Richard Ramirez Biography

Richard Ramirez was an American serial killer and rapist dubbed as the “Night Stalker”. This biography of Richard Ramirez provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: February 29, 1960

Nationality: American

Famous: Murderers Serial Killers

Sun Sign: Pisces

Died At Age: 53

Also Known As: Night Stalker, Ricardo Muñoz Ramírez

Born in: El Paso

Famous as: Serial Killer

Family:

father: Julian Ramirez

mother: Mercedes Ramirez

religion: Satanism

Died on: June 7, 2013

place of death: Greenbrae

City, States, Provinces & Districts: Texas

More Facts

education: Jefferson High School

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Richard Ramirez was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar dubbed as the “Night Stalker” before his identity was exposed. An aggressive and brutal criminal, he broke into people’s homes at night, viciously attacked them, raped the women and murdered most of his victims. Initially he terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later moved to the San Francisco area once the police began looking for him actively in Los Angeles. Born to an abusive Mexican-American railway worker, Ramirez had a troubled childhood and fell into the company of a sadistic older cousin as a teenager. His cousin boasted of raping and killing numerous women which thoroughly fascinated young Richard and he too embarked on a sadistic and brutal spree of burglaries, rapes, and murders. He was finally arrested after a two-year rampage. Counted amongst the most vicious and cold-blooded murderers ever to operate in the United States, he was a staunch Satanist who never expressed any remorse for the crimes he had committed. In spite of his notoriety, he also had some fans, one of whom married him while he was imprisoned. After a long trial he was convicted of 13 killings and sentenced to death. He died of an illness while on the death row.

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Richard Ramirez
Childhood & Early Life
  • Ricardo Leyva Ramirez was born on 28 February 1960 in El Paso, Texas, to a Mexican-American railway worker. He was the youngest among the seven children. His father was an abusive man.
  • As a young boy he began smoking marijuana and came under the influence of his older cousin, Mike, a decorated U.S. Army Green Beret combat veteran, who fascinated Richard with gruesome stories of how he raped and tortured women during the Vietnamese War. Richard was also present when Mike murdered his wife.
  • Hardened by his early experiences, he became increasingly drawn towards macabre things. He also took to using LSD as a teenager and delved deep into Satanism. With his interest in violence mounting, he dropped out of high school and ventured into a life of crime.
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Offences & Incarcerations
  • Richard Ramirez had started stealing and engaging in petty robberies by 1977, and it did not take long for the police to place him in juvenile detention. A few years later, he received a probationary sentence in 1982 for marijuana possession.
  • With time his crimes started getting more serious and he was arrested in 1983 for a car theft. By the time he was released in 1984, he was a hardened and callous individual with no prospects of leading a respectable life.
  • He committed his first known murder in June 1984. He broke into the house of 79-year-old Jennie Vincow, sexually assaulted her, robbed her home and stabbed her to death. The brutality of the attack shocked the police.
  • He struck again in March 1985, this time attacking Maria Hernandez. The terrified girl somehow managed to escape but her roommate was not so lucky and was murdered by the frenzied killer. The same evening, Ramirez also shot and killed Tsai Lian Yu.
  • A few days later he broke into the house of 64-year-old Vincent Zazzara and Zazzara's 44-year-old wife, Maxine. He first shot dead the husband and then tortured and killed the wife. He also gouged out her eyes.
  • The disturbed police were by now sure that these murders were committed by a deranged serial killer. But they were unsuccessful in tracking him down. Meanwhile Ramirez continued his spree by brutally attacking aged couple William and Lillie Doi in April 1985.
  • Over the ensuing months the number of his victims escalated rapidly and the police was facing immense pressure from the public to catch this psychopathic killer. Thus a dedicated force of several law-enforcement officers was established for tracking the serial killer at large, and the FBI stepped in to assist.
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  • Ramirez, afraid that he might be caught, left the Los Angeles area and headed to the San Francisco Bay area. On 18 August 1985, he attacked and killed an aged couple, Peter and Barbara Pan, and also left some satanic symbols at the scene of the crime. The San Francisco Bay police realized that this was the work of the same killer who had been terrorizing Los Angeles so far. The unidentified killer was now dubbed the “Night Stalker”.
  • A few days after attacking the Pans, he attacked Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 29, on 24 August, 1985. However both his victims survived and helped the police in their investigations. The hitherto unidentified killer now had a name, and his prison photo was splashed across all the leading newspapers and television channels. The elusive “Night Stalker” was finally arrested on 30 August 1985.
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Trial & Conviction
  • Richard Ramirez initially claimed innocence despite the overwhelming evidence against him. He was charged with 14 murders and 31 other felonies in connection to his killing spree. However, the trial proved to be a very long and complicated one as Ramirez changed his legal counsel a number of times. The geographical spread of his crimes also complicated the trial.
  • The trial dragged on for four years and he was finally found guilty on 43 charges, including 13 counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, 11 sexual assault charges and 14 burglary charges. He received 19 death sentences in November 1989.
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Major Offences
  • Richard Ramirez was a sadistic serial killer who terrorized the residents of Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area with his spree of brutal sexual attacks and vicious murders. He was finally convicted of 13 counts of murders though the police later found proof linking him to an additional murder as well.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • He spent a long time in prison after his conviction. As a Satanist, he became quite popular among the other followers of the cult, and had several fans who were fascinated with him. One of them, freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy, fell in love with the killer and married him in California's San Quentin State Prison in October 1996.
  • He became ill with B-cell lymphoma while spending time on the death row and died on 7 June 2013, aged 53. At the time of his death, he had been on death row for more than 23 years awaiting execution.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Richard Ramirez Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/richard-ramirez-6730.php
Last Updated
- July 21, 2017

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Richard Ramirez