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Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker (1989)

Based on the true story of Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez who terrorized California in 1985 and the two Los Angeles police detectives who try to track him down.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergeant Frank Salerno
Lieutenant Gil Carrillo
Pearl Carrillo
Peter Morgan
Anne Clark
Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker) (as Gregory Norman Cruz)
Phil Thomas
Jenny Sullivan ...
Jane Salerno
Marisol R. Reyes ...
Maria Hernandez
Roger Hampton ...
Detective Heller
Jack Rader ...
Captain Robert Grimm
Dr. Chow (as Soon-Teck Oh)
Bill Melton
Jake Dengel ...
Mrs. Webster


"Manhunt" vividly tells the terrifying story of the pursuit and capture of Richard Ramirez, "the Night Stalker" - a serial killer who terrorized California in mid 1980s. Written by Jaromir Krol <jaromirk@kr.onet.pl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

12 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunt for the Night Stalker  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On two separate occasions, the US Bank Tower is visible: once in the opening credits (hard to see due to darkness, but that's definitely it) and again near the end when Ramirez is trying to evade police. This building didn't begin construction until 1987, two years after the film's setting. See more »


Featured in Confessions of a Hollywood Stuntman (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

No-nonsense true crime drama
31 January 2005 | by See all my reviews


Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Sound format: Mono

The search for serial killer Richard Ramirez, who committed a string of horrific rapes and murders in Los Angeles between June 1984 and August the following year.

It looks a little dated now, but Bruce Seth Green's detailed examination of the facts surrounding the Night Stalker murders - filtered here through the viewpoint of the two detectives (Richard Jordan and A Martinez) who supervised the case - still packs a solid emotional punch. Green's no-nonsense approach to the material results in a couple of voyeuristic crime reconstructions which may strike some as unnecessary (Ramirez had only just been convicted when the movie first aired), but these grotesque details go a long way toward establishing the randomness and savagery of this man's gruesome rampage. Joseph Gunn's wide-ranging script covers all relevant bases, including the desperate attempts by city officials to prevent sensational media coverage driving the killer underground, and the personal toll exacted on law enforcement officers involved in pursuit of the maniac. The climactic sequence - depicting the bizarre events surrounding Ramirez' eventual capture - is ripe with irony, and well-staged by actors and filmmakers alike.

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