Richard Ramirez Wiki
Richard Ramirez(Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez), known as Richard Ramirez, was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the news media. He used a wide variety of weapons, including handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer. Ramirez, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes.
Richard Ramirez Biography
As a 12-year-old he was strongly influenced by his older cousin, Miguel (“Mike”) Ramirez, a decorated U.S. Army Green Beret combat veteran who often boasted of his gruesome exploits during the Vietnam War. He shared Polaroid photos of his victims, including Vietnamese women he had raped. In some of the photos, his cousin posed with the severed head of a woman he had abused.
Ramirez, who had begun smoking marijuana at the age of 10, bonded with Mike over joints and gory war stories. Mike taught his young cousin some of his military skills, such as killing with stealth and surety. Around this time, Ramirez began to seek escape from his father’s violent temper by sleeping in a local cemetery.
Ramirez, or “Richie”, as he was known to his family, was present on May 4, 1973, when his cousin Mike fatally shot his wife, Jessie, in the face with a .38 caliber revolver during a domestic argument. After the shooting Richie became sullen and withdrawn from his family and peers. Later that year, he moved in with his older sister, Ruth, and her husband, Roberto, an obsessive “peeping Tom” who took Richie along on his nocturnal exploits. Ramirez also began using LSD and cultivated an interest in Satanism.
Mike was found not guilty of Jessie’s murder by reason of insanity (with his combat record as a mitigating factor) and was released in 1977, after four years of incarceration at the Texas State Mental Hospital. His influence over Ramirez continued.
The adolescent Ramirez began to meld his burgeoning sexual fantasies with violence, including forced bondage and rape. While still in school, he took a job at a local Holiday Inn, where he used his passkey to rob sleeping patrons. His employment ended abruptly after a hotel guest returned to his room to find Ramirez attempting to rape his wife. Though the husband beat Ramirez senseless at the scene, criminal charges were dropped when the couple, who lived out of state, declined to return to testify against him.
Ramirez dropped out of Jefferson High School in the ninth grade. At the age of 22, he moved to California, where he settled permanently.
The judge who upheld his thirteen death sentences remarked that Ramirez’s deeds exhibited “cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding”. Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting execution on California’s death row.
Richard Ramirez Age
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez was 53 years old as 2013. He was born on 29 February 1960, in El Paso, Texas, United States, He Died: 7 June 2013, Marin General Hospital, Kentfield, California, United States
Richard Ramirez Family
Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas, on February 29, 1960, the youngest of Julian and Mercedes Ramirez’s five children. His father, a Mexican national and former Juarez policeman who later became a laborer on the Santa Fe railroad, was prone to fits of anger that often resulted in physical abuse.
Richard Ramirez Wife
Richard was married to Doreen Lioy.
Richard Ramirez Children
They didn’t have any kids.
Richard Ramirez Height
He stood at a height of 6 feet 1 inch.
Richard Ramirez Death
Ramirez died of complications secondary to B-cell lymphoma, at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California, on June 7, 2013. He had also been affected by “chronic substance abuse and chronic hepatitis C viral infection”. At 53 years old, he had been on death row for more than 23 years.
Richard Ramirez Criminal Beginnings
Richard Ramirez was born Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez on February 29, 1960, in El Paso, Texas, the fifth child of Mexican immigrants Mercedes and Julian Ramírez. Known as Richard or Ricky, Ramirez reportedly sustained multiple head injuries at an early age; after he was knocked unconscious by a swing at age 5, he began experiencing epileptic fits.
As an adolescent, Ramirez was heavily influenced by his older cousin, Miguel, who had recently returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. The two smoked marijuana together as Miguel told Ramirez about the torture and mutilation he had inflicted on several Vietnamese women, corroborating these stories with photographic evidence. At age 13, Ramirez witnessed his cousin murder his wife.
Dropping out of school in the ninth grade, Ramirez was arrested for the first time in 1977, for marijuana possession. He soon moved to California, progressing to cocaine addiction and burglary, and cultivating an interest in Satanism. He was arrested twice in the Los Angeles area for auto theft, in 1981 and again in 1984, and noticeably began to neglect his personal hygiene.
Richard Ramirez Trial, Conviction, and Sentencing
Ramirez waited in jail as his trial was continuously pushed off, the delay marked by a series of motions and bickering between the prosecutors and defense attorney. Because the geographical spread of the crimes also complicated the scope of the trial with jurisdictional issues, some of the charges against Ramirez were dropped in order to expedite what was becoming a long journey to justice.
The jury selection process finally moved forward 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 were black-clad Satan worshipers. Ramirez himself often dressed in black, along with dark shades, for his courtroom appearances.
Yet another delay occurred when one juror was found murdered on August 14, 1989, but rumors that Ramirez had orchestrated her death proved unfounded. On September 20, 1989, the jury finally returned a unanimous guilty verdict on 43 charges, including 13 counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, 11 sexual assault charges and 14 burglary charges.
Two weeks later, the same jury recommended the death sentence on 19 counts. Leaving the courtroom, Ramirez responded, “Hey, big deal, death always comes with the territory. I’ll see you in Disneyland.” The convicted murderer was formally sentenced to death in the gas chamber on November 7, 1989, and was sent to San Quentin Prison in California to spend the remainder of his days.
Richard Ramirez Murders
On April 10, 1984, Ramirez murdered 9-year-old Mei Leung in a hotel basement, where he was living, in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. He raped and beat the girl before stabbing her to death, and hanged her body from a pipe. This, his first known killing, was not initially identified as being connected to the crime spree. In 2009, Ramirez’s DNA was matched to a sample obtained at the crime scene.
In 2016, officials disclosed evidence of a second suspect, identified through a DNA sample retrieved from the crime scene, who is believed to have been present at Leung’s murder. Authorities have not publicly identified the suspect, described as being a juvenile at the time, and have not brought charges due to the lack of evidence.
Richard Ramirez “Night Stalker” crimes
On June 28, 1984, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow was found brutally murdered in her apartment in Glassell Park. She had been stabbed repeatedly while asleep in her bed, and her throat slashed so deeply that she was nearly decapitated. Ramirez’s fingerprint was found on a mesh screen he removed to gain access through an open window.
On March 17, 1985, Ramirez attacked 22-year-old Maria Hernandez outside her home in Rosemead, shooting her in the face with a .22 caliber handgun after she pulled into her garage. She survived when the bullet ricocheted off the keys she held in her hands as she lifted them to protect herself. Inside the house was her roommate, Dayle Okazaki, 34, who heard the gunshot and ducked behind a counter when she saw Ramirez enter the kitchen. When she raised her head he shot her once in the forehead, killing her.
Within an hour of the Rosemead home invasion, Ramirez pulled 30-year-old Tsai-Lian “Veronica” Yu out of her car in Monterey Park, shot her twice with a .22 caliber handgun, and fled. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The two murders (and third attempt) in a single day attracted extensive coverage from news media, who dubbed the curly-haired attacker with bulging eyes and wide-spaced, rotting teeth “The Walk-in Killer” and “The Valley Intruder”.
On March 27, 1985, Ramirez entered a home that he had burglarized a year earlier in Whittier at approximately 2 a.m. and killed the sleeping Vincent Zazzara, age 64, with a gunshot to his head from a .22 caliber handgun. Zazzara’s wife Maxine, age 44, was awakened by her husband’s murder, and Ramirez beat her and bound her hands while demanding to know where her valuables were.
While he ransacked the room, Maxine escaped her bonds and retrieved a shotgun from under the bed, which was not loaded. An infuriated Ramirez shot her three times with the .22, then fetched a large carving knife from the kitchen. He mutilated her body by stabbing her several times, and gouged out her eyes and placed them in a jewelry box, which he left with. The autopsy determined that the mutilations were post-mortem.
Ramirez left footprints from a pair of Avia sneakers in the flower beds, which the police photographed and cast. This was virtually the only evidence that the police had at the time. Bullets found at the scene were matched to those found at previous attacks, and the police realized a serial killer was at large. Vincent and Maxine’s bodies were discovered by their son, Peter.
On May 14, 1985, Ramirez returned to Monterey Park and entered the home of Bill Doi, 66, and his disabled wife Lillian, 56. Surprising Doi in his bedroom, Ramirez shot him in the face with a .22 semi-automatic pistol as Doi went for his own handgun.
After beating the mortally wounded man into unconsciousness, Ramirez entered Lillian’s bedroom, bound her with thumbcuffs, then raped her after he had ransacked the home for valuables. Bill Doi died of his injuries while in the hospital.
On the night of May 29, 1985, Ramirez drove a stolen Mercedes-Benz to Monrovia and stopped at the house of Mabel “Ma” Bell, 83, and her sister Florence “Nettie” Lang, 81. Finding a hammer in the kitchen, he bludgeoned and bound the invalid Lang in her bedroom, then bound and bludgeoned Bell before using an electrical cord to shock the woman.
After raping Lang, he used Mabel Bell’s lipstick to draw a pentagram on her thigh, as well as on the walls of both bedrooms. Discovered two days later, both women were found alive but comatose; Bell later died of her injuries.
The next day, he drove the same car to Burbank and snuck into the home of Carol Kyle, 42. At gunpoint, he bound Kyle and her 11-year-old son with handcuffs and ransacked the house. He released Kyle to direct him to where the family’s valuables were; he then sodomized her repeatedly. He also repeatedly ordered her not to look at him, telling her at one point that he would “cut her eyes out”. He fled the scene after retrieving the child from the closet and binding the two together again with the handcuffs.
On the night of July 2, 1985, he drove a stolen Toyota to Arcadia, randomly selecting the house of Mary Louise Cannon, 75. After quietly entering the widowed grandmother’s home, he found her asleep in her bedroom. He bludgeoned her into unconsciousness with a lamp and then repeatedly stabbed her using a 10-inch butcher knife from her kitchen. She was found dead at the crime scene.
On July 5, 1985, Ramirez broke into a home in the Sierra Madre and bludgeoned 16-year-old Whitney Bennett with a tire iron as she slept in her bedroom.
After searching in vain for a knife in the kitchen, Ramirez attempted to strangle the girl with a telephone cord. He was startled to see sparks emanate from the cord, and when his victim began to breathe, he fled the house believing that Jesus Christ had intervened and saved her.
Bennett survived the savage beating, which required 478 stitches to close the lacerations to her scalp.
On July 7, 1985, Ramirez burglarized the home of Joyce Lucille Nelson, 61, in Monterey Park. Finding her asleep on her living room couch, he beat her to death using his fists and kicking her in the head. A shoe print from an Avia sneaker was left imprinted on her face.
After cruising two other neighborhoods, he returned to Monterey Park and chose the home of Sophie Dickman, 63. Ramirez assaulted and handcuffed Dickman at gunpoint, attempted to rape her, and stole her jewelry; when she swore to him that he had taken everything of value, he told her to “swear on Satan”.
On July 20, 1985, Ramirez purchased a machete before driving a stolen Toyota to Glendale. He chose the home of Lela Kneiding, 66, and her husband Maxon, 68. He burst into the sleeping couple’s bedroom and hacked them with the machete, then killed them with shots to the head from a .22 caliber handgun. He further mutilated their bodies with the machete before robbing the house of valuables.
After quickly fencing the stolen items from the Kneiding residence, he drove to Sun Valley. At approximately 4:15 am, he broke into the home of the Khovananth family. He murdered Chainarong Khovananth, by shooting the sleeping man in the head with a .25 caliber handgun, killing him instantly. He then repeatedly raped Somkid Khovananth, beating and sodomizing her. He bound the couple’s terrified 8-year-old son before dragging Somkid around the house to reveal the location of any valuable items, which he stole. During his assault, he demanded that she “swear to Satan” that she was not hiding any money from him.
On August 6, 1985, Ramirez drove to Northridge and broke into the home of Chris and Virginia Peterson. Ramirez crept into the bedroom, startling Virginia, 27, prompting him to shoot her in the face with a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun. He then shot Chris Peterson in the temple and attempted to flee; Chris Peterson fought back while avoiding being hit by two more shots during the struggle before Ramirez managed to escape. The couple survived their injuries.
On August 8, 1985, Ramirez drove a stolen car to Diamond Bar and chose the home of Sakina Abowath, 27, and her husband Elyas Abowath, 31. Sometime after 2:30 am he entered the house and went into the master bedroom. He instantly killed the sleeping Elyas with a shot to the head from a .25 caliber handgun.
He handcuffed and beat Sakina while forcing her to reveal the locations of the family’s jewelry, and then brutally raped and sodomized her. He repeatedly demanded that she “swear on Satan” that she would not scream during his assaults. When the couple’s 3-year-old son entered the bedroom, Ramirez tied the child up and then continued to rape Sakina. After Ramirez left the home, Sakina untied her son and sent him to the neighbors for help.
Ramirez, who had been following the media coverage of his crimes, left the Los Angeles area and headed to the San Francisco Bay area. On August 18, 1985, Ramirez entered the home of Peter and Barbara Pan. He shot Peter, aged 66, in the temple in his sleep with a .25 caliber handgun. He then beat and sexually abused Barbara, aged 62, before he shot her in the head and left her for dead. At the crime scene, Ramirez used lipstick to scrawl a pentagram and the phrase, “Jack the Knife”, on the bedroom wall.
When it was discovered that the ballistics and shoe print evidence from the Night Stalker crime scenes matched the Pan crime scene, then-mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein divulged the information in a televised press conference.
This leak infuriated the detectives in the case, as they knew the killer would be following media coverage giving him the opportunity to destroy crucial forensic evidence. Ramirez, who had indeed been watching the press, dropped his size 11 1/2 Avia sneakers over the side of the Golden Gate Bridge that night. He remained in the area for a few more days before heading back to the Los Angeles area.
On August 24, 1985, Ramirez traveled 76 miles south of Los Angeles, in a stolen orange Toyota, to Mission Viejo. That night, he arrived at the home of James Romero Jr., who had just returned from a family vacation to Rosarito Beach in Mexico. Romero’s son, 13-year-old James Romero III, happened to be awake and heard Ramirez’s footsteps outside the house. Thinking that there was a prowler, James went to wake his parents and Ramirez fled the scene. James raced outside and was able to note the color, make, and style of the car, as well as a partial license plate number. Romero contacted the police with this information, believing James had chased away a thief.
After this encounter, Ramirez broke into the house of Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 29, through a back door. Ramirez entered the bedroom of the sleeping couple and awakened Carns when he cocked his .25 caliber handgun. He shot Carns three times in the head before turning his attention to Erickson. Ramirez told the terrified woman that he was “The Night Stalker” and forced her to swear she loved Satan as he beat her with his fists and bound her with neckties from the closet.
After stealing what he could find, he dragged Erickson to another room to rape and sodomize her. He then demanded cash and more jewelry, making Erickson “swear on Satan” there was no more. Before leaving the home Ramirez told Erickson, “Tell them the Night Stalker was here.” Erickson untied herself and went to a neighbor’s house to get help for her severely injured fiancé. Surgeons were able to remove two of the bullets from his head, and he survived his injuries.
Erickson was able to give a detailed description of the assailant to investigators, and police were able to obtain a cast of Ramirez’s footprint from the Romero house. The stolen car was found on August 28 in Wilshire Center, Los Angeles, and police were able to obtain a single fingerprint from the rear view mirror despite Ramirez’s careful efforts to wipe the car clean of his prints.
The print was positively identified as belonging to Ramirez, who was described as a 25-year-old drifter from Texas, with a long rap sheet that included many arrests for traffic and illegal drug violations. Law enforcement officials decided to release to the media a mug shot of Ramirez from a December 12, 1984 arrest (photo, below right) for car theft, and “The Night Stalker” finally had a face. At the police press conference, it was announced: “We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will. There will be no place you can hide.”