Netflix’s new documentary on The Night Stalker has been praised for its representation of the victims, including Dayle Okazaki. Read on to find out more.
Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer was directed by Tiller Russell and released onto Netflix on January 13th. Already, the documentary on one of America’s darkest serial killers has become hugely popular.
The Night Stalker committed most of his crimes in mid 1980s California, and was found guilty of 13 murders, attempted murder, sexual assault and burglary in 1989. In 2009, police also connected him with a further death of a 9-year-old girl from 1984.
What fans have most appreciated about the Night Stalker documentary created by Netflix however is how it represents the victims of the story. Many have noted how they are portrayed as real people with equally full lives and not just a number.
Who was Dayle Okazaki?
One of the most publicised victims of the murders, Dayle Okazaki was presented throughout the documentary. She was two weeks away from her 35th birthday at the time of the murder in March of 1985, and lived with roommate Maria Hernandez.
Maria Hernandez was the first of the two to encounter Richard Ramirez, when he approached and shot her in their garage as she arrived home. Fortunately for Maria, the bullet ricocheted of her car kays, ultimately saving her life but she still fell to the ground.
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When he entered the house, the Richard Ramirez shot Dayle Okazaki, who was hiding behind the kitchen counter.
But she was more than just a victim. Born in Hawaii, Dayle Okazaki was one of three children and from a close family. In fact, she had spent the evening of her death at her parents’ house watching television and talking about her boyfriend and promotion to traffic supervisor with Los Angeles County, according to a Los Angeles Times report at the time.
Dayle is remembered by those she left behind as kind and caring. Her sister told the LA Times: “It just made her happy to make other people happy. Whatever she bought she shared. When she went to the zoo, she bought everyone Panda pins. When she bought a gigantic bag of popcorn on sale, she divided it into 20 small containers to give to friends.”
Her friend, Maria Hernandez
Maria Hernandez survived the attack by the Night Stalker, as documented in the Netflix documentary, and managed to plead for her life with him when he exited the house.
When it came to identifying the killer, she was able to select him from a line-up at the police station and in court during a hearing. When Richard Ramirez went on trail, she detailed her ordeal in court and once more identified him boldly as Dayle’s killer.