On the television screen, rumpled newspaper man Carl Kolchak faced supernatural demons in the shadow of the Strip’s neon and beyond in the 1970s cult favorite “The Night Stalker” series.
Those demons were nothing compared to the real ones encountered by Jeff Rice, the man who dreamed up the story of a real Vegas vampire serial killer and the wise-cracking reporter who nailed him. Rice, who a close friend says suffered from severe depression throughout much of his adult life, died July 1 in Las Vegas. He was 71. In an eerie tribute to the mysteries that surrounded his fiction and life in Las Vegas, the cause and manner of death is pending the results of a toxicology test by the Clark County coroner’s office.
The Night Stalker was the highest-rated Movie of the Week on ABC. It made history.
Rest in peace.