Richard Ramirez

Who Was Richard Ramirez?

Dubbed the ‘Night Stalker,’ Richard Ramirez used to be an American serial killer who killed at least 14 humans and tortured dozens greater earlier than being captured in 1985.

Who Was Richard Ramirez?

Richard Ramirez was once an American serial killer who killed at least 14 humans and raped and tortured at least two dozen more, generally for the duration of the spring and summer time of 1985. After creating epilepsy as a child, he grew to become a heavy drug consumer and cultivated an pastime in Satanism, which grew to become a calling card for investigators at his crime scenes. Apprehended in August 1985, Ramirez was once sentenced to loss of life at the conclusion of his trial in 1989. He spent the the rest of his days at California’s San Quentin Prison, earlier than demise from most cancers on June 7, 2013, at age 53.

Richard Ramirez Early Life

Ramirez used to be born Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez on February 29, 1960, in El Paso, Texas, the fifth infant of Mexican immigrants Mercedes and Julian Ramírez. Known as Richard or Ricky, Ramirez reportedly sustained more than one head accidents at an early age; after he was once knocked unconscious via a swing at age 5, he commenced experiencing epileptic fits.

As an adolescent, Ramirez used to be closely influenced by using his older cousin, Miguel, who had lately again from hostilities in the Vietnam War. The two smoked marijuana collectively as Miguel instructed Ramirez about the torture and mutilation he had inflicted on a number of Vietnamese women, corroborating these testimonies with photographic evidence. At age 13, Ramirez witnessed his cousin homicide his wife.

Dropping out of college in the ninth grade, Ramirez was once arrested for the first time in 1977, for marijuana possession. He quickly moved to California, progressing to cocaine dependancy and burglary, and cultivating an activity in Satanism. He used to be arrested twice in the Los Angeles location for auto theft, in 1981 and once more in 1984, and incredibly commenced to overlook his non-public hygiene.


Theft became to violence with Ramirez’s (then) first acknowledged homicide on June 28, 1984; the sufferer used to be 79-year-old Jennie Vincow, who used to be sexually assaulted, stabbed and killed all through a housebreaking in her personal home. What observed was once a spree of brutal murders, rapes and robberies, leaving dozens of victims in its wake.

Ramirez subsequent struck almost 9 months later. On March 17, 1985, he attacked Maria Hernandez, who managed to escape, and then killed her roommate, Dayle Okazaki. Not at ease with these assaults, he additionally shot and killed Tsai-Lian Yu the equal evening, spurring a media frenzy that noticed Ramirez dubbed the “Valley Intruder” via the press.

Just 10 days later, on March 27, Ramirez murdered 64-year-old Vincent Zazzara and Zazzara’s 44-year-old wife, Maxine, the usage of an assault fashion that would end up a sample for the killer: The husband used to be shot first, then the spouse used to be brutally assaulted and stabbed to death. In this case, Ramirez additionally gouged out Maxine Zazzara’s eyes.

A full-scale police operation yielded no concrete results, and Ramirez repeated his assault sample on pensioners William and Lillie Doi in May 1985. Over the subsequent few months, his homicide fee escalated, claiming any other dozen victims in a frenzy of burglary, assault and brutal violence, entire with Satanic rituals. The Los Angeles Police Department replied by means of placing collectively a devoted assignment force, with the FBI stepping in to assist.

The relentless media and police pressure, aided with descriptions from his surviving victims, compelled Ramirez to go away the L.A. place that August. He journeyed north to San Francisco, the place he took two extra victims, Peter and Barbara Pan, on August 17. His unmistakable M.O., entire with Satanic symbolism, intended that the “Valley Intruder” moniker was once no longer applicable; the press rapidly coined a new name, the “Night Stalker,” as most of his assaults took region at night time in his victims’ homes.


Ramirez’s moves on his remaining night time of terror, on August 24, 1985, quickly led to his capture. First, he used to be noticed outdoor a Mission Viejo home, the place he unwittingly left a footprint, earlier than the witness took notice of his vehicle and license plate. Later, after Ramirez raped some other girl at her domestic (and shot her fiance), the sufferer furnished a distinctive description of her assailant, who had compelled her to swear her love for Satan.

Ramirez’s deserted vehicle was once determined a few days later, entire with sufficient of a fingerprint to make a match, and his crook document enabled the police to ultimately put a title to the “Night Stalker.” National TV and print media insurance providing his jail photo, alongside with a sequence of clues from witnesses and survivors, led to Ramirez’s seize on August 31, after he used to be badly crushed by using East L.A. residents whilst trying two carjackings.

Trial, Conviction and Sentencing

Ramirez waited in reformatory as his trial used to be continually pushed off, the prolong marked through a sequence of motions and bickering between the prosecutors and protection attorney. Because the geographical unfold of the crimes additionally complex the scope of the trial with jurisdictional issues, some of the prices in opposition to Ramirez had been dropped in order to expedite what used to be turning into a lengthy experience to justice.

The jury decision manner in the end moved ahead on July 22, 1988, and the trial itself commenced the following January. During this time, Ramirez attracted a cult-like following of supporters, many of whom have been black-clad Satan worshipers. Ramirez himself frequently dressed in black, alongside with darkish shades, for his court appearances.

Yet every other lengthen passed off when one juror used to be discovered murdered on August 14, 1989, however rumors that Ramirez had orchestrated her loss of life proved unfounded. On September 20, 1989, the jury ultimately lower back a unanimous responsible verdict on forty three charges, together with thirteen counts of murder, 5 counts of tried murder, eleven sexual assault fees and 14 housebreaking charges.

Two weeks later, the identical jury endorsed the dying sentence on 19 counts. Leaving the courtroom, Ramirez responded, “Hey, huge deal, demise usually comes with the territory. I’ll see you in Disneyland.” The convicted assassin was once formally sentenced to loss of life in the gasoline chamber on November 7, 1989, and used to be despatched to San Quentin Prison in California to spend the the rest of his days.

Final Years, Wife and Death

While incarcerated, Ramirez married one of his supporters, 41-year-old Doreen Lioy, in 1996. His long-awaited enchantment eventually made it to the California State Supreme Court in 2006, earlier than being rejected.

Ramirez in the end was once linked to extra vicious crimes. In 2009, a DNA pattern linked him with the April 10, 1984, rape and homicide of a 9-year-old woman in San Francisco.

After almost 24 years on dying row, Ramirez died on June 7, 2013, at the age of 53, from problems associated to B-cell lymphoma. According to San Quentin corrections officers, Ramirez’s dying got here rapidly after he used to be taken to Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California.

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