One of the most notorious serial killers in history went on a crime spree that was as brutal as they come.
In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about Richard Ramirez, one of the most infamous serial killers in history.
1. He was born in El Paso, Texas
Richard Ramirez was born as “Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez” on February 29, 1960, in El Paso, Texas. The youngest of 5 children, he was referred to as “Richie” as a child.
Not many people would have guessed that he would become such a monster in his early days, because he was actually a nice child who was loved by his siblings, especially his older sister.
2. He had a very abusive father
This doesn’t mean that everything was rosy in the childhood and adolescent years of Richard Ramirez. As with most serial killers, he suffered from some traumas early on in his life, mainly because of his abusive father.
His father Julian was born in Mexico and used to be a police officer in Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Combine this with the fact that he was working in a dead-end job at the Santa Fe railroad and had an extremely short temper, this often resulted in physical abuse in the house.
3. He murdered 14 people and committed numerous other crimes
Ramirez started his crime spree at the age of 24, and it would last from April 10, 1984, until August 24, 1985. During this time, he committed 14 murders and numerous other heinous crimes.
he was eventually convicted for 13 counts of murder, 5 counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of sexual assault, and 14 counts of burglary.
4. He used numerous weapons to murder his victims
Perhaps one of the most horrific facts about Richard Ramirez is that he used various weapons to attack and murder his victims. That’s one of the reasons why police had a difficult job connecting all these crimes initially.
During his crime spree, he used handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer. That means he basically just used whatever was available during his assaults.
5. He was diagnosed with a special type of disorder
Richard Ramirez was diagnosed with a disorder referred to as “schizoid personality disorder.” People suffering from this disorder tend to be loners who prefer not to engage in social relationships.
On top of that, other characteristics are being indifferent towards emotions and the preference to live a solitary and sheltered life, far away from social gatherings and as secretive as possible.
6. It’s assumed that he became a psychopath and wasn’t born one
Unlike for instance Ted Bundy, who can be considered to be the prototype of a born psychopath, it’s assumed that Ramirez wasn’t a born psychopath at all. Some psychiatrists believe that he became one later on in life due to various elements coming together.
This puts him more in the category of Jeffrey Dahmer or even John Wayne Gacy because certain elements drove the individual over the edge.
His disorder probably contributed to the fact that he never showed any remorse for his crimes.
7. His cousin was perhaps even a worse psychopath
Richard Ramirez started smoking marijuana at the age of 10, and things really started going downhill when his cousin started hanging out with him.
The 12-year old was heavily influenced by Miguel (“Mike”) Ramirez a decorated U.S. Army Green Beret combat veteran who loved to boast about the horrific crimes he committed during the Vietnam War.
His stories about raping Vietnamese women, murdering them, and even cutting off their heads, really changed Ramirez, especially when Mike showed pictures of them. He even taught Richard about stealth attacks, something he would use later on during his assaults.
This all culminated in the most significant moment of his life, the fact that he witnessed his cousin Mike shoot his wife Jessie in the face, killing her on the spot. This happened on May 4, 1973.
After this incident, he started developing an interest in Satanism, something that would shape his worldview as an adult.
8. His brother-in-law had a weird fetish
Shortly after this horrific incident, Ramirez moved in with his older sister named Ruth, mainly because he finally wanted to escape his abusive father.
So things would finally go back to normal, right?
It turned out that her husband Roberto, Richard’s brother-in-law, was a voyeur who roamed around town at night to sneak into people’s houses.
On multiple occasions, Richard joined the voyeur on his nightly escapades, which is the exact behavior he would replicate during his own assaults.
You understand now why psychologists say that Richard Ramirez was a “made-psychopath,” not a born one?
9. He moved to Los Angeles just before he started killing
He didn’t feel much for school, so he dropped out of the Jefferson High School in South-Central El Paso in the ninth grade.
Instead, he looked for a job and found one at a nearby hotel. Instead of being a diligent employee, he used the opportunity to sneak into the Holiday Inn’s rooms and steal hotel guests’ belongings.
One day, a woman was in the hotel room and he attempted to rape her, resulting in Ramirez being knocked out as her husband returned to the room. All charges were dropped later as the couple, who were from out of state, didn’t show up at the courtroom.
At the age of 22, Richard Ramirez moved to California and basically became a drifter who didn’t have any social relationships except for sporadic contact with his family.
10. His first murder wasn’t confirmed until 2009
Perhaps one of the most astonishing facts about Richard Ramirez is that his murder spree actually started earlier than initially thought. He committed his first murder on April 10, 1984, but this wasn’t confirmed until a DNA sample taken in 2009 matched that of his.
On that day, he raped and murdered the 9-year-old girl Mei Leung in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, a tragic faith that remained a mystery for well over 2 decades.
11. He was called “The Night Stalker” by the media
The murderer received a lot of publicity as the body count grew in the years 1984 and 1985. The horrific way that people got killed in combination with the fact that he used the stealth attack tactics in the middle of the night, which he had learned from his cousin, turned the murderer into a real-world boogeyman during this period.
His most infamous nickname given by the media was “The Night Stalker.” He was also sometimes referred to as “The Walk-In Killer” or “The Valley Intruder.”
12. He made a crucial mistake during his final crime
The Night Stalker committed his final crime on the night of August 24, 1985, when he broke into the house of Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 29, who miraculously survived the incident. He used a stolen car to drive there, which was found on August 28, 1985.
Even though Ramirez put in a lot of effort to wipe the car and ensure there would be no fingerprints on it, police still managed to find one in the back window.
As he already spent some time in jail in 1984 for car theft, the fingerprint connected the dots.
The Night Stalker finally had a face!
The police press conference after the discovery made it very clear:
We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will. There will be no place you can hide.Words from the police after identifying the Night Stalker.
13. He was beaten up by an angry mob just before being arrested
The moment that The Night Stalker was identified, he had nowhere to run. His face was all over the news in Los Angeles shortly after his stolen car was discovered and his fingerprints were matched.
This was something Ramirez wasn’t aware of because he actually managed to get out of the city and took a bus to Tuscon in Arizona to visit his brother.
One of the most interesting facts about Richard Ramirez is that he would most probably have managed to get away with his murders for much longer if he had simply stayed away from Los Angeles.
Unknowingly, he took a bus back the following day on August 31, 1985, and arrived in a city where everybody knew his name, and more importantly, his face!
It didn’t take long before people recognized him and chased him around. After being captured, the angry mob beat him to a pulp before being apprehended by the police.
The days of The Night Stalker were finally over, and California breathed a sigh of relief!
14. A member of the jury got shot to death during the trial
One of the most peculiar facts about Richard Ramirez wasn’t necessarily his odd behavior during his trial, which confirmed he was an emotionless psychopath who didn’t have any remorse for his crimes.
A strange event occurred as one of the jurors named Phyllis Singletary got shot to death and police weren’t too sure whether or not Ramirez was behind the killing or not.
Clearly, they didn’t know back then that this loner didn’t have any friends which made it impossible that he orchestrated this murder behind bars. This was eventually proven as it was the woman’s husband who killed her.
15. He got married in prison and died in 2013
Can you believe it?!
There are actually women who idolize serial killers and send them letters to express their love.
Richard Ramirez received hundreds, if not thousands of letters from girls and women who want to start a relationship with him, even after he got sentenced to death on November 7, 1989, after being convicted of all charges against him, including 13 murders and 11 rapes!
He eventually ended up proposing to one of these women named Doreen Lioy, who started writing to him in 1985. They got married at California’s San Quentin State Prison (what a romantic place) but ended up splitting before his death.
The Night Stalker died from cancer on June 7, 2013, before his execution could be carried out.