Serial Killer ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez Dies: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Published:12:21 pm EDT, June 7, 2013| Updated:2:55 pm EDT, June 7, 2013|
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Richard Ramirez Night Stalker Serial Killer Dead Dies Died

Convicted serial killer, rapist and Satan-worshipper, Richard Ramirez, known as "The Night Stalker," has died at age 53 in San Quentin Prison of natural causes, reports KRON4.

TMZ, however, is reporting that Ramirez died of Hepatitis C, which could have come from either sexual contact or an intravenous needle.

Here's what you need to know about this sicko...


1. He Murdered 13 People

Ramirez was imprisoned in 1989, guilty of 13 counts of murder one, five attempted murders, 11 rapes, and 14 burglaries. His victims' ages ranged between nine and 83 years old during the murderous time frame, which spanned from June 1984 through August 1985. Ramirez used a range of methods in his murders, including shooting and stabbing.

"The Night Stalker" moved to California from El Paso in 1978. He was described as a "good boy" by family members, who alleged that his love of marijuana turned him into a psychopath.

His last confirmed victim was a nine year old, Mei Leung, whose body was found in a San Francisco hotel basement in 1984. Leung's death wasn't linked to Ramirez until 2009, thanks to a DNA test, reported CBS News.

Holly Pera, the San Francisco homicide detective who found Leung's body, revived the case in 2004, saying:

I was a new police officer at the time. That's part of the reason that the case was relooked at, it's the type of case as a new officer, a case involving a little girl, that you don't forget.

His other victims, via Murderpedia:

June 28, 1984: Jennie Vincow, 79, Glassell Park. Vincow had her throat slashed.

March 17, 1985: Dayle Okazaki, 34, and Maria Hernandez, 20, Rosemead. Dayle was shot to death.

March 17, 1985: Veronica Yu, 30, Monterey Park. Yu was dragged from her car and shot.

March 27, 1985: Vincent Zazzara, 64 and his wife Macine, 44, Whittier. Zazzara and Macine were both stabbed and mutilated.

May 14, 1985: Bill Doi, 66, Monterey Park. Doi was shot to death.

May 30, 1985:Carol Kyle, 41, Burbank. Ramirez broke into Kyle's home, subjected her to prolonged rape Rape, but did not murder her.

June 1, 1985: Mable "Ma Bell" Bell, 83, and sister, Florence "Nettie" Lang, 80, Monrovia. Keller was bludgeoned to death, and satanic symbol were scrawed in various placces. Murder, attempted murder, robbery.

July 2, 1985: Mary Louise Cannon, 75, Arcadia. Cannon had her throat slashed.

July 5, 1985: Whitney Bennett, 16, Sierra Madre. Ramirez attempted to murder Bennett but she escaped.

July 7, 1985: Joyce Lucille Nelson, 61, Monterey Park. Nelson was beaten to death.

July 7, 1985: Sophie Dickman, 63, Monterey Park. Dickman was raped but not murdered.

July 20, 1985: Max, 68, and Lela Kneiding, 66, Glendale. Both were shot to death.

July 20, 1985: Chainarong Khovananth, 32, Sun Valley. Khovananth was shot to death, while his wife and son were both raped.

August 8, 1985: Elyas Abowath, 35, Diamond Bar. Abowath was shot while she slept.


2. He Was Sentenced to Death

Richard Ramirez Night Stalker Serial Killer Dead Dies Died

On September, 20 1989, Ramirez was found guilty of a total of 43 different violent crimes. In November of that year he was sentenced to die in California's gas chamber. Ramirez grinned as he was sentenced and told the court:

You maggots made me sick, hypocrites one and all. We are all expendable for a cause, and no one knows that better than those who kill for policy, clandestinely or openly, as do the governments of the world which kill in the name of God and country and for whatever else they deem appropriate,

You don't understand me, you are not expected to. You are not capable of it. I am beyond your experience. I am beyond good and evil.

He then told reporters:

Death always went with the territory. I'll see you in Disneyland.

During the trial it was rumored that Ramirez had plotted to kill the prosecutors, using a gun he would smuggle into the courtroom. On the day that his death sentence hearing was due to begin, one juror, Phyllis Singletary, failed to appear. She was later found shot and killed at her home. Intially, Ramirez's involvement was suspected, but upon further review, she was killed by her partner James Menton, 51, who was later found to have committed suicide at a motel nearby.

According to Menton's suicide note, Singletary was killed because of a domestic dispute.


3. He's Been Appealing His Conviction

A 2006 appeal against his execution was rejected by California's supreme court. The basis for the appeal, which was brought by California lawyer Geraldine S. Russell, argued that Ramriez's attorneys at the time of the original trial, Daniel Hernandez and Arturo Hernandez, were not qualified to deal with such a large, high-profile case.

Russell also believed that Ramirez's mental state was probably not evaluated prior to his original trial.

The appeal was unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. Despite his numerous appeals, at the time of the first trial, Ramirez told his attorneys that he didn't want them to "beg for his life."

In 2007, Ramirez's appeal to have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected, the country's highest court agreeing to recognize California's state ruling.


4. His Wife Said She'd Killer Herself When he Died

Richard Ramirez Wife Dead Dies Died

Ramirez's wife, Doreen Ramirez, nee Lioy, married Ramirez while he was incarcerated in 1996. She told CNN in 1997 that she would commit suicide if Ramirez was executed.

In her CNN interview, Doreen called Richard "kind," "charming" and "funny," doting upon her husband in a way usually not reserved for murderers. She added that she "think(s) he's a really great person."

Doreen isn't naive to her public perception, though, admitting she's aware people think her crazy or stupid or dishonest. She refutes those claims by declaring her husband's innocence, confirming her whole-hearted faith in him, and stating her belief that O.J. Simpson was acquitted with far more damning evidence.

Her love for Richard has required major sacrifice, including her family (who disowned her) and her dream of having children. In a gesture that's oddly romantic given the nature of her husband's crimes, Doreen says that dream has been replaced by a new one: "being with Richard."

Lioy was raised catholic but respected Ramirez's Satanism. She was a virgin when she married "The Night Stalker," and as death row prisoners are not allowed conjugal visits (per California law), she was not deflowered by her husband. Ramirez wore a silver wedding band, since Satan-worshippers do not wear gold.


5. His Murders Were Influenced by His Sicko Cousin

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Richard's dad cited marijuana as the source of his son's radicalization, but the true culprit might have been a fellow member of the Ramirez clan.

Richard's cousin Mike was a Vietnam veteran, who boasted to Richard about his actions in Southeast Asia. He showed the much-too-young Richard explicit pictures of himself raping Vietnamese women and severing the heads of Vietcong soldiers.

(Note: This is not the actual image Mike showed Richard)

(Note: This is not the actual image Mike showed Richard)

The two would hang out all day getting high (marijuana did, clearly, have a toxic effect on Richard), which drew the ire of Mike's wife. She started to nag that Mike get his life together, which Mike, a changed man since returning from Vietnam, responded violently to.

At the tender age of 13, Richard bore witness to Mike shooting and murdering his wife, whose blood splattered all over Richard at the scene.

It was at this point that Richard started skipping school and smoking as much as he could, eventually taking to stealing as a means of supporting his drug use. And from there, as we all know, his criminal resume would only expand.

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