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
Zoe Perez, Opinion Editor
If there's a person who you want to talk to about colleges and academics, then Zoe Perez is the right person for you! Interviewing and writing about Zoe Perez was an honor because of how straightforward and educated her answers were.  Zoe is a 15-year-old sophomore and she will be the Opinion Editor, Media Editor, Opinion Columnist, and Treasurer for this second year of her journalism journey. Last year, she was only an opinion writer. June 22, 2008, is her birthday meaning she has the zodiac sign of cancer.  She is the type of person who is going to be honest with you even if it means telling you what you may be doing wrong, despite that she describes herself as a very social person, she says “I am the type of person who is social and would come up to you to ask for your Instagram if I see you from afar and decide that if you seem friendly.”  She mentioned that she enjoys talking and giving advice about colleges, medical schools, or how to write an article while also wanting to help those students who need help with any classes in between Honors to AP. Zoe spoke about wanting to live in Washington D.C. after high school because Washington has the best medical school that she could think of. She says “ What motivates me to work hard is myself because I believe that even though taking Honors and AP classes may be hard, It will all be worth it when I become a radiologist, technician, or an Anesthesiologist”. Zoe Perez has an understanding of what she wants to be doing with her life. Zoe is very passionate about writing which brought her to be in journalism. She stated that she loved to inform people about what was going on, seeing different opinions, while giving people a fast and easy answer. Her love for journalism has brought her to meet new people and to be more active in the community when writing stories. She touched upon her interests like reading, writing, and psychology. Her favorite series book to read is called “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” where she describes the story as a girl who opens a close case and along the way finds something captivating. She remarked about why she enjoys the book saying.”It takes all the characters' points of view and I am amused by a good murder mystery book.”  Zoe introduced her love for psychology and said that she was from Trevor Browne High School and found out that Agua Fria had psychology as a class and so on went to this school now. She said, “I am obsessed with psychology and basically wrote most of my articles based on psychology, so I am technically an opinion editor with a psychology theme.” All of these circumstances in her life have brought her to be the person she is. So if you ever need a person to talk about academics, psychology, or even books then Zoe Perez is the person you’re going to be looking for!!!

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