The Student News Site of Agua Fria High School


The Student News Site of Agua Fria High School


The Student News Site of Agua Fria High School


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The Night Stalker: Made or Born?

photo credit:
photo credit:

     TW: This article contains matters of sexual assault and murder.


What if I told you that you were created, and not born? An environment and genes both contribute to the person that you choose to be, but your environment molds you into your character. Diving into the mind of The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez was convicted of thirteen counts of murder, eleven assaults, five attempted murders, and fourteen burglaries. All the cases he gave out, the pain and sorrow the cases brought, but one question is still here: Born in February 1960, or made in June 1984?

“We are all evil in some form or another, are we not?” Richard Ramirez asks, maybe, but never a hundred percent. Richard Ramirez, the infamous serial killer, was one of the first cases in criminal history at the time, suffering from ADHD and epilepsy. Many cases of killers in the 1900s, many cases of burglaries, and SA. But not one in the criminal history of that time has seen detectives do all of those things. Not until Frank Salerno and Gil Carrillo started taking this seriously. 

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Looking into Richard’s life he has been through everything and back, at 10 years old Richard started smoking marijuana, it was his escape from his emotionally abusive and violent temper personality. That caused him to grow up living in different environments at once and never a place of his own. “With every serial killer I’ve presented thus far in this blog, there seems to be a pattern present.” A pattern follows along, serial killers experience abuse (SA, Mental, Physical) in childhood, or experience all of the above, Ramirez was a victim of either seeing someone else doing them or him being the one they are doing it to. From the time he was little to the time he was an adult he had suffered various head injuries, concussions, getting hit with a swing in his childhood, and blacking out, he then soon was diagnosed with a mental disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, hypersexuality, and aggression. One of the many things that impacted people and rang a bell in their heads was when Ramirez was said to have temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), something that his environment had given him, including seizures, but most importantly damaging the part of the brain that controls learning and eventually shrinks with your brain cells. Could this have been the reason he then took place in what would be his first documented crime, burglary? Or was he born to be what he had made of his life?

After Ramirez experienced what it felt like to commit his first crime of murder and sexual assault, he started to get involved with satanism he soon was seen with a satan circle on his hand after being spotted multiple times, and at the time of his trial he showed up with what? The exact same symbol. His identity was not yet revealed, but his environment was, Richard didn’t kill until he saw the fear in his victim’s eyes, like a cat toying with a mouse but never actually killing his prey. According to the Netflix documentary “The Night Stalker,” he waited for fear to kill, he wanted to know that what he was doing had an impact on his victims.

Fast forward, all of crimes and all of his life were spread through the media, people started questioning. “Well what caused him to do this?”Did his brain deteriorate? Did his environment automatically decide his fate? Was it his genetics? All around him maybe he was just mandated to be that type of person, or maybe his brain already had set a plan for him from the beginning, but nature vs nurture has always been discussed. “There is something that could be done to prevent it, but it didn’t happen.” Agua Fria Psychology teacher Ms. Rams applies. Richard’s case has been an example for many psychology students when using nurture. “Yes I am evil…not 100 percent but I am evil,” in confession after an interview, feeling that he gave up love and happiness a long time ago. Nurture, the environment, the experiences, the abuse, all equaling to all the gruesome deaths and abuse all his casualties have experienced in his time not yet had he been caught.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Perez, Opinion Editor
There are many students in Agua Fria but only one I've met that was incredibly passionate about wanting the world to be able to hear her. Someone who is insanely crazy about ranting how people should have the opportunities to learn about themselves, and not only themselves but their soul. A person that wants mental health to be known to every generation, who wants to explain to people everything about a human being. Zoe Perez is the person. Zoe Perez is a 14-year-old freshman and is an opinion reporter here in OwlFeed. As passionate as she is about life, she is very passionate about writing and is her reason for joining journalism and wishes to always be in it. She says that, “ I think writing is a way to express yourself, personally I could go on and on about topics and explain every detail. I want to be heard”.  Zoe has said she's been seen as an egotistical person, no not in a toxic or bad way for your own person, she explains that having an ego can help your image for the better, meaning that some people may not be okay with that and as much as she respects other people's opinions, she’ll argue how her definition is different.  She has a variety of interests and some of them being psychology, law, and philosophy. All of them play an important part in her life, her priority is getting the word about mental health out. Zoe says that, “ I think that when highschoolers talk about mental health it's mostly seen as normal teenager stuff, but it's never come up that it could be an actual problem or disorder, and when they actually find out it's harder to deal with.” Zoe is a person that would help you understand your true self. Along with studying the wonders of the mind, her future career is being a lawyer. If you asked her why she picked that, she would simply say “ people need lawyers.” As simple as that may be she loves wandering into new paths. She is a very interesting person to meet, she’ll talk for hours about how important academics can be or why chicken is better than red meat. Zoe is one of a kind, she is always excited to meet new people, she will fight for her word to get out there. She wants to help you see what life really is, and learn about it with new people

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