The End of the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez

The End of the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez

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The citizens of Los Angles were frightened as more news of the Night Stalker's latest victims circulated. Neighborhood watch groups were formed, and people armed themselves with guns.

On August 24, 1985, Ramirez traveled 50 miles south of Los Angeles and broke into the home of Bill Carns, 29, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, age 27. Ramirez shot Carns in the head and raped Erickson. He demanded that she swear her love for Satan, then tied her up and left. Erickson struggled to the window and saw the old orange Toyota Ramirez was driving.

Remarkably, teenager James Romero III noticed a suspicious car cruising the neighborhood and wrote down the license plate number. He turned the information over to the police department.

Two days later, the police located the same Toyota abandoned in a parking lot in Rampart. They were able to get fingerprints from the car's interior. A computer match was made of the prints and identification of the Night Stalker became known. On August 30, 1985, the arrest warrant for Richard Ramirez was issued, and his picture was released to the public.

A Face Revealed

On August 30, Ramirez returned to LA after making a short trip to Phoenix, Arizona to buy cocaine. Unaware that his picture was all over the newspapers, he got off of a Greyhound bus and walked into a liquor store. The woman working inside recognized him and began yelling that he was the Night Stalker. Shocked, he quickly fled the store and headed toward the heavily populated Hispanic area of east Los Angeles. A small mob formed and chased him for two miles.

Captured by a Mob

Ramirez tried to steal a car, but the owner was underneath it doing repairs. When Ramirez tried to start the engine, the man pulled out from beneath the car, and the two struggled until Ramirez escape.

The mob that was in pursuit of Ramirez, now armed with steel rods, caught up with him, beat him with the rods and subdued until the police arrived. Ramirez, fearing that the mob would kill him, raised his hands to the police, begging for protection, and identified himself as the Night Stalker.

Endless Pre-Trial Motions

Because of the endless appeals on the part of the defense and Ramirez asking for different attorneys, his trial did not begin for four years. Finally, in January 1989, a jury had been selected, and the trial began.

Haunts of the Charlie Manson Trial

During the trial, Ramirez attracted several groupies who wrote to him regularly. The trial scene had haunts of the Charlie Manson trial, with women hanging around, clad in black robes. When one of the jurors failed to show up one day and was discovered dead in her apartment from a gunshot wound, many wondered if some of Ramirez's followers were responsible. It was later determined that it was the woman's boyfriend who killed her during an argument that erupted while discussing the Ramirez case.

Sentenced to Die

On September 20, 1989, Richard Ramirez was found guilty on 43 counts in Los Angeles County, including 13 murders, and charges including burglary, sodomy, and rape. He was sentenced to death on each count of murder. During the sentencing stage, it was reported that Ramirez did not want his attorneys to beg for his life.

While being led out of the courtroom, Ramirez made the sign of devil's horns with his chained left hand. He told reporters, "Big deal. Death always went with the territory. I'll see you in Disneyland."

Ramirez was sent to his new home, death row at San Quentin Prison.

The Virgin Doreen

On October 3, 1996, 36-year-old Ramirez tied the knot with one of his groupies, 41-year-old Doreen Lioy, in a civil ceremony held in San Quentin's visiting room. Lioy was a self-proclaimed virgin and a magazine editor with an I.Q. of 152. Ramirez was a serial killer waiting to be executed.

Lioy first wrote to Ramirez after his arrest in 1985, but she was one of many women sending love letters to the Night Stalker. Not willing to give up, Lioy continued to pursue a relationship with Ramirez, and in 1988, she had her dream fulfilled when Ramirez asked her to be his wife. Due to prison regulations, the couple had to postpone their marriage plans until 1996.

Death-row inmates were not permitted to have conjugal visits, and no exception was made for Ramirez and the virgin, Doreen. The situation was likely alright with Ramirez, who said that it was his wife's virginity that made her so appealing.

Doreen Lioy believed that her husband was an innocent man. Lioy, who was raised as a Catholic, said she respected Ramirez's satanic worship. This was demonstrated when she gave him a silver wedding band to wear since satanic worshipers do not wear gold.

The Night Stalker Dies

Richard Ramirez died June 7, 2013, at the Marin General Hospital. According to the Marin County coroner, Ramirez died from complications of B-cell lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. He was 53 years old.