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Frank Salerno is a Senior Data Visualization Architect, data and technology evangelist, and entrepreneur turned VC. In this exclusive Q&A, Frank breaks down data visualization, how you can get better insight from your data, and how the methodology of the world's most successful hedge funds influences his current business.
Sgt. Salerno was the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Departments primary investigator in the “Hillside Strangler” serial murder case and the Task Force Coordinator and lead Investigator in the “Night Stalker” serial murder case. He was a member of the National Planning Committee that created VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) located at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia and a member of the National Committee that created the manual on the Multiple Agency Investigative Team (M.A.I.T.) concept.
But there’s a huge hole at the center of this story in the shape of the lanky, hollow-eyed Ramirez. As a true crime fan, I’ve complained in the past about media that goes too far in the direction of glorifying the killer and allowing them to control the narrative surrounding their crimes — Ted Bundy being the glaring, trope-setting standard. It’s easy to see why Night Stalker’s producers would want to avoid this with Ramirez; he’s one of the “big” names in true crime, a serial killer whose name (or at least nickname) you’re likely to recognize, in the same category as Bundy, BTK, or the Zodiac. So it’s plausible that the intended audience for the documentary is assumed to be familiar with Ramirez’s case, and that they didn’t feel it necessary to rehash too many details. (Source: www.vox.com)
To their credit, Night Stalker producers Tiller Russell and James Carroll have created a series that attempts to do exactly what true crime media should do: demystify the perpetrator and elevate the people impacted by their crimes. Although Ramirez’s lurid nickname gets the title credit, there’s very little of him in Night Stalker’s narrative, which is almost entirely focused on the Los Angeles and San Francisco communities Ramirez prowled during his intense 16-month period of home invasion, robbery, sexual assault, violence, and murder.
Especially prominent are the police who hunted him, in particular Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno. Carrillo and Salerno are essentially the stars of Night Stalker; as the younger, junior cop, Carrillo’s perspective takes center stage, while Salerno, who was already a minor celebrity when Ramirez became active because of his prior work on the Hillside Strangler murders, is introduced as a veritable demigod. Salerno is framed as larger than life, with stirring musical cues. And even decades later, Carrillo’s voice retains a tinge of awe in recalling Salerno. These two are unquestionably our heroes. (Source: www.vox.com)