When it comes to notorious serial killers Richard Ramirez name tends to be found at the top of the list. Richard Ramirez who the media dubbed The Night Stalker operated in California for only a few years but he left behind at least thirteen bodies in his wake. In this article on My Crime Library we are going to take a closer look at The Night Stalker
Richard Ramirez Childhood
Richard Ramirez was born in El Paso Texas on February 29, 1960 to Julian and Mercedes Ramirez, he was the youngest of five children. Richard father was former police officer in Mexico and would later work as a laborer on the Sante Fe Railway. His father was know to be physically abusive towards his family.
Richard Ramirez would idolize his uncle Miguel (“Mike”) Ramirez a former Green Beret who would share with the ten year old child his exploits during the Vietnam war. He would also share photographs of women he had raped and murdered during the war. The uncle would also allow Richard to smoke marijuana with him while he was just ten years old.
When Richard Ramirez was thirteen years old he watched his Uncle Miguel shoot his wife in the face causing her death. Miguez Ramirez was arrested and charged with the murder however would get off on an insanity plea and would only serve four years in a Texas mental hospital.
When his uncle was sent to the mental hospital Richard Ramirez would move in with his aunt and uncle. Turns out the uncle was a sexual predator who would creep around the neighborhood peeping in windows and would often take the thirteen year old Richard with him.
When his Uncle Miguel was released from the Texas mental hospital his control over Richard continued.
Richard Ramirez would get a job while still a young teen as a cleaner at a Holiday Inn, Ramirez would use his passkey to steal from hotel guests. It was at this time he began fantasizing about rape and his interest in Satanism began.
Richard would be fired from the Holiday Inn after he attempted to rape a hotel guest. The woman’s husband would find the young teen attempting to sexually assault his wife and would beat the holy heck out of him however they lived out of State so declined to press charges
Richard Ramirez would drop out of school while in the ninth grade and would drift around until he moved to California when he was twenty two years old.
Richard Ramirez Murders
Richard Ramirez started off breaking into homes in the San Francisco area however that would soon change. The Night Stalker first victim was a nine year old girl who he would rape and murder before hanging her body from a pole. This crime would go unsolved until 2009 when DNA from the crime scene would match Ramirez.
Over the next thirteen months Ramirez would break into homes where he would brutally attack the homeowners leaving many dead. Richard would use an assortment of weapons to perform his kills from household objects to knives to tools.
Eventually the police would obtain a sketch of what The Night Stalker looked like and soon a image of him would be posted across California. Richard Ramirez would eventually see his image and attempted to flee however a group of people caught him, beat him and held onto him until police arrived.
Richard Ramirez Known Victims
When it comes to Richard Ramirez victims it can be a bit difficult for as recent as 2016 more deaths have been linked to The Night Stalker
- Jennie Vincow – Jennie Vincow was 79 years old when she was murdered in June 28, 1984
- Dale Okazasi- Dale Okazasi was 34 years old when she was murdered on March 17, 1985. Ramirez would also attack her roommate but thankfully she survived
- Tsai-Lian “Veronica” Yu – Tsai-Lian “Veronica” Yu was murdered on the same day as Dale Okazasi, Yu was dragged from her vehicle and killed
- Vincent Zazzara – Vincent Zazzara was 64 years old when Ramirez broke into his home and murdered him while he slept
- Maxine Zazzara – Maxine Zazzara was murdered at the same time as her husband on March 27, 1985
- William Doi- William Doi was fatally shot in his home on the 14 of May 1985. He was sixty five years old
- Mable Bell – Mable Bell was 84 years old and murdered in her home on June 29, 1985
- Mary Louise Cannon – Mary Louise Cannon was 77 years old when she was murdered on July 2, 1985
- Joyce Lucille Nelson – Joyce Lucille Nelson was 61 years old when she was beaten to death in her home in July 7, 1985
- Max Kneiding – Max Kneiding was shot and stabbed with a machete inside of his home on July 20, 1985. He was 68 years old
- Lela Kneiding – Lela Kneiding was murdered at the same time as her husband
- Chainarong Khovananth – Chainarong Khovananth was shot and killed while he slept on July 20, 1985
- Elyas Abowath – Elyas Abowath was killed on August 8, 1985 while Richard Ramirez broke into the home
Richard Ramirez Trial
Richard Ramirez would go on trial on July 22, 1988. Richard who would show up for the trial with pentagrams drawn onto his hands and yelling “Hail Satan”. A rather odd event happened a few weeks into the trial when one of the jurors was found dead in her home. Of course people speculated that Richard Ramirez was somehow responsible for the murder however it would turn out the woman was killed by her boyfriend who would later kill himself
Ramirez was convicted of thirteen counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, eleven sexual assaults and fourteen burglaries. At the time the Richard Ramirez trial was the most expensive in California history until the OJ Simpson charade.
Richard Ramirez would be sentenced to death and sent to California Death Row
Richard Ramirez Death
Richard Ramirez would spend twenty three years on California Death Row until his death on June 7, 2013. According to autopsy results Richards cause of death was complications with B-cell lymphomas, a form of blood cancer. It was also found that Ramirez was dealing with Chronic substance abuse and chronic hepatitis C