Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker

A psychotic American Serial Killer in the mid-1980s

Warning: The following story has intense language, involves violence and murder. Readers discretion is advised.

Do you know who was Richard Ramirez? Who was he? Well, you are gonna sit back and be prepared for this.

He was one of the vicious serial killers in the United States of America in the mid-1980s. A psychotic and deranged human to ever set foot on Earth.

His early years

Richard’s grew up in a house environment that was toxic and unhealthy. His father always had raging issues and would often physically abuse his wife and children. When Richard hit the age of two, he was struck in the head by a piece of falling furniture and was not able to avoid it. It ended up cutting a huge gash on his forehead and when he was five, a heavy swing hit him at the same spot where the wound was and that knocked him out. With all these incidents that he has undergone, it led him to suffer epilepsy.

As he got older, he eventually realised that living in his home was not bringing any joy. He would often pay visits to his cousin’s house, Miguel, often to hang out. It was reported that Miguel was way much older than Richard because he was a veteran that served the army during the Vietnam War. Miguel often shares his explicit and violent rapes when he was stationed in Vietnam. Miguel was deemed as the ‘cool’ cousin as he was the older one and already committed crimes. Miguel has photos of himself posing with the victims and would often share them with Richard. At this time, Richard was already at the age of 10. Miguel ended up teaching Richard the skills which he had picked up from the military, including how to kill and capture people. (it’s sick, I know!)

Where mayhem began

On May 4th 1973, Richard was at his cousin’s home, Miguel, who got into a heated argument with his wife and it ended up spiralling out of control. Miguel ended up shooting his wife in the face and Richard witnessed the scene. For some medical reasons, Miguel was not arrested due to an underlying problem of insanity. It was reported that he was incarcerated for four years in the state mental hospital.

Later on in the year, Richard decided that he would stay with his sister and her husband. He never had the intentions to go home because of his abusive father. As Richard settled in into his new space, Roberto, who is the husband of his sister taught poor Richard how to peek through the neighbour’s windows during the late-night to watch attractive women during their private time.

When Richard was a teenager, he started working part-time at a hotel known as ‘Holiday Inn’. He was juggling school and work at the same time. He took the opportunity of his job to commit robberies. He would use his pass key to enter the guests’ rooms and took their valuable items while they were away.

One unfortunate night, he attempted to rob a room but it was occupied. There was a couple, but the husband was out and the wife stayed in. Richard attempted to rape the poor lady but the lady’s husband walked in just in time. He saw Richard attacking his wife and pulled him away. The police were called and hotel management was alerted. Richard did end up walking away from his crime as the couple refused to testify against him. They were just visiting the state for a few days and wanted to save the hassle against travelling back and forth. Richard ended up losing his job at the hotel and dropped out of high school soon after.

The killings in ’84 and ‘85

Richard was now 22 years old. He made a decision to permanently move from Texas to California but made a stop at San Francisco and stayed at the Tenderloin District. As he was moving around, he stayed at a hotel in San Franciso for a little bit. At the place where he was staying at was when he lured a nine-year-old female child and killed her in the basement of the hotel. She was unfortunately raped and beaten before Richard stabbed her to death.

On June 28th 1984, a 79-year-old woman who’s name was Jennie, was found brutally murdered in her home in Los Angeles. It was reported that before she died, multiple stab wounds were visible and her throat was slashed deeply that she was close to being decapitated.

A year later, on March 17th 1985, another victim of Richard’s, Maria who was 22 years old was casually pulling up into her garage where he suddenly ran and ambushed her. He pulled the trigger on Maria towards her face. Fortunately, she did end up surviving as the bullet ricocheted off her keys that were in her hands when she lifted them up to protect herself. Maria was living with a roommate named Dayle who was 34 years of age and was in the kitchen when she had heard the gunshot from inside the house. Terrified, Dayle ducked behind the kitchen counter. She lifted her head a little from behind the counter to see where Richard was at but she was then caught by Richard and shooting her in the face which resulted in death. After killing Dayle, Richard searched their home for any pieces of jewellery or anything that was valuable that he could steal.

Within the same hour, he stumbled upon a young lady, Tsai-Lian Yu, who was just driving in her car. He wanted to steal it so that he could get away with the crimes that he just committed. He pulled Tsai-Lian Yu out from her car and ends up shooting her twice and then ran away on foot. (say what?)

Gauges both her eyes out and kept it in a jewellery box

On March 27th, he broke into a home in Whittier, California. Reports said that he has broken into this particular home before and he came back again. He went to the bedroom to see a couple, sleeping. Vincent, 64 and Maxine, 44. He shot Vincent in the head and that lead to his wife waking up from her sleep. Richard noticed that Maxine has woken up and he then went on top of her, proceeded to beat her up and bounded her. He then demanded Maxine to tell him where the valuables were inside the home. Maxine struggling, she said, “just take whatever you want” and he left her. He continued rummaging the home. Maxine knew that there was a shotgun underneath her bed and she managed to get her hands out from the bonds and hurriedly hid beneath. She then saw Richard came back in the room and she points the gun towards him and she pulled the trigger. What Maxine hadn’t realised, the shotgun was not loaded and when Richard knew what she was up to, he proceeded to shoot her three times. He then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, stabs and gauges both her eyes out and kept it in a jewellery box and took it away with him.

Two months later, on May 14th, he breaks into another home of a couple in Monterey Park which belongs to Bill, 66 and his disabled wife, 56, Lillian. Richard made his way into the bedroom where the couple was confronted. Before Bill could even get to his gun, Richard noticed that he was reaching out and that resulted in Richard to shooting him in the face. Lillian was alone at that time in her room and Richard made his way over and proceeded to bound and rape her and ransacking the home.

2 weeks later, on May 29th, Richard had stolen a Mercedes car and drove up to the homes of two sisters — Mabel and Florence, 85 and 81. After successfully breaking in, he went to the kitchen first and a hammer was in sight. As he was walking out, Florence got in his way and he beats her up with it. After that, he ran into Mabel, bounded her wrists and beats her up with the same hammer. In the home of Mabel and Florence, he found an electric cord and tortured them with electric shocks. After inflicting pain onto the two, Richard then proceeds to rape Florence. He then stumbled upon a lipstick and immediately drew a pentagram on Mabel’s thigh and one above the bed on the wall. Both of the sisters were found two days later by a gardener. Mabel had died and Florence was barely alive and rushed to the hospital immediately.

He needed to ‘step-up’ his game and ended up buying himself a machete

July 2nd came around and another car that Richard stole — a Toyota. He was driving and randomly picked the house of Mary, 75. He entered the house as quietly as he could and he led himself to Mary’s bedroom. She was soundly asleep but soon after she was beaten up pretty badly with a lamp. Richard continued his disgusting act, where he ransacked her home to find any pieces of jewelleries and valuables inside the home and left. Unfortunately for Mary, she was found dead at the crime scene.

Just five days after killing Mary, on July 7th, he broke into the home of 61-year-old Joyce who was fast asleep on her living room couch and sadly, he beat her up to death. After killing her, he decided to stomp her on the head and his shoe print left a mark. He pondered to himself that the current tools that he had were not enough or that he needed to ‘step-up’ his game and ended up buying himself a machete. (*facepalm*)

His crimes were repetitive. He often steals a car, scrapes off some of the plate numbers and once he’s done, he ditches it. One night he broke into the home that belonged to 66-year-old Lela and husband, Max, 68-year-old. This time he did not enter the premises quietly, he barges into their room and kills them with the machete which resulted in immediate death. Seeing the bodies of Lela and Max, he refuses to believe that they were dead and ended up shooting them in the head. He then robs their house and took their valuables. (what’s new right?)

On the same night at 4 am, July 20th, he broke into another home of a family who was sleeping in the bedroom. Richard took his gun and shot the husband, killing him instantly. He then bound and raped the victim’s wife. The couple had a son who was eight years of age who walked into the bedroom of his parents due to the consistent loud noise and found Richard on his mother. Richard acted quickly and bounded the child and dragged him around the house, demanding the child to tell him where the valuables were. Richard also made the child swear and I quote, “swear to Satan” that the child was not hiding anything or money from him. Richard left the child in the bounded state and rushed out. The child managed to get his hands out from the bonds and ran to his neighbour’s house to seek help.

Richard was definitely on the run. On August 8th, he steals another car and drove up to the home of 27-year-old Sakina and her 31-year-old husband, Elyas. Richard repeated his acts of crimes where he shot Sakina’s husband in the face then handcuffed Sakina forcing her to reveal where the family jewellery was kept. Reports mentioned that he made her swear and I quote, again, “swear to Satan” that she would not scream during his assaults. He left Sakina’s home with any valuables that he sees and fled.

August 24th, Richard drove a little bit outside of the Los Angeles area with the intention to break into someone’s home. He found a house that he was potentially going to break in and before he did that, he was outside the premises, lurking. At that point, there was a 13-year-old boy, James, heard footsteps outside of his home and immediately ran to his parents to wake them up. The commotion happened in the house was intentional and that shook Richard running to the stolen car, driving away as fast as he could. After Richard sped off, James had a notepad and he took down the information of the car. He noted the colour, some of the license plate number, make and model of the car. James then contacted the police about what has just happened outside of his abode.

Abductions of Children in ‘85

During the period of Richard’s mass killings, there was a series of abductions of children and attempted ones. In every case that was reported to the police, these children were sexually assaulted.

On February 25th in Montebello, a six-year-old girl was seized from a schoolyard. She was molested and then abandoned by Richard. The kidnappings of these children continued, on March 11th, a nine-year-old boy was taken away while he was sleeping and was then molested and abandoned. On March 20th, an eight-year-old girl became his victim and suffered the same assaults.

Public press conference released

During the conference, Richard was given the name ‘The Night Stalker’. It was televised to the public to warn them to lock all doors and windows before heading to bed as they might be his next victims. The LA detectives were not too fond with the press because they knew that Richard was still out there and was watching. The LA detectives said that Richard could make a run for it or even destroy any type of evidence that he may have in his possession. Upon seeing the news, Richard took his sneakers that he wore during his killings and drove up to San Francisco. He then threw it at the Golden Gate Bridge into the water.

The media was heavily involved in Richard’s case and continuously would find ways to get the story out. The police officers and detectives were irritated as they knew that with the media putting out evidence would trigger the vicious killer into running away. They did not want that.

ID Detected, media was involved

The car that was mentioned to the police was discovered on August 28th 1985. Although Richard was particular about cleaning the stolen cars to wipe off evidence, he kinda missed a spot on this one. There was a fingerprint that was found on the rearview mirror of the car. Shortly after the investigation, the bio lab has matched a fingerprint to Richard Ramirez who was unknown to Los Angeles at that point.

The police had access to his personal records and later found that Richard had a series of arrests for traffic and drug violations. There was a mugshot from his previous arrests and law enforcement released it to the media to alert the public.

The arrest

While in a bus towards Tucson, Arizona, Richard planned to flee to his brother’s house but he did not go ahead with it and he ended up going back to the East LA neighbourhood. He came across a newsstand shop by the freeway and saw his face on every article that was up for sale. He got scared (obviously!) and he knew that his feet could not fail him at that time. Richard ran to the freeway and attempted to carjack two drivers and during the process, he got exhausted. He knew he couldn’t fail so he tried his luck with another car.

Luckily, there were a group of men who witnessed his act and got a hold of him. These men started beating Richard and one of them had swung a metal bar onto his head. He passed out. Perfect timing, these men called the police and Richard was finally arrested. (HOORAY!)

He was convicted of all charges — 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.

Trial and Court

The press showed up on the first day of Richard’s court appearance. Camera shutters were continuously clicked, flashes were going and Richard loved the attention. There was a picture released showcasing his carved ‘artwork’ on his palm — a pentagram. As the camera’s clicking, he yells “Hail Satan!”. Was he a Satanist? (i’m lowkey terrified, ngl)

During incarceration, jail employees overheard that Richard had planned to shoot the prosecutor with a gun. He was bragging about how he was going to smuggle a gun into the courtroom, Los Angeles Times reported. Of course, the courtroom was alerted and placed a metal detector at the entry door – to detect if he was carrying anything with him.

However, his trial on August 14th was interrupted as one of the jurors did not show up to court. It was later reported that she was found dead in her apartment, she was shot. It turned out that the jury’s boyfriend had shot her dead.

This incident has confused and petrified many, it could not be Richard that was the killer. He was in jail. Did he direct for all of this to happen? (that’s some Satanic sh*t) Coincidence? I don’t know, you tell me.

Richard’s Enthusiasts

Yes, he had fans. (hold on, give me a minute to process this omg this is too much) Despite the malicious crimes he has committed, many women had a thing for him because he was good-looking and thought that he was hot. I mean come on now, how dense can this get already! These ladies would constantly write letters to him while he was in jail and he would stay connected with them too. Many of these insane women believed that he was innocent wanted him out of jail. They loved him, his ‘work’ and a lot of these women were constantly paying him a visit while he was in jail.

After 75 letters written and falling head over heels for Richard, a fan of his, Doreen became lovers and got married on October 3rd 1996 after he proposed to her. The couple got married in the California San Quentin State Prison. Soon after learning the news that Richard had killed a nine-year-old girl, Doreen got upset and their marriage ended up in a divorce.

The jury who died in her apartment, remember her? Well, a lady named Cindy took the jury spot. It was not reported why Cindy got to be a jury, but she was obsessed, infatuated and in love with Richard. She would constantly flirt with him during court sessions and often write notes to him. Richard liked the idea of where this was going as Cindy was on his side and he will not have to face his death sentence. Unfortunately, that did not happen. (God is great!)

His death

Richard passed away at the age of 53 due to his underlying health conditions. While waiting for his execution date, he became very sick and wasn’t himself. He sat on the death row for more than 23 years.

Let’s end this

We made it, we’re at the end of this article! He was one that many people were so afraid of. Your life was at stake, every night and knowing that a serial killer was on the loose, you’d just have to level up in taking extra precautions. The victims, alive or dead, did not deserve to be put in that position. Imagine the trauma and fear that they living/lived in.

A Netflix documentary series has been released on January 13th, hurry up and catch it! It is a limited series, with four episodes, 48 minutes each. The series uncovers the depths of everything that has happened, so do not miss it. It is not for the faint-hearted, so, watch it at your own risk.

Thank you for reading my article about Richard Ramirez aka The Night Stalker. I hope you managed to digest everything that has happened. Don’t worry, I am as terrified as you are. Before we part, remember to prioritise your health and take care! Good days are coming your way! 🦋

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Communications with Nadhrah

Hello! My name’s Nadhrah (nad-ra), 23. I write what I feel, past experiences, and anything that comes to mind, really.