it’s not quite mid march but you’d never know it by the weather outside. the devil winds are howling and record high temps are expected to fall over the weekend. just another year in the lingering california drought. with it being so hot and with the skin crawling santa ana winds blowing it reminds me of a time back in the mid 1980s. when one savage beast had southern california curling up with loaded shotguns at night. the beast being, richard ramirez, or more commonly known as, ‘the night stalker’.
over the years southern california has had it’s share of deranged murders and serial killers. a genuine motley crew of bat shit wackos and satan wannabes. hell, the whole state for that matter especially when you toss in the zodiac killer from up in the bay area. i digress.
the night stalker began his reign of terror in the spring of 1984. by the summer of 1985 the land of the lotus was in a downright semi siege mentality. myself included. it seemed as if the night stalker was striking at least once a week. from one bucolic suburb to another. another family or couple murdered while they slept. or murdered while the mate was made to watch. the night stalker made charlie manson and his gang seem almost tame. charlie after all had a beach boy as a friend. but he still had murderous mayhem in his heart.
as the summer of the stalker plodded on for sometime it became more apparent that local cops all over the southland were pretty much clueless as to what the hell was going on. hence, sleeping with a weapon became the norm to anyone with an ounce of sense. especially for those of us who weren’t about to give up sleeping with a window or door open no matter what insanity was befalling the various communities.
at the time, i had a winchester defender which i kept fully loaded and in bed with me. not the first time that had occurred. in vietnam a loaded M-16 and two hundred rounds of ammo were always at my bedside. one never knew when insanity would hit the fan and running around looking for a weapon was not an option. ever. at any rate, before hitting the sack that summer with the shotgun i’d set up trip wires to various homemade early warning devices. making sure they were loud enough to wake me up. not that a really sound sleep was going to happen. regardless.
eventually the police got a fairly decent description of the stalker from those who had survived his rampage and his police sketch was plastered all over the TV 24/7. on arriving back to socal from one of his bus trips to his home state of texas a few street vatos recognized him and kicked the crap out of him while the cops were being called. sadly, they were unable to finish the job before the cops arrived. he was, of course, convicted and sent to death row where he would still be living today if he hadn’t died of cancer back in 2013. karma is a bitch. and also very handy at times. yes of course, the hand wringers among us here in the great state of chaos got the death penalty squashed a while back. making karma our only hope for any retribution when it comes to murderers. be they be simple run of the mill types or straight from the bowels of hell types.
the record breaking march heat, wind and drought brought back the dread of that long ago but never to be forgotten socal summer. vivid memories of tossing and turning searching for slumber and peace.
further inspiration provided by today’s Power Plant Men blog, “Lizzie Bordan meets Power Plant Man”.