Is Kit From 'The Night Stalker' A Real Person? Bellamy Young's Character Tells A New Story About An Infamous Killer
With dramas like The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, docuseries like The Jinx and Making a Murderer, and podcasts like Serial, true crime is dominating entertainment right now. Of course, this is a genre that Lifetime has never shied away from. In fact, it's something that the network has embraced and built its reputation upon in its movies. So it should come as no surprise that another true crime movie is going to air on Lifetime on Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m. ET, The Night Stalker , which features Bellamy Young as Kit, an attorney trying to get a man off of death row for murders she believes were actually committed by the eponymous serial killer Richard Ramirez (Lou Diamond Phillips). Since Lifetime says this film is based on real-life events, it makes me wonder if Kit from Night Stalker is a real person, too.
What we know about Kit, as described in Lifetime's synopsis, is that she lived in Los Angeles in the summer of 1985 when Ramirez, nicknamed "the Night Stalker, and the string of murders he committed put the city in a state of panic. Now coming face-to-face with Ramirez years later for this case "dredges up old and frightening memories of her own past," according to Lifetime's description of the movie. Kit will meet with Ramirez in an effort to get a confession from him and exonerate her client, but that will mess with her own psychological state in the process.
Well, it sure sounds like Kit would have lived quite a life if she was based on a real person. But this is one character that has been created just for the movies. Kit is a fictional character, who was thought up by The Night Stalker writer-director Megan Griffiths in order to “construct a character who ran parallel to him. She was impacted by him, though they never met [until later],” she recently told The Seattle Times.
It sounds like Kit also shares some similarities with Griffiths, who grew up in Southern California and was 10 years old when Ramirez's crimes put L.A. residents on high alert. "He was not quite as formative in my life as he was in Kit’s but I certainly credit him with fear of home invasion and locking my windows and doors every night because he was that first specter of darkness and violence that I had in my childhood that invaded my own mind," Griffiths said during a recent interview with film blog Parallax View.
In real life, Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders in California, as well as five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries, and sentenced to death, though he died of natural causes in 2013, as reported by CNN. Even though no evidence has been found linking Ramirez to additional murders in Texas, the state where Kit's client's possible crimes were committed in The Night Stalker, Griffiths said there may be some truth to the idea of "the Night Stalker" admitting to additional crimes after her was convicted. Griffiths told Parallax view that Gil Carrillo, a detective that worked the murder case from beginning to end and was a consultant on the movie, "said that after the conviction, Ramirez copped to additional crimes, 'You didn’t get me for all of them' and those kinds of comments ... So there is a plausible case that there were other murders or other rapes and abductions that he was responsible for that were never pursued. That was the inspiration to build that storyline."
But all in all, The Night Stalker is really "a fictional narrative informed by history," Griffiths pointed out in her interview with The Seattle Times. And I have a feeling that the real story of "the Night Stalker" is still a lot more terrifying than this tale.
Images: Michael Clifford/Lifetime (3)