Before serial killer Richard Ramirez was identified as the Night Stalker, Bill & Ted and Men in Black screenwriter Ed Solomon was briefly considered to be a suspect in the case. In the 1980s, Ramirez terrified the state of California with a killing spree that has been documented in the new Netflix docuseries Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, which has brought about renewed attention to the notorious murderer.
Taking to Twitter, Ed Solomon revealed his personal link to the case by recalling the night when he was actually questioned by police over his potential involvement. It all began one night in the summer of 1985 when Solomon was awakened by a strange phone call asking if he was the Night Stalker, followed by officers knocking at his door minutes later. From the Twitter thread:
"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 [and] 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."
According to Solomon, the entire ordeal, from the phone call to his interaction with the police, lasted about five minutes. The screenwriter also explains that the police told him they just needed to "check it out," but that it seemed unlikely that he was "the one." This may have been, in part, because Solomon had "obviously just woken up" and was still "wearing only my tighty whiteys." The officers left without explaining why Solomon was a suspect, but when he watched the news the following day, he realized how it happened.
"3 years earlier my (then) roommate (& best friend) was buying a used car, & since he was in med school & I had an actual job (my Laverne & Shirley gig), he had me sign (or maybe co-sign?) for his loan. As such, the car was registered to my address, even though he'd just sold it. 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. The irony is my 2 roommates (new ones) were in jail for the night."
Learning that you're a suspect in one of the most horrific killing sprees ever seen in the United States must have been horrifying, although it sounds like Solomon was still in the process of waking up from the start of the situation to the end of it. Fortunately, as detailed in the Netflix docuseries, Ramirez was identified and apprehended soon after. Solomon would then go on to co-write Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure with Chris Matheson, and the rest is history. You can read the full thread of Solomon's experience on Twitter.