The Daily Beast: Aaron Saidman writes about his eye-opening personal connection to serial killer Richard Ramirez’s case.
The Tale of a Shoe, My Father, and the Night Stalker — March 5, 2018, was a predictably busy Monday at The Intellectual Property Corporation, the production company I co-founded and where I serve as president. I had seven meetings that day, but the one that caught my eye was a 4:30 p.m. sit-down noted in my calendar as “Night Stalker Homicide Detectives + Tiller.” Tiller is director Tiller Russell, with whom my producing partner and I have been working for a decade now, beginning with the documentary feature The Seven Five. That afternoon, Tiller walked into our offices with legendary Los Angeles homicide detectives Frank Salerno and Gil Carrillo, who told us the harrowing tale of their pursuit of the serial murderer known as the Night Stalker. I hung on their every word. But when they got to the part of the story about how a shoe print from a slightly obscure brand called Avia became the most significant piece of evidence in the entire case, I was stunned. For me, this revelation seemed almost inconceivable. Almost too coincidental. The world is small, but it cannot possibly be that small. Could it?
Avia was an upstart athletic shoe company in the 1980s. And they had very distinct shoe soles; so distinct, in fact, that a patent attorney had secured design patents for them so they would be protected against other brands that may want to copy their designs. These Avia shoe soles were called “cantilever soles.” This same patent attorney had obtained a design patent on the very sole of the shoe that the detectives were now describing to me as the pivotal clue that linked the Night Stalker’s murders to each other. As it so happens, this patent attorney is my father, Perry Saidman.
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