Very Scary People (2019–…): Season 2, Episode 5 - The Night Stalker, Part 1: Summer of Terror - full transcript

The summer of 1985 was one of the hottest Los Angeles had seen in a century. But terrified residents weren't sleeping with the windows open; a killer known as the "Night Stalker" was on the loose.

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♪♪

Martin: There is a minute fraction

of a percent of human beings

that just aren't wired right.

It's not because they're not sane.

He was an intelligent human being, fairly well-spoken.

I don't think there's any ... any doubt about his sanity.

This was just a vile human being.

♪♪

♪♪

Welcome to "Very Scary People."



I'm Donnie Wahlberg.

Some crime experts call the 1980s

the decade of the serial killer.

According to at least one study,

there were about 200 of these murderers

on the loose during that time.

But one man stood out.

His crimes were random and vicious.

His victims ranged from toddlers to the elderly.

The citizens of Los Angeles were paralyzed with fear

while police struggled to stop him.

His name was Richard Ramirez, and he was the Night Stalker.

♪♪

♪♪



Man: It happened in this apartment

building in a ground-floor unit.

Yochelson: Jennie Vincow was a 79-year-old lady living alone

in an apartment in Northwest Los Angeles.

Jordan: She had just turned off the light in her apartment,

and because it was the peak of summer,

she left the window open.

Jennie Vincow's asleep in her bed, very vulnerable.

♪♪

Jordan: While she slept, a shadow

appeared at the window,

and it was the outline of a man.

And then he opened the window further and crept inside.

He was looking for items to steal.

He would look for specifically things of high value, jewelry.

Jordan: But there was little of value in the home.

Martin: After he ransacks the house,

he approaches a sleeping Jennie Vincow.

He's armed with a knife.

♪♪

Martin: The next afternoon, Jennie's son,

Jack Vincow, came to the apartment to visit his mother.

Man: The victim, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow,

her throat had been slashed.

It appears the suspect got in through an open window.

He found her horribly mutilated and murdered, called the police.

Just a horrible thing for him.

She was raped and otherwise abused.

Jordan: Jennie had been stabbed repeatedly,

and she was nearly decapitated.

Investigators considered that this was

one of the most brutal slayings they had ever seen.

Dietz: There are so many reasons

for brutally stabbing a person to death.

One of the possibilities is that

it's an intense personal relationship ...

a family member, a lover.

Another possibility is that this is someone

who hates women or hates elderly women,

and that she is killed in this way

because of a hatred toward whatever she symbolizes.

Man: On the window screen, police found a fingerprint.

The only clue was the fingerprint found on the screen.

It appeared to have come from the killer.

But because they couldn't make an immediate make on it,

it was kind of just filed away.

♪♪

Well, two sisters, Mary and Christina Caldwell,

were both living together.

Mary was 58, and Christine was 71.

The house was ransacked.

I think that it might've been viewed

initially as a burglary that went bad

when the old ladies woke up.

I did respond to the Caldwell sisters homicide scene.

The sisters were killed by multiple knife wounds.

Linedecker: There weren't a lot of leads at that time.

It was just another murder.

Double murder.

At the time, it wasn't tied into any other homicide.

There were no suspects, and the case went cold.

It would be a long time before this fell into place.

In the beginning, it was an isolated murder here

and an isolated one there,

but then, that summer, it was just constant, constant.

She described him with "dead eyes."

♪♪

By early 1985, three elderly women

had been brutally stabbed to death,

but both in Southern and Northern California,

so there's really no way

that the police can make a connection between the crimes,

and what they don't know is that a killing spree has just begun.

♪♪

It was a night of sheer terror for a young woman

from Rosemead, California.

Linedecker: At about 11:30 P.M., a young woman named Maria

was parking her car in the garage.

And as she drove in,

the killer slipped in behind her.

But this time, he had a gun.

Yochelson: She got out of the car.

Linedecker: A figure appeared out of the darkness.

She heard a noise and turned to see a man pointing a gun at her.

Linedecker: And seemed that he was going

to try to steal the car.

He did not utter a word but started moving toward her.

She raised her hands to protect her face.

He fired.

The bullet hit the car keys in her hand.

She said she felt a mixture of pain and heat.

She was saved by her car keys.

She fell to the ground and pretended that she was dead.

He left to go inside the house,

and leaving her on the concrete floor of the garage bleeding.

The suspect makes his way into the condominium,

where he encounters 34-year-old Dayle Okazaki.

Ms. Hernandez heard another gunshot...

[Gunshot] ...from inside the townhouse.

Jenkins: After Maria heard the shot,

she ran out into the street and hid behind a car.

She saw the man come out of the building.

He spotted her and approached her,

and once again, he pointed his gun directly at her.

She begged him not to shoot her.

Yochelson: She said, "Don't kill me."

And, inexplicably, he turned and shoved his gun into his belt

and left, just like that.

She was left alive.

Yochelson: She went inside and found

her roommate, Dayle Okazaki,

dead ... a gunshot to the head.

Later, when the police were searching the area,

they found a baseball cap on the ground,

which was really the first clue that they had come across.

It was a baseball-style cap.

It had the words "AC/DC" on the front.

So that was thought to have been left by the killer.

Jordan: Even more important than the hat ...

with Maria, we have a witness to the crime,

and she came face to face with the suspect.

Maria: I can tell you dark clothes,

dark-color hair.

The first police composite drawing of the killer

came from the memory of Maria Hernandez.

Martin: It was the first sketch of this attacker that was made.

As it turned out, the first of many.

She described her assailant as a tall, skinny man.

With a thin face and, most notably, "dead eyes."

"Dead eyes" in my mind means that they are very fixed,

not a lot of movement to them, have that perception

that they're looking right through you.

From a law enforcement standpoint,

when you receive a description like that,

your hopes is that it will lead to something productive,

specifically the arrest of the shooter in this case.

Jordan: Police began checking cars

and questioning any lone males

that were seen loitering in the area.

But there was no new information.

Martin: So while law enforcement has this great clue

as to who it is that might have done this,

they also know that the clock is running.

♪♪

Linedecker: Later that night,

while they were still investigating the break-in,

they got another call that a young woman

named Tsai-Lian Yu had been attacked.

But these were not in the same jurisdiction,

so police weren't able to make the connection.

She was a 30-year-old law student,

an immigrant from Taiwan.

Yochelson: She was parking her car

on a street.

A man parked behind her, jumped out of his car,

tried to drag her out of her car,

and so he shot her, and then left the location.

When police arrived, they found her sprawled on the concrete

next to her car.

Martin: She'd been shot multiple times.

Terrible scene in the middle of the night in Monterey Park.

[Siren wails]

Jordan: Officers on the scene called for an ambulance,

but by the time it arrived, it was too late.

Yu had died.

They found one of her shoes in the car.

Other one was lying next to her body.

It isn't really the most adaptive way to commit crimes,

without forethought,

without making sure there are not witnesses,

without cleaning crime scenes.

That suggests that something is not functioning well

about his ability to plan and execute things.

Detectives, they're gonna need a lot of evidence

to catch this guy,

and it won't be long before the entire community

knows about these horrific crimes.

Linedecker: Los Angeles was like any big city.

All over the city, they had murders.

Of course, they were occurring on a daily and nightly basis.

But this time, the murders, they were in the suburbs

and areas that were generally considered safe areas.

People didn't even lock their houses.

♪♪

Yochelson: The sheriff's department was investigating

the Okazaki murders,

and the Monterey Park Police Department

was investigating the Yu murders,

and the detectives from each agency

happened to be at the coroner's office at the same time.

After the autopsies of both Ms. Okazaki and Yu,

they realized that the bullets that were removed

from both victims were fired from the same weapon,

so now these two murders were connected.

Everyone ... everyone was terrified.

It was just so random.

The killer leaves the pentagram, the mark of the devil.

Zazzara: It's just evil.

It's just pure, pure evil.

It was just a summer of terror.

Jordan: The quiet Los Angeles suburbs

have been really shaken by these shootings

which happened within one hour of each other.

We have one witness who describes the assailant

as a tall, thin, dark-haired man.

But is it enough of a description for police

to stop him before he goes on the attack again?

Martin: He was looking for a point of entry

that would be relatively simple,

specifically looking at open doors, open windows.

♪♪

It was about 10 days before another attack occurred.

Martin: 64-year-old Vincent Zazzara

and 44-year-old Maxine Zazzara,

Italian restaurant owners,

were enjoying a quiet night at their home in Whittier...

...when the killer quietly forced entry

into their home through a window.

The following morning, their son, Peter,

came over to visit his parents.

Martin: And as he's approaching the house,

he discovers the front door's open.

Unfortunately for Peter,

when he made his way through the front door,

he found both his parents.

-What happened, Peter? -It's just evil.

It's just pure, pure evil.

He broke in through a window.

Yochelson: Mr. Zazzara was found on a couch

in the living room.

There was a single gunshot wound to the head.

Mrs. Zazzara was found in her bedroom shot to death.

After the shooting, took the time

to literally butcher Maxine Zazzara.

And she was sexually assaulted.

Martin: She was nude.

Not only was she nude, her eyes had been gouged out.

Linedecker: Even the case-hardened detectives

had to have some special nightmares of their own

after they looked at the body of the woman.

Is this person paranoid?

Because people who are paranoid

don't like others looking at them,

imagine that people are staring at them,

and have a thing about eyes.

It was the first of what became a pattern

where the perpetrator would invade a house,

dispatch the male, and then sexually assault the wife,

and then either kill her or not.

This is done by someone who sees the man

as more of a threat than the woman,

and so the man is killed first, and that's done cleanly.

Then he has more time to take with the woman.

Martin: When law enforcement arrives

at the crime scene

at the Zazzara home,

they discover a .45-caliber handgun and a bullet.

Yochelson: What was also significant

about the crime scene ...

there was a bucket found upside down

that had a shoe print on it.

The shoe print was unusual.

It turned out to be an Avia aerobic shoe,

I think size 10 1/2 or size 11.

Detectives question family, business associates,

and neighbors, but found no suspects.

Linedecker: It's almost unimaginable.

The investigators had to know that this was going to happen

again because this is a homicidal maniac.

You have to wonder about the kind of mind and motivation.

♪♪

Jordan: Ricardo Leyva Ramirez was born February 29, 1960,

in El Paso, Texas,

to a working-class Mexican-American family.

Hancock: Like many border areas, El Paso/Juárez

is generally a pretty poor area.

Richard's mother worked in a boot factory,

and his father worked for the Santa Fe railroad.

We met when he was like 5 years old,

and I would've been 8 years old.

His dad and my mother went to school in Camargo together.

Richard was the youngest of five kids.

Milam: I met Ricky in the second grade.

He was just a normal kid like everybody.

We would all hang around and play baseball,

just like normal kids would do.

Do certain activities like swimming, having a little party,

get-together, things like that in the barrio.

He was brought up Catholic.

His mom got him as an altar boy,

but he would tell me that he was not way into being an altar boy,

but he did it for his mom.

Jordan: Those who knew Richard growing up

had very different recollections of him.

Arturo: Well, when we interviewed some people,

people were saying that he was like a little petty thief.

Linedecker: They used to call him

"didos," "fingers,"

because you didn't want to leave anything around

that he could pick up with his fingers.

And he didn't have a very good reputation.

♪♪

Martin: A number of weeks pass,

and there's another attack in Monterey Park.

Bill Doi, 66 years old,

lying in bed with his 64-year-old wife, Lillian.

It was the dead of night, and the couple was sleeping,

and the guy sneaked into the house.

The two main explanations for going into a home

where one doesn't know what to expect are,

first, feeling confident at being able to overcome

any obstacle that might be there,

or not caring one way or the other if he lives or dies.

Linedecker: William is shot in the head

with a small-caliber gun.

He actually was able to get on the telephone and call 911,

so it wasn't an immediate death.

His elderly wife was restrained, and she was sexually assaulted.

Martin: The killer leaves the pentagram,

the mark of the devil,

and then proceeds to ransack the house

and take valuables out of the home and then leave.

[Siren wails]

Ultimately, Bill Doi perished at the hospital.

Although beaten and sexually assaulted,

Lillian managed to survive the attack.

She was able to provide law enforcement

with a description of the attacker.

One of the distinctions that emerged

were descriptions of bad teeth ...

more specifically, rotted teeth,

dark brown stains or discoloration,

and the teeth seemed to accompany bad breath.

Linedecker: At that point, the police weren't linking

these crimes publicly.

We do not know exactly what the links would be.

What we will do is we will check ...

put the investigators from all of the surrounding agencies

and see if they have any cases that are similar to ours.

At some point, you realize they're all connected.

Man: Five murders and three sexual attacks

in the past eight weeks.

It was just a summer of terror.

I'm nervous. You know, I'm nervous for my family,

nervous for my friends and neighbors.

Kristof: You were afraid to pick up

the newspaper in the morning

because he was killing with such viciousness and so rapidly.

Woman: It's kind of hard in the summer.

You know, it gets hot in the apartment,

and you want to leave your window a little bit open

but also not have anybody be able to get in.

Kristof: He had no particular person

or type that he was targeting.

He was targeting everybody.

He killed men, women, children.

He killed in every part of the city.

He used almost every implement that you could use

to kill someone ... guns, knives, telephone cords.

Dietz: The fact that he kills them

with many different weapons,

the fact that he kills some but doesn't kill others

makes one focus on the possibility

that the killer is under the influence of a drug

or has some inherent impairment of his own.

It was a kind of random, frenzied quality to his crimes.

Dietz: He shot many of his victims

in the face.

That is not a common place to shoot people.

I'm scared, you know, and the first night, I hardly sleep.

♪♪

♪♪

Welcome back to "Very Scary People."

July 1985 was one of the hottest summers

Los Angeles had seen in a century.

Temperatures in the area were above 100 degrees day after day.

Terrified residents weren't sleeping with the windows open.

Many of them weren't sleeping at all.

A killer was on the loose.

The public was terrified and calling on the police

to do something, anything, to stop him.

But police had no real leads,

and the Night Stalker seemed to be just getting started.

Kristof: There was no one who felt safe.

In my lifetime, there had been nothing like it.

Everybody was so uniquely aware of this crazed killer

that was out on the streets,

and nobody had a clue of who he was, where he was,

why he was doing what he was doing.

Finley: We're trying to get the information out to the public

to lock their doors and windows, use their lighting.

This is information we're trying to put out all the time,

not just when we know we have a killer on the loose.

Yochelson: The media had a lot of

different names for him.

The local NBC affiliate called it the Walk-In Killer.

But another name stuck.

Martin: The term "Night Stalker" emerged

from one of the daily newspapers.

The other names had been floated ... Valley Intruder,

Walk-In Killer ... but Night Stalker was the one

that ultimately caught on and remains to this day.

Man: This meeting was the third in Arcadia in the past month.

All along, investigators have said a tip from the public

might be the key to breaking this case.

That's becoming more and more important

as the investigation goes basically nowhere.

Linedecker: Police started putting together a profile.

Man: We're doing everything within our power

and our resources to protect the community

and apprehend the suspect.

Martin: You look at the type of residents

and all the physical evidence,

then you look into the victimology.

Is there some commonality amongst the victims?

It was very difficult to profile what was going on.

At the end of the day, it was crimes of opportunity

wherever he could find an open window.

Jordan: It would seem this killer

had an insatiable appetite,

not just for bloodlust but also for sexual torment.

Serial killers tend to be extreme sexual psychopaths

who derive their depraved pleasures from torturing

and murdering helpless victims.

The Night Stalker fits that profile.

Jordan: With virtually no pattern to his crimes,

the police went back to the descriptions

that the survivors had given them.

Martin: When descriptions of the bad

teeth emerged, more than likely,

law enforcement would be thinking

about a habitual drug user.

Along with the likelihood of serious drug use,

there was a hint that the Night Stalker

may have worshipped Satan.

There was a satanic symbol

left at one of the previous crime scenes.

People were afraid of satanists,

and if the goal is terrorize the community,

that's a pretty good choice.

But it doesn't have to be just for the effect on others.

It can be because he's claiming an identity for himself.

From the moment I laid eyes on him,

I perceived him as a frightening person.

Martin: My understanding was that part

of his childhood specific

to his teen years had to deal with a cousin,

a Vietnam veteran.

Arturo: He taught him how to use the

knife and how to cut throats.

Milam: And it had a great impact on him.

♪♪

♪♪

Yochelson: The Khovananth murders ...

a couple living in the house with their one child.

Linedecker: The Night Stalker shot

the husband first, of course,

which he always did,

and then he raped and brutalized the woman,

and he tied up the little boy.

He reminded me of a ... of a cat with a mouse.

They toy with them and they torture them.

It wasn't enough to kill them, he had to terrorize them.

He was just absolutely out of control.

He was running amok.

Martin: Female adult victim of the attack survived.

She was instructed by her attacker to swear upon Satan

that she wouldn't scream.

Linedecker: He used lipstick, I believe it was,

to draw a pentagram on her.

Now he was openly bringing a satanic aspect to the attacks.

Monterey Park police chief,

he was talking to the press, and he said,

"That son of a bitch has scared

the hell out of this city," and he was absolutely right.

I mean, people were really ...

they knew there was a big, big problem

and they just weren't safe anymore.

Woman: The women that are living here that are alone

are very, very concerned.

That's all they talked about.

They're staying in, pretty much.

He was in my neighborhood.

He could've come to my house just as well.

Then a really, really, really good tip came in.

Yochelson: There was a newspaper delivery

person who saw the suspect twice

while she was delivering papers early in the morning

and had given information to the police,

including describing a particular car.

Linedecker: A Pontiac grand prix leaving the scene.

This one had a damaged front fender,

which gave police a real clue to work with.

Jordan: Police immediately put out

an all-points bulletin

for a car fitting that description.

And with that car's description and the eyewitness accounts,

police felt like they were really closing in.

♪♪

By August of 1985, 15 people had been murdered

and another dozen assaulted.

Police were working on a tip about a Pontiac

that was seen leaving the Sun Valley crime scene.

Yochelson: A motorcycle police officer

spotted that car,

pulled it over for a traffic violation,

not realizing that it was ...

hadn't gotten the information yet

that this was possibly belonging to the Night Stalker.

Martin: The LAPD officer walked up

to the window of the car,

looked at him, and said, "Hey, you're not that guy

that's killing all those people, are you?"

And the person in the car just ran off, just fled.

But the car was left.

So the car was impounded, then somebody realized

that it fit the description, so it was examined,

and there were all kinds of clues.

We looked in the car and found physical evidence in the car

that the task force had alerted all surrounding agencies

to be on the look for.

Yochelson: There was a pentagram

that was drawn below the dashboard.

There was a card to a dentist in Chinatown.

Police had to feel, something is going to break in this case,

but it's got to be fast because people were dying.

Yochelson: He was a drifter.

He had no fixed residence, stayed in one place

for a short period of time and then moved on.

He stole a lot of jewelry.

There's some evidence that he started out as a burglar

and graduated to these crimes of violence,

these horrible crimes of violence.

To me, it wasn't the killing that was planned.

The burglary was planned.

He walked in, somebody is there, so she dies.

♪♪

Martin: Virginia and Chris Petersen

are in their bedroom,

set for the night, and a noise awakens Virginia.

She realizes that there is someone,

a male, standing in her room.

Linedecker: The Night Stalker shot

the husband in the head twice.

[Gunshots]

Martin: Virginia sits up,

and she's immediately shot by her attacker.

[Gunshot]

Linedecker: Petersen, as hurt as badly as he was,

went after the Night Stalker.

Martin: Two rounds are fired at Chris.

Both of them miss.

Chris is nearly able to tackle and restrain the shooter.

Unfortunately, the shooter manages to escape.

Both Chris Petersen and Virginia Petersen survived the attack

and were able to provide police with details of the attack.

Man: Virginia Petersen did talk to a reporter by telephone.

She said, "You never really dream it would happen to you.

I keep pinching myself," she said,

"hoping it didn't happen.

But it did."

If being responsible for multiple murders,

that is at different times and different locations,

defines a serial killer,

then I guess we would have to say that,

yes, we would have a serial killer.

Martin: It went from the suspicions

of a serial killer

might be operating to an absolute certainty.

Jordan: Emergency crime calls to the LAPD

jumped by more than 15%.

He looked like the man the news people have been showing?

Martin: Gun sales supposedly doubled

during this period ...

measures that weren't necessarily heard of before.

Woman: The owner that owns the gun shop said

he had a rash of women coming in

and purchasing arms ever since these murders.

Jenkins: And owners of shooting ranges

reported that their business was up 150%.

Linedecker: The Guardian Angels, they came in to help.

They really were there as watchdogs.

They were a martial arts group back in New York,

and they started a chapter in L.A.,

and they were patrolling the streets.

Man: We want to catch him.

We just want him to give himself up.

Martin: The sheriff's department was run

by the board of supervisors

who offered a reward ... I believe it was $10,000 ...

for information leading to the capture of the person

responsible for these murders throughout the county.

Jordan: With all the media attention

and the public outcry,

the Night Stalker now knows that the police are after him,

so he decides to leave L.A.

and head up north to San Francisco.

Generally, in a serial murder,

what occurs is they might relocate

but they don't stop killing.

♪♪

Woman: 69-year-old Peter Pan shot dead in his bed,

his 64-year-old wife found in the hall shot in the head,

beaten, but she survived.

Dubour: It was a bizarre scene.

He completely ransacked the house.

He went into the kitchen and calmly drank milk

out of the refrigerator and ate some food,

and then continued ransacking the house.

I was able to locate the shell casings.

It was from a .25 caliber.

We had a footprint in blood in the kitchen.

We also found a pentagram scratched in the bathroom door.

Jordan: Police there were looking

for a connection

to other local unsolved crimes

but were also looking at the crime spree

in Southern California.

Booth: Our officers have gone to confer

with the police authorities there

in the hopes that the exchange of information

about the crimes will be helpful to determine

if there are any similarities in crimes in that city.

Dubor: The bullet that I recovered was intact.

That exact bullet was the same characteristics

as the bullet involved in two homicides in Los Angeles.

The other evidence there was the shoe print.

They were the same type of shoe

that was found in the Southern California homicides.

Woman: The city of San Francisco will now try to do

what Los Angeles could not do ...

stop the Walk-In Killer from taking another victim.

Dubour: The mayor at the time was Dianne Feinstein.

She had a press conference

because of the importance of the case.

Woman: Mayor Dianne Feinstein announced a reward

for catching the Walk-In Killer.

There was a $10,000 reward

offering for the arrest of the Night Stalker.

Martin: And nearly simultaneously,

Los Angeles increased the reward offer from $10,000 to $25,000.

Things are starting to emerge as common ties ...

footprint of a distinctive athletic shoe,

ballistic evidence, and the pentagram.

Information was still being held close

to the vest by the investigators.

Dubour: But the police, of course,

were sharing their information

with Dianne Feinstein, the mayor of San Francisco.

Then mayor Feinstein makes a move

that changed the course of the investigation.

♪♪

Jordan: Investigators are on the hunt

for the Night Stalker

after he terrorized, raped, and murdered people

in both L.A. and San Francisco.

Police feel they are very close

to making an arrest when suddenly,

San Francisco's mayor, Dianne Feinstein,

makes a move that changes the course of the investigation.

The evidence was shared with public officials

up in San Francisco

who, unfortunately, disclosed some of the case keys

that wasn't meant for public consumption.

Woman: In San Francisco, Mayor Dianne Feinstein disclosed

a key piece of evidence

detectives previously would not talk about.

The ballistics on the weapon are the same ballistics

on more than a dozen murders

committed in Southern California.

And she stated that there was a similarity

of shoe-print impressions left at the scene.

Jordan: Now that details of the investigation

have been made public,

the Night Stalker can stay one step ahead of the police.

Of course it was important

to keep certain information from the public

because if the public knew, then the killer would know.

Arturo: He started watching the news.

He picks up on that.

Martin: The information became known

to the Night Stalker,

who went to the Golden Gate Bridge

and threw the Avia athletic shoes into the bay.

After disposing of the evidence linking him to the crimes,

the Night Stalker flees San Francisco

and goes back down to L.A.

The Night Stalker travels back down south to Orange County.

Carns: That was one of the hottest

summers on record.

I opened windows in my backyard

so we could get a cool breeze off the ocean.

Man: The Night Stalker probably entered

the home of his latest victims

by prying a screen off an open window.

29-year-old Bill Carns was shot in the head.

The gunshots woke Carns' girlfriend,

who was raped and left tied up.

She was raped but survived.

Carns: Then I woke up in the hospital

the next day

and was aghast at what happened.

I could not walk, and I had difficulty talking.

I thought, "What happened?"

And no one would tell me.

They said, "Just wait for a couple days.

The hospital psychologist will be coming in.

At that point, you can find out what happened."

Yochelson: But what was different

about this incident ...

shortly before the break-in occurred,

there was a young man who lived a couple blocks away.

Jenkins: It's 2:00 in the morning.

A young teenager named James Romero spots

a suspicious man outside his family's house.

Yochelson: It was the middle of the night.

He was working on his motorcycle in the garage

and saw somebody come out of the backyard,

through the lawn, go down the street.

He sees the man jump into an orange Toyota station wagon,

and he is able to get a partial license plate number.

Yochelson: He didn't get a good look

at the person,

but got a description of the car and told his father about it,

and they called the police.

And for investigators,

this was the break that they had been hoping for.

The description of the vehicle and a partial license plate

that ultimately leads to the recovery of that orange

Toyota station wagon

and the identification of the Night Stalker.

Block: An alert is going out to all

law-enforcement agencies

in the state of California to be on the lookout

for this individual who is to be considered armed

and extremely dangerous.

Everybody ... absolutely everybody ...

wanted him caught.

We receive a broadcast of a possible Night Stalker sighting.

He's surprised when the crowd recognizes him.

Vidal: He was last seen traveling

eastbound on 8th Street.

I look at him, I tell my partner,

"This is the Night Stalker."

Jordan: I don't think anyone expected

him to get caught like that.

Hancock: He was just radiating evil.

♪♪

Thanks to an observant teenager,

police were armed with their most promising lead yet,

and now they had the identity of a prime suspect.

The LAPD issued an all-points bulletin,

and after so many false starts,

they could finally bring the Night Stalker into the light.

What happened next, no one saw coming.

In part two of "The Night Stalker."

I'm Donnie Wahlberg.

Thanks for watching.

Good night.