Here's everything you need to know about Richard Ramirez, the violent serial killer who's now the focus of a new Netflix series
Richard Ramirezwas a serial rapist and murderer, who terrorized southern California in the mid-1980s.
- Dubbed "The
Night Stalker," Ramirez is the subject of a new Netflixdocuseries called "Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer."
- The series, which premieres on January 13, features interviews with members of law enforcement who helped track down and arrest Ramirez.
- But before he became the Night Stalker, Ramirez was a troubled kid growing up in El Paso, Texas.
- Here's what you need to know about the convicted killer.
Richard Ramirez was one of California's most terrifying serial killers.
Over the span of several months in 1984 through 1985, Ramirez sexually assaulted and murdered dozens of people - eventually earning the moniker "The Night Stalker" as his late-night crimes terrorized much of Los Angeles.Ramirez, who died on death row in 2013, is the focus of a new Netflix docuseries called "Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer," premiering January 13. Through interviews with former detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the show pieces together Ramirez's brutal
Here's what you need to know about the turbulent background of one of the country's most notorious killers.
Ramirez, born in El Paso, Texas in 1960, had a close relationship with his older cousin Miguel.The son of Mexican immigrants, Ramirez had four older siblings. Both of his parents worked in blue-collar professions: His father was employed by the Santa Fe Railway and his mother worked at a boot factory.
In addition to his immediate family, Ramirez was also extremely close with an older cousin named Miguel, who returned from serving in the Vietnam War when Ramirez was 12.Per the New York Times, the two would frequently smoke marijuana together, and Miguel even showed the young Ramirez pictures of Vietnamese women he claimed to have sexually assaulted, tortured, and killed while serving. And when Miguel fatally shot his wife in the face about a year later, Ramirez was reportedly present at the scene.
When he was a teenager, Ramirez began his life of crime and moved to Los Angeles.While in high school, Ramirez had begun to burglarize homes in El Paso, and continued his criminal activities in Los Angeles after dropping out and moving there at the age of 15.
One of his older brothers reportedly helped him refine his burglary techniques with Ramirez later being jailed for stealing a car.
He also developed a drug habit around this time, according to multiple reports.
He was considered a Satanist by some and left pentagrams at several crime scenes.Things changed for Ramirez around 1984 when he killed an elderly woman during a burglary. Widely considered the Night Stalker's first known murder, Ramirez continued attacking people of all ages and genders for the next year.
While his frequent murders and sexual assaults made headlines for their brutality, Ramirez's pattern of violence also contained references to Satanism. In one instance, while raping a woman, he forced her to swear "on Satan" that she wouldn't scream. And Ramirez left pentagrams, or five-pointed stars, at several crime scenes, in addition to other occult symbols and phrases.
During one of his later court appearances, Ramirez called out "Hail Satan," and flashed a pentagram that he had drawn on his palm to shocked onlookers."I am beyond good and evil. I will be avenged. Lucifer dwells in us all," he said at his 1989 sentencing.
In 1985, police arrested Ramirez with the help of a mob. A jury later found him guilty of first-degree murder.Fear over the Night Stalker's killings reached a fever pitch after he shot 30-year-old Bill Carns and sexually assaulted Carns' fiancée, 29-year-old Inez Erickson, on August 24, 1985. Both Carns and Erickson survived and the latter was able to give a detailed description of Ramirez to police. The attacks were soon attributed to the Night Stalker and Ramirez was front page news across most of the Los Angeles area.
After returning from visiting his brother in Arizona, Ramirez was recognized by several people in downtown Los Angeles, and subsequently tried to flee.However, both of his carjacking attempts failed and Ramirez was soon surrounded by a mob of people who beat and restrained him until law enforcement arrived to arrest him.
Ramirez went to trial in 1989. Jurors eventually found him guilty of 13 counts of first-degree murder in addition to other rape and burglary charges.
Ramirez died on Death Row in 2013The notorious killer remained on California's death row until June 2013 when he died in a hospital due to complications with lymphoma. He was 53. "Night stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer" premieres January 13 on Netflix. You can watch the trailer below.
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