Is it true that Smooth Criminal is about Richard Ramirez?

Thriller_MJ

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Darren Hayes put on his twitter that he was watching the recently released Netflix docu series about Richard Ramirez some fans replied saying that Jermaine mentioned something in his book about the song being about Ramirez and said something along the lines that Michael didn't want people thinking about a real serial killer when listening to the song and for the video went in a completely different direction. I mean the opening line in Smooth Criminal, ramirez used to break into peoples houses through the window if it was ooen. If this is true I'm floored as i am a long-term fan and only just found this out.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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i'm not sure if that's true or not. but if so, that's scary. i always thought smooth criminal was inspires by Al Capone and Fred Astaire The Bandwagon. Richard Ramirez was a terrible dude. i hope he rotting in hell now. i don't always listen to Michael brothers much because their not Michael so sometimes i take what they say as a gain of salt. i also notice something cool about smooth criminal it was release a year after Fred Astaire death. i'm guessing it was a tribute to him. Michael was a big fan of him and old hollywood movies.
 

Nite Line

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I always thought Smooth Criminal was inspired by Al Capone, especially when you consider that the demo version of Smooth Criminal is Al Capone, which was released on Bad 25.
 

mj_frenzy

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Jermaine Jackson is right about that because ‘Smooth Criminal’ (both the song and its music video) are based, at least to some degree, on Richard Ramirez and his violent crimes.

It is not just the song’s first verse that is a reference to Richard Ramirez’s brutal methods of crimes, but also some other things which indicate that ‘Smooth Criminal’ drew inspiration (at least, partly) from Richard Ramirez.

For instance, as Jermaine Jackson also pointed out in his book, Richard Ramirez used to kill with a knife, and the appearance of a flashing blade in the ‘Smooth Criminal’ music video is another clear reference to that particular serial killer and his brutal methods of killing.

Also, the time frame fits because Richard Ramirez’s crimes took place in 1984 and in 1985, and around that time Michael Jackson wrote the lyrics of his ‘Smooth Criminal’ song.
 

Hess

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I don't know. - Never heard about that before. But Alcapone became Smooth Criminal.

And at first MJ wanted to do a western type video for the song.

But as mj_frency writes above I can see in the actual Smooth Criminal video there might be some references. Just weird I've never heard about it before.
 

Hudson112

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I would not be surprised if this is true to be honest. Michael was inspired by some things that we would not even think about.
 

MozisOfOzz

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Originally "Smooth Criminal" evolved from an earlier song written by Michael, called "Al Capone". This was re-worked into what we now know to be "Smooth Criminal". But to say it's about Richard Ramirez or even inspired by him is a stretch, in my opinion, without Michael saying for sure one way or another. At this point, we'll never know for sure because Michael is no longer here to be able to tell us.
 

Rockin R

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True or not, it is a good theory.

It totally fits, it fits even more than the Little Susie theories.
 

DMN31

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indeed a very good theory.it could be truth or just another fame grabbing,but for me this isn't the case.
Michael always knew what's going on,with his talent he could made even a minor story from a cheap newspaper into a hit song.
 

Moonwalker1992

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It's interesting. I could see both instances happening. Mike wrote the song about Al Capone, but shifted to a more actual topic towards Ramirez and his actions.
 
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