The Night Stalker Killer: Background information when reading Shadow Man

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Shadow Man

by Alan Drew

Shadow Man by Alan Drew X
Shadow Man by Alan Drew
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2017, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2018, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

The Night Stalker Killer

This article relates to Shadow Man

Print Review

California seems to have had more than its fair share of serial killers over the years, and the so-called Night Stalker killer—who shares more than a few parallels with the killer in Shadow Man—is probably one of the more notorious. Like Alan Drew's fictional killer, the real-life Night Stalker, Ricardo Ramirez, terrorized residents of greater Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.

The Night Stalker, Ricardo Ramirez Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1960. As a boy, he was heavily influenced by older relatives, one of whom boasted of torturing women during the Vietnam War and later killed his wife while Ramirez was present; another was an obsessive Peeping Tom who also introduced a teenaged Ramirez to Satanism. Ramirez honed his breaking-and-entering skills as a teenager working at a Holiday Inn, and his criminal record began in 1977 following his arrest for several petty crimes.

Subsequent arrests for more serious offenses followed, and eventually Ramirez committed his first known murder in 1984 (though it wasn't connected to him until 2009), sexually assaulting and stabbing a nine-year-old girl in the basement of the San Francisco hotel where Ramirez was living at the time. The "Night Stalker" murders for which Ramirez became infamous began later in 1984, when Ramirez murdered an elderly woman in her suburban Los Angeles home after cutting through the mesh screen of an open window.

A series of more than two dozen other home invasions coupled with torture, sexual assault, and more than a dozen murders followed over the following year and a half, ultimately resulting in his 1985 capture by a group of residents who recognized him from his ubiquitous photos in the news media.

Ramirez, like the killer in Drew's novel, became known for a supposed connection with a rock band and its lyrics. In Shadow Man, the song is Iggy Pop's "Gimme Danger"; in Ramirez's case, he was supposedly influenced by several AC/DC songs, especially "Night Prowler."

Ramirez was sentenced to several death sentences for his crimes but died on death row in 2013 due to complications from lymphoma.

Picture of Night Stalker killer from San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections

This "beyond the book article" relates to Shadow Man. It originally ran in July 2017 and has been updated for the April 2018 paperback edition.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.