Essay about The Night Stalker (History of Richard Ramirez)

  • Category: Crime,
  • Words: 1443 Pages: 6
  • Published: 08 May 2021
  • Copied: 149

Mexican immigrants Mercedes and Julian Ramírez’s fifth and final child, Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez, was born February 29, 1960 in El Paso, TX. Ricardo Ramírez is more commonly known as, the “Night Stalker”, who killed at least 14 known victims, tortured dozens more, and sent fear and terror throughout millions of California citizens before being captured in August of 1985.  Richard also went by other names such as “The walk-in killer” and “the Valley Intruder”

The “Birth” the Night Stalker

When one looks at Richard Ramírez’s early and adolescent years they can see patterns that my have contributed to the “Birth” of a Serial Killer.  There are reports of Richard sustaining multiple head injuries as a child that led to him experiencing epileptic episodes. Furthermore, early on in Richard’s childhood he was exposed to his father’s various violent outbursts which has been led to believe may have had severe impact on Richards fits of rage in the future. 

“As an adolescent, Ramirez was heavily influenced by his older cousin, Miguel, who had recently returned home from fighting in the Vietnam War. The two smoked marijuana together as Miguel told Ramirez about the torture, rape, and mutilation he had inflicted on several Vietnamese women, corroborating these stories with photographic evidence. At age 13, Ramirez witnessed his cousin murder his wife. Dropping out of school in the ninth grade, Ramirez was arrested for the first time in 1977, for marijuana possession. He soon moved to California, progressing to cocaine addiction, heroin usage, burglary, and cultivating an interest in Satanism”. (Richard Ramírez Biography, 2020).

The beginning of an era

Now living in Los Angeles Richard’s criminal record officially took root with an auto theft conviction in 1981 and his second in 1984.  After being released from prison for his second auto theft conviction Richard graduated quickly from petty theft, drugs, and grand theft auto to rape, burglaries, and murder.  In June of 1984 Richard sexually assaulted and killed 79-year-old Jennie Vincow who was Richard’s first victim in Los Angeles. “He beat her stabbed her multiple times and slashed her throat so deeply she was nearly decapitated” (crime investigation UK, 1984) At this time the police and the media viewed this homicide as a burglary that had gone terribly wrong; but little did they know that this was the start of a twelvemonth spree of terror consisting of stalking, brutal assaults, murder, rape, and burglaries. 

The Reign of the Night Stalker

Richard sat silent for nearly nine months after killing Jennie Vincow until he struck again on March 17, 1985.  On that day Richard attacked Maria Hernandez who managed to escape Richard’s attempt to shoot her.  Although Maria escaped her roommate, thirty-four-year-old Dayle Yoshie Okazaki, was not so lucky as she was fatally shot in the head.  After his attacks on Hernedez and Okazaki, Ramírez fatally shot Tsia-Lian “Veronica” Yu just an hour later.  The ides of March 1985 ignited the fast and furious reign of the Night Stalker. 

After the events of March 17th Richard only sat dormant for ten days before striking again killing one while another victim despite being severely beaten managed to escape. Due to increasing pressure by the media, police, and now The FBI who were developing a stronger profile thanks to survivor descriptions and evidence Ramírez left Los Angeles and strikes in the Bay Area where he kills Peter and Barbara Pan on August 17th.Unlike most spree killers such as John Wayne Gacy and Jeffery Dahmer who preferred young boys, Richard had no specific type of victim. He seemingly preyed on whoever he wanted regardless of race, religion, age, color, creed or sexual orientation. After his first two attacks Richard Ramirez went onto to terrify not only Los Angeles, but the whole state of California until his capture in August of 1985. Until being captured Richard went on to murder what is believed to be close to 30 people, raping and or sexually assaulting most of them and burglarizing almost every home he invaded. About halfway into his spree the media gave him a name that will forever send chills down peoples spines, “The Night Stalker”. He was given the name simply due to the fact that he was known to commit most of his crimes in the middle of the night After the name was released California went into lockdown mode, buying deadbolt locks and never going out after dark. The Night Stalker used many different weapons such as, a standard butcher knife, a .22 handgun, hammers, crowbars, rope, tape, tire irons, and at times his own hands and feet. Ramirez had been known to worship Satan and blame/use him as an excuse for his outbursts of extreme violence. He would draw pentagrams on walls, leaving satanic messages in the homes of his victims, engage in satanic rituals, there is even a famous photograph of Ramirez in the courtroom (after his capture) holding up his hand which has a pentagram carved into it. 

The Capture & Conviction of the Night Stalker

After his trip up the coast Ramírez returned to Southern California where a thirteen-year old hears Ramírez outside their Mission Viejo home prompting him to wake his parents.  Startled Ramírez flees the area, but not before the parents were able to get a glimpse of the vehicle and license plate, he was in. That same evening Ramírez continued his terror breaking into the home of Bill Carns and Inez Erickson fatally killing Carns and rapping Erickson.

“After rapping her, he tells her ‘Tell them the Night Stalker was here’.  Erickson later gives officials a description of Ramirez, she described him as a tall Hispanic man with a black hat and disgusting yellow teeth. Later the LAPD were able to find and identify the stolen 1984 orange Toyota Staionwagon in Los Angeles County. There is where they find a single fingerprint on the mirror that matches Ramirez’s. Around the same time the fingerprint is found the LAPD received a phone call from someone (whose name remains anonymous) that he had befriended an individual whom he knew by the name of “Rick”. The individual spoke on exact details that had not been released to the public yet. From there LAPD had traced down an individual by the name of Armondo Rodriguez whom supposedly knew the real last name of The Night stalker. After a confrontation with the police Armondo got defensive and began to curse at the officers, it was then when one of the officers balled up his fist and punched Armondo in the jaw. The officer cocked his hand back for another blow when Armondo threw his hands up in self-defense and yelled “Ramirez, Richard Ramirez”. It was then when the LAPD released the statement, ‘We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will’ officials say when releasing a 1984 mugshot of his. There will be no place you can hide’” (Chervinski, 2021)

On August 30, 1985 Richard took a trip to Arizona to go and visit his brother. When he arrived in Arizona he could not come into contact with him and decided to go back to Los Angeles. On August 31 1985 just days after figuring out the Night Stalker’s true identity the LAPD received a call stating the Night Stalker had just been seen in East Los Angeles. Before police could even arrive, a group of citizens recognized him from the paper and began screaming “El Metador” (which translates to “The Killer”) Richard then took off running down the street, with the infuriated mob chasing after him. The chase went on for a couple minutes, until Ramirez tried to jack a woman’s car, that is when he was smacked across the jaw with a crowbar and beaten ruthlessly by the mob until Police arrived and broke it all up. By then Richard was bloody, broken, beat to a pulp, and bruised. Ramirez was then tossed into the patrol car with his head held low, knowing his reign of horror was finally over. Upon further investigation there was no evidence that suggested that the attacks were planned, they all seemed to be on random people, on random times, on random days. There was no strategy behind The Night Stalkers spree it all seemingly to be random attacks that he somehow got away with for a long period of time. 

After the preliminary hearing and reviewing all evidence given, on September 30, 1989 Richard Ramírez was convicted of 43 charges that included thirteen murders, five attempted murders, eleven sexual assaults, and fourteen burglaries. After being charged it finally brought the reign of the Night Stalker to an official close. Richard Ramirez was sentenced to the harshest penalty allowed in the state of California at the time, death row.  

The death of the Night Stalker

After spending nearly twenty-four years in San Quentin State prison Richard Ramírez passed away on June 7, 2013 at the age of fifty-three from complications related to B-cell lymphoma.  To this day Richard Ramirez remains one of the most classic and notorious serial in American history, and no matter how hard professionals try to figure out his motive, no one can quite comprehend the sick and disturbed mind of Richard Ramirez. To quote The Night Stalker in closing, “Hey, big deal, death always comes with the territory. I’ll see you in Disneyland”. (Richard Ramirez biography, 2021).


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