Richard Ramirez terrorized California residents during the mid-1980s, and he is now the subject of a chilling new docuseries on Netflix titled Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, which became available to stream on January 13. Don’t know much about his backstory? Learn more about Ramirez, below.
Who Is Richard Ramirez?
Born in El Paso, Texas, Ramirez (real name: Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez) proved to be a menace to society. He is a notorious serial killer, serial rapist and burglar, having gone on a spree of home invasions in the greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco area from June 1984 until August 1985. He is responsible for 14 murders.
Ramirez was born in February 1960 and died at the age of 53 in June 2013. He married Doreen Lioy in 1996 and they were said to have exchanged nearly 75 letters while he was imprisoned.
How Did He Break into Houses?
Ramirez often would go in through an unlocked door or window before his attacks. He then raped, tortured, assaulted or murdered his victims, leaving locals frightened to leave anything open or unlocked at home, even in the middle of a heatwave.
Who Gave Him the Name Night Stalker?
The serial killer was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the media during an editorial “rump session” at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s the name of a fictional 1972 TV movie and short-lived series about a number of Las Vegas murders committed by a vampire,” the publication noted.
How Did He Get Caught?
Police were able to discover his identity through fingerprints found on a car he had stolen. Ramirez was already in the system for several past drug and traffic violations. When he arrived in L.A. again on August 31, 1985, someone recognized him in a liquor store, where he was reportedly shocked to see his photo on the front page of a newspaper. After running away, he was beaten by a group of residents and subdued until the police arrived to take him into custody.
What Happened During His Trial?
The legal proceedings began in Los Angeles at the end of July 1988. The jury found Ramirez guilty of all 43 crimes he was charged for, including 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. In November 1989, he was sentenced to death. Ramirez, however, died before his execution from complications of B-cell lymphoma.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is available to stream now via Netflix.
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