Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer, Richard Ramirez
Who Was Richard Ramirez?
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez, known as Richard Ramirez and later known as ‘The Night Stalker, was an American serial killer who killed 14 people in the city of Los Angeles between 1984 and 1985.
This man grew up in a troubled and dysfunctional home. His father was very violent and brutally beat him, when he grew up he lived with his cousin Miguel ‘Mike’ Ramirez, a green beret and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, who told Richard grim details of his war crimes, showed him photographs and taught him stealth killing techniques.
Ramírez’s criminal history includes theft, drug use, and attempted rape. When he moved to Los Angeles, he began murdering regardless of his gender, race, age, or condition. As GQ magazine reports, experts believe that the first victim of ‘Nocturnal Rodger was a 79-year-old woman named Jennie Vincow, whom Ramirez raped and murdered on June 28, 1984.
However, decades after his arrest, he was linked to the murder of a 9-year-old girl months before Vincow’s crime due to a DNA test. In March 1985, he murdered María Hernández, Dale Okazaki and Tsai-Lian Yu.
A week later, he killed Vincent Zazzara and raped his wife, and over the following months, he attacked men, women, and children of all ages – virtually anyone who crossed his path. With him “Night Rammer” roaming the streets, the police doubled the number of patrols and created a special team with the FBI to capture him.
How Did He Die?
Finally, Richard Ramirez was captured in 1985 thanks to his last surviving victim and denounced him. Police located the orange van, found Ramirez’s police file and filled the city of Los Angeles with posters with the serial killer’s face. Upon realizing it attempted to flee by stealing three vehicles, a group of people chased and grabbed him.
He was charged with 14 murders, five attempted assassinations, nine rapes, two kidnappings, four acts of sodomy, two forced oral sex, five thefts, and 14 house searches, and on October 3, 1989, he was convicted to the death penalty in November; the jury upheld the 19-year death sentence, for which San Quentin State Prison was locked up.
However, he never made it to the gas chamber as his case was too complicated, and the Supreme Court could not set a date to appeal until 2006. Ramírez died of liver failure on June 7, 2013, when he was 53 and over 23, awaiting execution.
He was cremated because no one claimed his body, not even Doreen Lioy, the woman the murderer met by letter and married in 1996.