with 1989's TV movie Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker. Two movies called Nightstalker about the serial killer were also released in 2002 and 2009. More recently, he was played by Lou Diamond Philips in 2016's The Night Stalker and again by Anthony Ruivivar and Zach Villa in two separate seasons of American Horror Story.
Netflix has found success by covering other infamous true crime stories and serial killers. That includes last year's Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which similarly consisted of four episodes and extensively told the story of Bundy's multiple killing sprees. The streamer also picked up the Joe Berlinger drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which follows Bundy's former girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall. Zac Efron played Bundy in the movie to great critical acclaim, co-starring alongside Lily Collins played Kendall.