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Simon Killer (movie)
The 'Night Stalker' and the best of true-crime cinema
The 'Night Stalker' and the best of true-crime cinema

The strange saga of Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the "Night Stalker," who died Friday, had all the earmarks of a grungy low-budget thriller come to life. With his random, sensationalistic crimes, his startling capture by an angry mob and his notorious legion of admirers, Ramirez's rampage of death and mayhem was a disturbing tale seemingly tailor-made for Hollywood. There had already been a lineage of slasher and serial killer movies, from "Psycho" to "Halloween" and beyond, by the time Ramirez entered the popular consciousness in the mid-1980s. His use of pentagrams and avowed Satan worship also fit in squarely with the "Satanic...

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