Almost the Night Stalker: How Ed Solomon almost was arrested
Screenwriter Ed Solomon is known for his work on a variety of films, including his role as cowriter for Bill & Ted. However, Solomon recently shared a story on Twitter about how he was once accused of being a serial killer.
The murder spree he referenced was that of the “Night Stalker.” Solomon was accused of being the Night Stalker in 1985, but the crimes were committed by someone else. Solomon was only accused of being the Night Stalker for a very short amount of time, but he created an interesting story out of the situation nonetheless.
Solomon’s Twitter thread came soon after the release of Netflix’s new docuseries Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer.
Who was the Night Stalker?
Solomon isn’t the Night Stalker. The real culprit was Richard Ramirez, who killed at least fourteen people in 1984 and 1985. He died from cancer in 2013 while on death row, but the murderer is now the subject of the Night Stalker documentary.
Night Stalker is a four-part series that tells the story of what Ramirez did. The series has launched the story back into popularity, and Solomon also wanted to share his connection to the case.
Ramirez was caught in August 1985. Shortly before that, police were still trying to find out who committed the murders. Solomon was already a screenwriter at the time, so he already had a name for himself. However, that name wasn’t “Night Stalker.” But one night, he got phone calls from people asking if he was the killer.
Solomon suspected as the Night Stalker
Solomon’s Twitter thread began with a strange call he received. “In August 1985 I was awakened by a call saying, ‘Are you the Night Stalker?’ I hung up, thinking it was a weird prank. But it kept happening. That’s when I learned – from a reporter on the other end – that I was a prime suspect in that grisly Richard Ramirez murder spree.
“The reporter explained that my car was found at the crime scene, which made no sense because I looked out my window & saw it was still in the parking space of my Westwood apartment. I had to hang up because the police were walking up my driveway – but weirdly slowly.”
Solomon said police officers confronted him at his house, but didn’t tell him why they suspected him. “They wouldn’t tell me anything about why they suspected me – which I have to say was exceedingly surreal,” he said.
Not the Night Stalker
Three years before the incident, Solomon signed onto a loan for his roommate who needed to buy a used car. The car was registered to Solomon’s address, even though the roommate had recently sold the car.
“The guy who ‘d bought it was eating dinner in a Chinese restaurant downtown, where the car (a crappy red Toyota station wagon) was stolen – by Ramirez – and driven to the murder site, where it was abandoned,” Solomon wrote.
In Netflix’s Night Stalker series, the car is mentioned as an important part of the evidence that led to Ramirez getting caught: Ramirez left his fingerprint on the rearview mirror. Whoops!
Ed Solomon didn’t have to be interrogated by police or publicly shamed for the rumors about him being the Night Stalker. He said the entire situation only lasted around five minutes, and noted he never felt threatened by what happened:
“The irony of it was that the guy from whom the car was stolen was in a restaurant writing a thank you note to my friend who’d sold it to him. He’d sold it for $1, because it was on its last legs and [he] wanted to give it away to someone at his church who could really use wheels.”