Believe it or not, Richard Ramirez is one of the big dogs. Before doing the research for this file, I had not heard of him, but shortly after my investigations had began, I knew that All Things Horror's Real Killers Files would not be complete with out him. Ramirez is many things: a rapist, a murderer, a drug addict, a pedophile, and a satanist... just to name afew. Ramirez truly was a "Night Stalker".
In the begining...
As with most serial killers, Ramirez's story actually begins in child hood. Born in 1960 in El Paso, Texas, Ramirez lived in a family of eight: a mother, a father, and five brothers and sisters. He was raised catholic, like many in his town, but felt that his faith lacked. He bagan sniffing glue at the age of nine but soon became a user of marajuana. He was remembered as a good boy, who's only flaw was his constant marajuana abuse. Durring this time he frequently stole things and burglarized homes to support his habbit. He enjoyed sugar and soda, so much so that his teeth began to rot, causing unbearable halitosis. Ramirez dropped out of school at the age of 17.
It is unknown what sends a serial killer over the edge, but most believe that for Richard Ramirez, it was at the age of 13 when he saw his Vietnam Vet cousin shoot and kill his wife for no other reason than to stop her complaining and naging. Mike, Ramirez's cousin, had been a Green Baret and experienced a sick change in Nam. Mike enjoyed hanging out with Ramirez, smoking marajuana and braging about how he had enjoyed mutilating and torturing his enemys while fighting in the war and had the photos to back it up. Ramirez was facinated by the photos and looked up to Mike. Although Ramirez's first crimes were breaking and entering, they were not his last. As he perfacted his skills he began to stay longer at the houses he broke into, sometimes taking pictures, that he could enjoy later. To Ramirez, it was the thrill of the hunt... for valuable items to steal. He began to see scenes of death and carnage run through his mind. The first victim that is known is Jennie Vincow who was 79 years old. June 28, 1984. Ramirez decided to make his fantasys a reality. He removed the screen window of Vincow's room and climbed in. He then raped and stabbed her, stealing some of her valuables. His finger prints would later be recovered from the window sill. Vincow's son found her body.
The Killing Spree Begins
Eight months after killing his first victim, Ramirez began to kill again. March 17, 1985. Angela Barrios returned home from work and, as she closed the garage door, she realized she was not alone. A tall thin man with percing eyes and rotten teeth stood at the door with a gun in hand. She begged him not to shoot, but he ignored her and fired. The bullet amazingly was deflected by her keys and she only recieved a minor wound to the hand. She fell back and played dead anyway, hoping that the man would believe her act. He did and kicked her out of the way and entered her home. As she lay there bleeding, she noticed her wound and instinctivly looked down to see how bad it was. She climbed to her feet and began to run as she heard another gunshot behind her. As she reached the front of the condo, she was confronted by the mad gunman, and was convinced that she would not live to see the sun come up. To her surprise, Ramirez let her live as he fleed the scene. She went inside and discovered her roomroomate dead with a gunshot wound to the head. As he fleed the scene, Ramirez felt that his hunger for blood was not quenched so he brutally assulted a woman by the name of Tsia-Lian Yu, who died in the ambulance later. Three days later, he killed an 8 year old girl. Ramirez went on to rape, assult and murder a total of at least 14 people. Ramirez had finally found his murderous nitche.
The Night Stalker
The police had no suspects yet in what was becoming a large scale investigation. They began calling Ramirez "The Valley Intruder", but the press picked up the name "The Night Stalker" because witnesses described him as pale and almost resembling a vampire. As Ramirez continued to brake into houses, he started killing the men, raping the women then killing them, and if children were present, he would kidnap and rape them, dropping them off later. It began to become apparent that age did not matter to The Night Stalker and he would kill anyone and every one for no apparent reason. Ramirez later stated: "I love to kill people. I love watching them die. I would shoot them in the head and they would wriggle and squirm all over the place, and then stop. Or I would cut them with a bread knife and watch their faces turn real white. I love all that blood. I told one lady one time to give me all her money. She said no. So I cut her, and pulled her eyes out." Ramirez loved to leave satanic symbols drawn in blood at the scene of his crimes. He began killing people with what ever he could find, from hammers, to guns, to any blunt object. He also enjoyed strangling his victims. The people of L.A. were on the highest alert locking their doors and windows at night, and heading indoors before sundown. Ramirez killed atleast 14 people before being caught and raped atleast a dozen others.
The Night Stalker and the Mob
What brought The Night Stalker into justice? An angry mob of citizens. Ramirez was recoginzed in a store by athorities, and began to run. He headed to a mostly hispanic neighborhood, thinking that he would fit in better. He jumped fences and ran through back yards trying to escape the police, untill he came to a Mustang with the keys in it. He jumped in, intending to steal the car, but he failed to notice that the owner was under the car, working on the transmission. The owner jumped out from under the car and grabbed Ramirez around the neck. Ramirez warned that he had a gun but the owner was too inraged to listen. The owner of the car threw Ramirez to the ground. Ramirez then ran out into the street and tried to carjack another car, screaming in spanish that he would kill the driver if she didn't give him the car. She yelled for her husband who came running from his back yard. About this time, one of the neighbors called the police. The woman's husband grabbed a 3 and a half foot metal pole and began comming for Ramirez. Suddenly, someone recognized him and yelled out that he was the Night Stalker. As Ramirez began to run, he was hit in the back of the neck with the metal pole. Rameriz fell, but quickly got up and continued to run as the mob of people gained on him. Then, with out warning, Ramirez stopped, turned around, laughed and stuck his tongue out at them as if to look crazy. It worked, but only for a second and the mob continued after him. Ramirez was recieved a blow to the head by the pole and fell to the ground.
"Four years later Richard Ramirez was found guilty on 43 counts, including 13 murders committed in Los Angeles County. Ramirez's erratic behavior caused repeated delays in pretrial hearings as well as during the trial itself. He demanded a change in counsel, hired attorneys inexperienced in criminal law, then later decided he could represent himself. The judge ordered Ramirez's two attorneys to take on a third, more experienced attorney who was able to move things along." - THE CRIME LIBRARY
Durring his trial, Ramirez would often yell things like "Hail Satan!" at random to intimidate witnesses.
On September 20th, 1989, Richard Ramirez was sentanced to die and is now currentlyon death row at the San Quentin Prison in Calafornia. When he heard the statement, Ramirez said to reporters: "Big deal. Death comes with the territory. I'll see you in Disneyland".
Durring his trial, Ramirez had gathered a following of women who were like his groupies. October 3, 1996, one of the groupies won Ramirez's heart and he married her in the waiting room of San Quentin. His wife, Doreen, has vowed to commit suicide if and when her husband is put to death.
It is my belief that Ramirez did the things he did, especially in trial, to appear insane. It didn't work. He was definantly sick but not insane. I think Ramirez was all about image. He wanted to look and feel cool. Well, Mr. Ramirez, you are not cool. You may have ended up in The ATH: Real Killers files, But you are by no means cool. In my book, your a wannabe. Thats just my take on it.
On August 15th, 2003 a movie was released about Richard Ramirez titled: "The Night Stalker". I cannot comment on this film as I have not seen it. I do not know if the film shows the story behind Ramirez, but now you know the facts.
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