Between 1984 and 1985, the terrified people of Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area kept their doors and windows locked at night when a serial killer was on the hunt. Known only as "The Night Stalker," the cold-blooded monster is believed to be responsible for the brutal murders of 14 people. Most of the victims were killed and attacked in their own homes, where they slept, in the middle of the night.
Finally, the police were able to arrest 26-year-old Richard Ramirez. Now he is one of the most famous serial killers in history as he has become the "face of evil".
Ramirez was aloof and never showed remorse. He believes that “serial killers do on the small what governments do on the large. They are products of our time and these are bloodthirsty times.”
Also see: Top 10 American Serial Killers
10In his childhood he witnessed severe violence
Ricardo "Richard" Ramirez was born in El Paso in 1960,Texas, the youngest of five children. During his childhood, Ramirez slept at night in a cemetery to escape the violence he suffered from his father, Julian Ramírez, a former Mexican police officer. At the age of 10, Ramirez became close with his older cousin, Miguel "Mike" Ramirez. His cousin served during theVietnam Warand showed a young Ramirez many Polaroids of the women he had raped, as well as of himself with a severed head.
Ramirez also witnessed his cousin kill his wife Jessie during a domestic dispute. Mike shot her in the head with a .38 caliber rifle. Mike was found not guilty by reason of insanity, nor was he ever convicted of his war crimes. After Jessie's murder; Ramirez became moody and withdrew from his family and peers. It was the beginning of his own descent into darkness.
9He's made himself comfortable at his crime scenes
Some of Richard Ramirez's victims suffered greatly. Several murders were really bloody affairs. He had a pattern - killed the man of the house and sexually assaulted the woman. And he always made sure he could see the fear in herthe victimEyes. In the early days of his crimes, he rapped on the hood of Maria Hernandez's car so she could see him before the attack, and instead of shooting her through the window, pulled Tsai-Lian "Veronica" Yu out of the car.
In Whittier, he cut out Maxine Zazzara's eyes and took her with him. In another of her attacks, Patty Higgins was slashed and stabbed in the throat. Another victim, Florence "Nettie" Lang, 81, was beaten to death with a hammer. Investigators labeled him an "angry killer" for the cruelty with which his victims were killed.
But on several occasions, Ramirez didn't just kill and leave — he stayed close and made himself comfortable in his victims' homes. As he continued his killing spree in the Bay Area, San Francisco police said he killed an accountant named Peter Pan and raped his wife, Barbara. Ramirez then ate everything in the fridge, vomited on the kitchen floor, masturbated on the living room floor — and then wrote oneSatanicsign on the wall.
A 2021 Netflix documentary series about the Night Stalker featured an interview by Detective Frank Salerno. He said of Ramirez: "He was comfortable after he killed someone - he took time out to have a snack. This is a very sick person. In fact, after the fact, he would help himself to food and drink in the kitchen.
8He didn't understand the lyrics of AC/DC
On March 17, 1985, Ramirez hid in 22-year-old Maria Hernandez's garage at her home in Rosemead, California. He shot her in the head with a .22 caliber gun.Revolverbut luckily she protected her face and the bullet ricocheted off the car keys in her hands. Her roommate Dayle Yoshie Okazaki, 34, hid behind a counter in the kitchen. But when she raised her head, Ramirez shot and killed her.
A was left behind at the brutal crime sceneCA/CCHat by Ramirez. Images of the hat were leaked to the public and this sparked a media frenzy linking the serial killer to the rock band. It was believed that Ramirez misinterpreted the lyrics of a track on the band's album.road to hellAlbum released five years before the murders began.
Band co-founder Malcolm Young explained: "This song is not called 'Night Stalker'. It's called "Night Prowler" - and it's about things you did as a kid, like sneaking into a friend's room while her parents were asleep. The letters are:
"Was that a noise at your window or a shadow on your blinds?
And you stand there naked
Like a body in a grave; Interrupted animation as I enter your room.
Singer Brian Johnson added: "It disgusts you, you know. It disgusts you to have anything to do with something like that.
7He wasn't the original "Night Stalker"
Before Ramirez, there was another serial killer known as "The Night Stalker" who similarly terrorized California with his brutal killing spree. In Northern California from 1976 to 1979 and Southern California from 1979 to 1986, authorities were on the hunt for The Night Stalker, The East Area Rapist, The Diamond Knot Killer, and The Golden State Killer. Then, in 2018, they managed to hook up a 72-year-old ladyJosef DeAngeloto 14 murders and 69 cases of sexual assault after DNA discoveries.
The similarities between the two serial killers were that they both operated in the state of California, both broke into their victims' homes, both killed at night, and both were sinisterly known for killing the husbands first before attacking the wife. Their usual method of killing was to shoot or hit their victims.
Later, in an interview behind bars, Ramirez said: "We all have the power to kill in our hands, but most people are afraid to use it. If you are not afraid, you control your own life.”
6He's one of the reasons the Cecil Hotel is so creepy.
There have been many mysterious and disturbing events in theHotel Cécil(now known as Stay on Main) in downtown Los Angeles since it opened in 1927. Known as the "Hotel of Horrors," the 300-room hotel again made national headlines when the Canadian student bodyElisa Lammit was found in a water tank on the roof. Many conspiracies surrounding Lam's death have surfaced online, and the hotel's chilling past has once again been widely discussed.
In 1985, Ramirez stayed at the hotel during his killing spree. Richard Schave, who runs the True Crime bus tour that stops in front of the hotel, explained that the Cecil would have been the perfect place to stay for an active serial killer. He said: "The LAPD will not enter (those places). It was like, 'If we're called, we'll go in. But we don't patrol.'”
With room rates starting at $14, it was known to house many addicts. Schave explained that a serial killer could leave bloody clothes in the back of the hotel and just walk back to the hotel in their underwear without raising an eyebrow. He added, "Nobody wanted to be the person who called the police."
5It took a vigilante mob to bring him down
On August 31, 1985, police finally got the suspect's name. The name Richard Ramirez made headlines and everyone knew it — except Ramirez himself. The day before, he had boarded a bus to visit his brother in Tucson, Arizona, but when he realized he wasn't home, he was he returned thereThe angel.
Ramirez walked right past the detectives who were watching the departing buses, believing the serial killer was escaping. As Ramirez stopped at a liquor store, a woman shouted "El Maton" — the killer — signaling the end of The Night Stalker once and for all. Ramirez made a mad dash at him, but a lotvigilantestook him down. A man chasing the killer managed to hit him on the head with a pipe and throw him to the ground.
Andy Ramirez (no relation) was the arresting officer and managed to get the serial killer into his squad car and call for backup. Later, recalling the tension of the angry crowd, which quickly grew to over 200 people, he said, "The tone of the crowd changed. You could see the anger. They were getting closer and closer to where Richard Ramirez was sitting. I figured if I lose control of this crowd, they'll get him out of this car. Richard Ramirez's safety was in jeopardy.
4His rotten teeth were repaired before he appeared in court.
Before physical evidence linked Ramirez to 14 murders, he was identified through a composite sketch detailing his putrefaction.teeth🇧🇷 His surviving victims claimed the killer had "rotten, gaping and stained" teeth. According to forensic dentists, Ramirez was missing nine teeth in the lower and upper gums.
Ramirez had his father testify that he was in El Paso, Texas at the time of the murders; However, his dental records clearly brought him to Los Angeles. While on death row, Ramirez had his teeth fixed, which delighted him as he demonstrated his new onecreepy smilefor juries in court.
James Romero, 13, who helped police create the killer's sketch, said: "I feel like justice was never served. He received the death penalty and stayed there all those years. They ended up fixing his teeth and spending a lot of money on him. He was cared for and lived his life until his death. What a waste of taxpayer money.”
3He showed his satanism in court
A former childhood friend of Ramirez saidThe Examiner of San Franciscothat the serial killer on the 1979 AC/DC album was obsessed with satanic themesroad to hell.pentagramThey were also found scrawled in the home of one of his murder victims.
One victim who survived, a 28-year-old woman whose husband was shot dead in front of her, testified in court: "I said, 'I swear to God I'm not going to scream.' I swear to God, I swear to Satan.'” Ramirez then accused her of hiding valuables at home and asked for a's locationDiamondRing., she recalled, "I said, 'I swear to God I didn't do it. ' At that time he hit me again and told me to swear by Satan.
Ramirez also drew a pentagram on his hand and held it up for onlookers in the courtroom gallery to see while shouting, "Hail Satan!"
2He felt no remorse
After his arrest Ramirezconfessedto all his sinister crimes, but later retracted his testimony, stating that this was indeed a case of mistaken identity. His father also told the court that "in his heart" he could not believe his son was guilty.
The trial was further delayed after the murder of one of the jurors, 30-year-old Phyllis Yvonne Singletary, who was shot after a domestic dispute with her boyfriend who lived in the household. The next morning, when Singletary failed to appear for jury deliberations, court officials discovered the shocking truth.
On September 20, 1989, the jury found Ramirez guilty of 13 counts of murder, 5 counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of sexual assault, and 14 counts of robbery. When Ramirez learned he had received 19 death sentences, he said: "It's no big deal. Death always comes with territory. see you inDisneyland.“
Ramirez spent the rest of his years on death row at San Quentin State Prison and never showed remorse for his crimes.
1He married behind bars on death row
The Night Stalker's wife says she saw no evil in him
Behind bars, Ramirez received hundreds of letters from admirers every month. Freelance journalist Doreen Lioy caught his eye, and she began visiting death row regularly. Lioy fell in love with Ramirez when she saw a newsfeed about his arrest and saw a certain "vulnerability" in the cold-blooded killer. She believed he was innocent and fought to clear his name of any wrongdoing.
On October 3, 1996, Ramirez and Lioy were married at San Quentin State Prison, where witnesses were Ramirez's siblings and about sixty inmates. When asked how she was feelingmarry a manknown as "The Face of Evil," Lioy replied, "I can't help but have the world look at him. You don't know him like I do.
Lioy finally began distancing himself from Ramirez around 2010, when her efforts to clear his name failed in the face of the staggering amount of physical evidence against her.Husband🇧🇷 Then, on June 13, 2013, Ramirez died of liver failure at the age of 53. He's still considered one of the craziest serial killers of all time.
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fact confirmed byJamie Frater