The Romanticization of Serial Killers: Night Stalker

A collage of the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez, written: NIGHT STALKER
A collage of the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez, written: “NIGHT STALKER”
Jada Abdon

Beauty often acts as a blanket that covers the ugliest scars but can beauty really cover serial killers.

Romanticizing Serial Killers
It all started with Ted Bundy, a a notorious serial killer who kidnapped, raped, and murdered numerous women. According to NineNews, “He had about 200 women in a rotation of pen pals [and] some had nervous breakdowns when he was executed.” Someone who would be feared for his relentless acts of violence is looked into in a positive light.

However, women weren’t so shallow as to entirely overlook Ted Bundy’s heinous acts of violence. Their strong infatuation with his attractiveness caused them to turn a blind eye to his violent tendencies.

In these cases women have completely disregarded these violent acts in hopes that their attractiveness was enough to win his heart. This is known as hybristophilia; A&E describes it as a condition in which, “…sexual arousal is linked to a partner who acts out against society through outrage and crime.” Some women may be drawn to the dangerous allure of serial killers, finding their transgressive behavior oddly captivating.

Juanita Rojas, a psychology teacher at Golden Valley explains the mind behind serial killers.
She explains, “It can be a combination of things, because you can have someone like Ted Bundy with a family, wife and kids, but lived a separate life. I think it depends on the individual. When we talk about the brain, we can look at trauma, childhood experiences and at their developmental stages.”

Rojas begs the question, “What happened during those crucial years?” Backtracking to the past, these serial killers may have had one parent figure or problematic relationships. She says, “When we [the class] are analyzing serial killers, it always went back to something in their past.”

She also shares a personal experience stating, “I was living in the time of the Night Stalker and that was so scary. I remember when they found out he either got married or had a lot of pen pals.”

Who is the Night Stalker?
After 13 murders, 11 sexual assaults, and five attempted murders, the Night Stalker is described as a sadistic person with a haunting appearance. The reign of terror of the Night Stalker peaked during the 1980’s over the city of Los Angeles. Despite these crimes, his physical allure was his most known trait. The notorious Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, was a Mexican American with a high, lofty build presenting a mysterious facade swooning women left and right.

He was a sadist person who enjoyed killing for a hobby. He was infatuated with seeing that fear in his victim’s eyes. His acts ranged from raping, and kidnapping a girl at the age of 6, and his oldest attack on an 84-year-old woman. The gruesome manner in which he killed his victims strongly upheld him as a notorious serial killer better known as the Night Stalker.

During the 80’s, Los Angeles experienced an uproar of crime, growing paranoia of falling victim to his next attack. As it was unsure as to who would be attacked next, all those victims of the Night Stalker were completely random and had no relation with one another, instilling fear in all residents near the last attack.

Why Are So Many Head Over Heels for Serial killers?
Gary Williamson, a biology teacher, and the science department chair at Golden Valley, shares his insight on this predicament: “Women’s attraction to perceived strength and dominance in serial killers may stem from primal instincts.” However, he cautions that such attraction may indicate underlying psychological issues.

When asked whether we can look at this phenomenon from a biological standpoint, Williamson elaborates, “Even though we’re humans, we are not removed from being a species. We still have those natural pressures that we don’t recognize, and one of the reasons we do what we do and act and behave the way we do.” He emphasizes, “The biggest, and the strongest is going to get to mate with the females, and the one that’s not, won’t.”

The biggest, and the strongest is going to get to mate with the females, and the one that’s not, won’t

— Mr. Williamson

He further expands upon, “You know that they’re dangerous, and that would be a signal to go in the other direction. Maybe they’re mentally off. To be attracted to that because they should know better.” He mentions, “As a human, there’s something mentally wrong with them because that’s not a normal thought process.”

The Night Stalker was a unique serial killer who enjoyed the hunt of killing people by seeing the fear in their eyes before he shot them. It is possible that his animal instincts and womens’ view of him as a protector caused these women to fall for this killer. Thus these women believed they could fix these types of men.

Although this may be the case, Rojas believes, “Maybe it’s women that are the nurturing type that think they can fix them.” She said, “Maybe it’s women that have had that type of person in their life, not necessarily serial killers but that they’re attracted to that type of dark.”

According to Good Housekeeping, Dr. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor and psychologist at the University of Louisville reveals, “Women are often into fixer-uppers, [or] interesting projects that use a lot of their skills, charm, and persuasiveness”. Their mothering, and nurturing nature, allows them to believe they can be the difference to this man.

The Night Stalker’s allure to women is not as mysterious as we set out to believe; science, nature, and psychology have all given us their point of view. What are your thoughts?

About the Contributors
Jada Abdon
Jada Abdon, Staff Writer
Jada Abdon is a senior at Golden Valley and one of the Community staff writers for the Grizzly Gazette. She's extremely attentive with each task. She enjoys partaking in music, fine arts, plus creative endeavors. Throughout high school she has developed an infatuation with science and writing defining her passion. She has been involved in CSF, National Honor Society, and has been actively doing community service for the past four years. She has been part of the Golden Valley Grizzly Marching Band all through high school. With almost a decade of musical experience playing flute along with an artistic passion she hopes to dive into the following themes. She believes the significance of a journalist provides a wide range of freedom, granting a voice for herself and bearing the responsibility to be as informative as possible to audiences. In her spare time she enjoys playing instruments, playing with her three dogs (two jack Russell and a Labrador), and tending to her farm of chickens.
Emily Doroteo
Emily Doroteo, Digital Editor
Emily Doroteo, paper production, digital editor, is in her Senior year at Golden Valley. Remaining curious about everything has led her here. Emily has always had great interest for a great story. Making curling up with a good book her favorite way to end the week. She enjoys dancing, music and finding small trinkets. A very adventurous spirit that loves any excuse to travel and explore the world. She is a Clarinet player (Yes like Squidward ) with the Golden Valley Marching Band and has been playing for the past six years. She enjoys spending time in our community and is actively volunteering for our local Henry Mayo Hospital. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her small zoo of two bulldogs and four cockatiels. As it is her first year in the art of Journalism she hopes to promote articles that embrace our colorful community. She is a proud student journalist that feels empowered to support all of our journalist voices.