Parents' Guide to

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Chilling, graphic crime docu has violence, swearing.

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The interesting but graphic docuseries offers a well-produced story about those responsible for putting the Night Stalker behind bars, and the process by which they did it. Both Frank Salerno and Gil Carillo talk about what it was like to work the case, including their frustrations with the territorial nature of different law enforcement agencies, and having to negotiate with the media in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation. Some of this is a little dry and long-winded, but it also serves to highlight how slow and meticulous the process was, despite the fact that Ramirez continued to terrorize California.

The comprehensive way in which the former members of law enforcement describe some of the horrendous crimes, while understandable, is unsettling. But it is the overall use of revealing crime scene photographs, many of which clearly show severely injured people, bloody corpses, and mutilated body parts, that is most disturbing. This, coupled with the revealing descriptions of what victims endured, nearly crosses the line from being informative to exploitative. Nonetheless, if you like crime documentaries, you'll probably find Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer a binge-worthy viewing option.

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