Richard Ramirez: “Night Stalking the Iconoclastic”

In the Satanic iconographic tradition, there is also an image of a similar pose to that of Bout’s painting in an image by Elphas Levi, whose representation of Baphomet (the Sabbatic Goat), half man, half-woman, and all goat bears outstretched hands which bear the words ”Solve et Coagula” and is perhaps better used to represent the nefarious symbolic overtures in which Murderer Richard Ramirez represented himself.

Richard Ramirez: “Night Stalking the Iconoclastic” – Satanic Panic Part II

By Brad Feuerhelm, ASX, July 2015

In the Christian tradition of Iconic painting, Dieric Bout’s “Christ with Crown of Thorns, 1470” as man of sorrows, sits projecting his stigmata wound at the viewer from a position of weakness, pain, and sorrow. In the devout image of Christian iconography, the “man of sorrows” is a lament for the wounds that God’s son committed to on humanity’s behalf as evidenced on his bleeding hands. It is a motif used to enlist Christ’s suffering and ultimate death as physical and human martyr so that God’s children are spared their own sins. Similarly, the same motif is cited also as “the passion of Christ”, which is seen in various other iconographic depictions of the twelve stages of the cross taken from the account of Jesus’ journey up the road to Golgotha, the great hill of skulls where he would be crucified and would die, allegedly for “our sins” and without it being asked for.

 

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Dieric Bouts, Christ as Man of Sorrows, 1470

 

One may ruminate about how many would die for his saving grace over the following centuries through persecution, witch hunts, and all manner of iniquity at the hands of zealots, not unlike Allah’s holy terror of embodiment as seen in political narratives today with extremists beheading journalists, drowning (ironically enough) Christians in cages, and the barbaric and full immolation of men, women, and children under the queer disease of religious servitude in which flame alights the adversary in sun drenched lands of biblical prose in the 21st century.

In the Satanic iconographic tradition, there is also an image of a similar pose to that of Bout’s painting in an image by Eliphas Levi, whose representation of Baphomet (the Sabbatic Goat), half man, half-woman, and all goat bears outstretched hands which bear the words ”Solve et Coagula” and is perhaps better used to represent the nefarious symbolic overtures in which Murderer Richard Ramirez represented himself. Solve et Coagula is derived from Latin meaning “separate ”or dissolve” and also “join together”, potentially exacting an escape from the hierarchy of Christian tradition and the building back up of self in absence of God, or the will of one without need for the shepherding of the almighty Christian God. Such positing of the drawings meaning are always contentious.

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Eliphas Levi, Baphomet

Solve et Coagula is derived from Latin meaning “separate ”or dissolve” and also “join together”, potentially exacting an escape from the hierarchy of Christian tradition and the building back up of self in absence of God…

The zoomorphic creature can falsely be seen as a pagan idol that the Knight’s Templar worshipped during the crusades. It is more recently seen as a potential metaphorical head of Mohammed from which the French Templars, with their wars in the holy lands, began to adapt elements of the Islamic tradition within the larger context of its representation while away in foreign lands. This potential, has been conceived as a heretical allegory to the prophet and not to that of the Judeo-Christian God. Most claims to understand the etymological transcription of this idol only serve to mystify historians and lay culture up to present. Never the less, the important aspect of Levi’s depiction of the Idol is that it has gone on to live as the embodiment of THE devil in its iconoclastic glory in recent tradition. As an idolatrous figure, the goat has become for the Satanist, the adversary of the Christian God, adapting its Luciferian principality as the fallen angel, the rebel angel, and has further been adapted by Christian alike as the icon of Satanic Discourse, its own image, that of devout worship in popular culture depending on which side one finds inherent spiritual truth.

These traditions are very much in tune in visual terms, with serial killer Richard Ramirez’s notorious courtroom appearance in 1985. In iconoclastic fervor, the murderer notoriously flashed a Satanic pentagram drawn onto his open palm with impunity and with arguable strength at the courtroom crowd, feral in his belief that he had served Satan and that his Lord had given him strength and dominion over the Christian flock that would decide his penal fate.

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Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, showing pentagram in court, 1985

One could argue that his gestures, demeanor, and resistance toward the normative law of court, man, and spirituality would give him a possibly unforeseen precedent of serial killer “chic”.

 

Ramirez, a young man with a steady love of heavy metal music groups such as AC/DC, and who was dubbed “The Night Stalker” for one of their songs “Night Prowler” by the media, hastened his grip (pun fucking intended) of celebrity in this calculated court room appearance at the height of America’s war with the countries perception of Satanic servitude. He cleverly employed the media to spread fear towards anything considered anti-Christian in an attempt to gain an affinity with his own mythologizing and the rightful portrait for which American society decidedly painted him. The image of his open and marked palm was a direct cast against the tradition for which he sought to disable.

 

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AC/DC, “Highway to Hell”

Ramirez and his wayward lifestyle of sleeping in cemeteries and long tirade’s of cocaine binges would find him breaking into homes in California for drug money and would eventually lead to his raping, killing, and plundering the eyeballs of his victims.

Ramirez and his wayward lifestyle of sleeping in cemeteries and long tirade’s of cocaine binges would find him breaking into homes in California for drug money and would eventually lead to his raping, killing, and plundering the eyeballs of his victims. After being apprehended, and though not of sound mind, he cleverly found in the media a perfect home for his vain narcissism. He projected a rotten smile, a diabolical sneer, and an emaciated frame, all of which were somewhat at odds with a somber capture by community citizens. Ramirez, in court would radiate an affected “coolness” under the frames of dark sunglasses, the television crews, and the courtroom reporter’s attention. His flippant bad boy attitude and oddly appealing gaunt looks of sinister hatred would go on to attract legions of attractive women who would become pen pals with the murderer whilst in incarceration and would eventually lead to him marrying one of his own flock…a debacle not unseen within the Christian tradition of the bible, if one is aware of the contentious relationship the media of history unveils from time to time on Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. One could argue that his gestures, demeanor, and resistance toward the normative law of court, man, and spirituality would give him a possibly unforeseen precedent of serial killer “chic”.

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There are certain parables that unfold in the Night Stalker case and the desired romance between the powers of good vs. evil that were and still occasionally are (see ISIS) employed to produce fear of the other. The “other” in this case being otherworldly, much like the mysticism of terror employed by jihadists under the influence of respective God and Spirit. Satan, as pariah for the tradition of Catholicism, is in effect the reverse of all that is good in the minds of many.

 

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ISIS, ‘Jihadi John’

Though the crimes of Ramirez will be historically and rightfully shamed the posterity of whatever history humanity has left, we must not absolve ourselves the responsibility of needing to see “Evil” and much as we need to see “Good”

 

The case of the Night Stalker is a continuation of the horrors of modern society, a fallible scapegoat in which the larger community could funnel their fears. The media elevates these fears and the desperate grip that spirituality and belief systems reek upon a population. It is as if to name evil is not enough, that we must lift the metaphor of darkness into an image of evil. This practice is the most effective way to co-ordinate panic under the widening umbrella of patterned sameness and herd spirituality. Though the crimes of Ramirez will be historically and rightfully shamed the posterity of whatever history humanity has left, we must not absolve ourselves the responsibility of needing to see “Evil” and much as we need to see “Good”. This is the quest of any spirituality, to lift the veil, to disavow physical death, and to hold at bay the end of all things as precipitated by bad behaviors in living.

 

Material mainly from the Collection Brad Feuerhelm

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Brad Feuerhelm and respective authors.)

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