LOS ANGELES -- Reports that the so-called Night Stalker sprayed satanic symbols on the walls of some victims in his rampage of mayhem have again raised the issue of rock music and satanism's possible links to violent crime.
Police have refused to comment publicly on reports that heavy metal rock music and devil worship may be a possible motive for the Night Stalker attacks, but sources close the investigation confirmed Sunday night that a pentagram -- a five-pointed star within a circle -- was found at 'a couple' of themurder scenes.
The devil worship link was triggered by an announcement this week by police that a baseball cap with the letters AC-DC embroidered on it was found at one of the murder sites. AC-DC is a heavy metal rock band whose music makes repeated reference to devil worship, and some say the letters stand for the words Anti Christ, Devil's Child.
Lyrics from one AC-DC song on the album 'Highway to Hell,' titled 'Night Prowler,' include some phrases strikingly suggestive of the Night Stalker's murderous marauding.
One verse asks, 'What's that noise outside your window? What's that shadow on the blind? As you lay there naked like a body in a tomb, suspended animation as I slip into your room.'
The chorus, repeated several times, defiantly proclaims, 'I'm your night prowler, I sleep in the day. Yes I'm the night prowler, get out of my way. Look out for the night prowler, watch out tonight. Yes I'm the night prowler when you turn out the light.'
The Night Stalker killed all his 16 known victims in the pre-dawn darkness, usually by slipping into their homes through unlocked windows or doors and often shooting or stabbing them to death as they slept.
The sources confirmed that several heavy metal audio tapes were found in a knapsack dropped by Stalker suspect Richard Ramirez during the chase that led to his arrest Saturday morning in East Los Angeles.
A former El Paso, Tex., schoolmate of Ramirez told a San Francisco newspaper that Ramirez was obsessed with the satanic themes of AC-DC. Attempts to reach the band or a spokesman were unsuccessful.
Another report said the words 'Jack the Knife,' reportedly coming from a song by another heavy metal group, Judas Priest, were scrawled on some walls.
KABC-TV reported during the weekend that there was least one attempt to gouge out a victim's eyes, a devil-worship ritual. On other occasions, the station said, the suspect ate a meal at the house after the crime, consistent with a satanic ritual of celebration following a sacrifice.
There were also reports that police had matched a distinctive shoeprint -- the evidence that police earlier referred to only as something 'subtle but distinctive' -- found at the sites of several Stalker slayings to prints found at a place in Los Angeles 'where devil worshippers are known to congregate.'
But experts in serial killers say caution should be used when trying to link satanism to the murders, because the killers may just be using devil worship as an excuse for their murderous behavior.
Serial killer David Berkowitz -- the so-called 'Son of Sam' who killed six people in New York -- claimed his actions were dictated by the devil but later admitted he made up the story.
The Stalker case would also not be the first time that rock music was involved in a notorious murder case. Charles Manson, convicted of the Sharon Tate-LaBianca murders in Los Angeles, told his 'family' of murderous youths that the crimes would spark a race war called 'helter skelter' -- the name of a song by the Beatles.