Richard Ramirez, infamously dubbed The Night Stalker following the vicious and inhumane acts he perpetrated in the night, was an infamous burglar and mass slaughterer who carried out a series of crimes that ranged from sexual assault to slaughtering people and burglarizing homes. He incessantly invaded several homes across major cities in the United States for more than one year, operating in the night time which rendered his victims helpless. After his apprehension and conviction in 1985, the criminal was handed a penalty of 13 death sentences. He, however, passed away before in 2013 before he could be executed.
Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
Richard Ramirez was the son of Julian and Mercedes Ramirez. He made his arrival into the world on 29th February 1960 in El Paso, Texas, United States. His father, whose nationality is Mexican, worked as a law enforcement officer in Mexico before becoming a railroad laborer. He had temperament issues which made him be physically abusive.
Ramirez attended Jefferson High School but did not graduate after having quit at his ninth grade. He spent his childhood around his older cousin Miguel Ramirez who served in the United States Army. Miguel had a very strong negative influence in his life as he taught him some of the skills he learned while in the military, most notably killing with stealth. He also boasted to his cousin of how he sexually assaulted several women during the war in Vietnam, even showing him some pictures of his exploits.
Years later, Miguel brutally murdered his spouse by shooting her with a wheel gun after they had an argument. Ramirez was present when the ugly incident happened. He is said to have become secluded after the incident as he began using LSD, gaining interest in satanism, and having sexual fantasies that included violence.
By 1984, Richard Ramirez committed his first crime. His first victim was a nine-year-old named Mei Leung who the notorious mass slaughterer sexually assaulted before beating and stabbing her to death. He then went on to begin his night stalking crime spree with his next victim being a 79-year-old woman named Jennie Vincow. The killer forcefully entered her apartment and slaughtered her by slashing her throat and repeatedly stabbing her while she was asleep.
In the following year, he carried out another callous attack on Maria Hernandez whom he caught off guard outside of her home and shot her in the face with a revolver. Luckily for the 22-year-old, the bullet ricocheted off the bunch of keys that was holding on her hands at the time of the attack and she survived it. Ramirez proceeded to enter the woman’s home where he murdered her roommate, Dayle Voshie Okazaki, whom he shot in the head. Within an hour of the killings, he walked up to Tsai Lian Yu who was in her car stationed at the Monterey Park, forced her out and killed her by shooting her twice.
Over a week later, the Night Stalker struck again when he murdered 64-year old Vincent Charles Zazzara, shooting him while he was asleep. He then proceeded to tie up his wife who escaped and attempted to shoot him with the family’s shotgun. The gun was however unloaded, leaving her at the mercy of the serial killer who shot her three times before mutilating her body, gouging out her eyeballs and taking them with him.
Richard Ramirez later slaughtered 66-year-old Bill Do before sexually assaulting his spouse Lilian who was handicapped. This incident occurred a few weeks before he burglarized the home of two sisters who were in their 80s, Mabel Bell and Florence Lang at Monrovia, California. He subjected Bell to torture by shocking her with an electrical cord while he hit Lang with a hammer. He proceeded to rape the old woman who later lost her sister to severe injuries.
A few months later, Ramirez attempted to murder a teenager named Whitney Bennett by strangling. After slamming her with a tire iron while she was asleep, he tried to choke her with a telephone cord. Fortunately for the young girl, the cord emitted sparks and she started breathing. Richard Ramirez ran from the house after this as it was later reported that he believed Jesus Christ saved the girl.
Other victims of the Night Stalker included Joyce Lucille Nelson, Sophie Dickman, Chainarong Khovanath and his spouse, Somkid.
Details of His Wife
Following his apprehension in August 1985, Richard Ramirez was embroiled in a court battle that lasted for about a year. During his trial period, he gained a few admirers who visited him in prison, with many writing letters to him. One of those to have visited and wrote him was Doreen Lioy who wrote more than 70 letters to him. She later got engaged to the notorious burglar in the year 1988 while he was behind bars. Eight years later, the pair had their marriage at San Quentin State Prison, California.
Although Doreen stated that she would take her own life during the execution of her husband, she ended up leaving him prior to his demise.
Cause of Death
Having been sentenced to death, Richard Ramirez was slated to die in California’s gas chamber. Due to the lengthy appeal process of the state, however, this was not carried out immediately, giving room for the killer to succumb to B-Cell Lymphoma. He died at Marinhealth Medical Center, Kentfield, California on 7th June 2013 at the age of 53.