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Material
Protection

The Window

I just remember the window… and you know scared me the most was my grandmother… and she would yell at my mom, “He can get in that window!” and I just remember that window. “He’s little and he’s skinny and he can get in that window Becky, and the doggy door!” She would get on my mom, Grandma Muffin. “He could get through the doggy door Becky, you need to close that every night!” So it was hearing my grandmother say it. My parents were careful not to say it.Victor’s mom was super paranoid, she could not be alone in the house. Well and I remember Victor came to the house because you guys were dating at the time and he put like a lock on the window and I was like “Oh man this is serious, like he’s putting a lock on our window.” Yeah it was scary because he kinda went like to different locations and he would sneak into people’s houses and murder them umm… and they didn’t know I mean it took a while to catch him.

This particular piece of folklore was quite frightening because it referred to a murderer based in my hometown of Los Angeles. My informant discussed the importance of windows:closing them at night, installing locks, or placing bars on them. In her neighborhood where she grew up in Pico Rivera, California, the murderer Richard Ramirez, notoriously nicknamed “The Night Stalker,” would sneak into people’s houses then kidnap and murder them in the 1980’s. She told me while discussing murder stories and urban legends from her city. My informant actually lived through this and recalls the significance that windows had in her neighborhood as a source of protection.

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