El Paso, Texas, USA
Claim to Fame
Killer dubbed the Night Stalker
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez, known as Richard Ramirez (February 29, 1960 – June 7, 2013), was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker" by the news media. He used a wide variety of weapons, including handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer. Ramirez, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes. The judge who upheld his thirteen death sentences remarked that Ramirez's deeds exhibited "cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding". Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting execution on California's death row.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Jefferson High School, El Paso, TX
Full Name at Birth
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez
Place of Death
Greenbrae, California, USA
Cause of Death
Couple Profile Source
Tsai "Veronica" Lan Yu, William "Bill" Doi, Mable "Ma Bell" Keller
Profile Bio Text
Ricardo "Richard" Muñoz Ramirez (February 29, 1960 – June 7, 2013) was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar who died while awaiting execution on California's death row. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area from April 1984 until August 1985. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker" by the news media. Ramirez, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes. The judge who upheld his death sentence remarked that Ramirez's deeds exhibited "cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding."
Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas, on February 29, 1960, the youngest of Julian and Mercedes Ramirez's five children. His father, a policeman who later became a laborer on the Santa Fe railroad, was known to be physically abusive. As a child, Ramirez sustained two serious head injuries. When he was two years old, a dresser fell on top of him, causing an injury to his forehead that required thirty stitches to close. When he was five years old he was knocked unconscious by a swing at a park. He would later experience frequent epileptic seizures, which eventually stopped when he was in his early teens.
When he was twelve, Ramirez became strongly influenced by his older cousin Miguel, or "Mike", a decorated Special Forces veteran who often boasted of his gruesome exploits during the Vietnam War and showed him Polaroid pictures of his victims. These included pictures of Mike raping Vietnamese women; and some of them showed Mike posing with the severed head of a woman he had abused.
"Richie", as he was known to his family, witnessed his cousin's murder of his wife, Jessie, when he shot her in the face with a .38 caliber revolver during a domestic argument on May 4, 1973. Ramirez was 13 years old at the time. After the murder, his behavior changed dramatically; he dropped out of school, began using drugs, and adopted odd sleeping habits.
He eventually drifted to California at the age of twenty-two.
"Night Stalker" crimes
On April 10, 1984, 9-year old Mei Leung was found dead in a hotel basement where Ramirez was living at the time. In 2009, Ramirez's DNA was matched to DNA obtained at the crime scene.
On June 28, 1984, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow was found brutally murdered in her apartment in Glassell Park. She had been stabbed repeatedly, and her throat was slashed so deeply that she was nearly decapitated.
On February 21, 1985, sisters Christina and Mary Caldwell, aged 58 and 71, were found dead in their home. They each were stabbed dozens of times.
On March 17, 1985, Ramirez attacked 22-year-old Angela Barrios outside her home. He shot her before entering her house. Inside was Dayle Okazaki, age 34, whom Ramirez immediately shot and killed. Barrios survived. The bullet had ricocheted off the keys she held in her hands, as she lifted them to protect herself. Within an hour of killing Okazaki, Ramirez struck again in Monterey Park. He attacked 30-year-old Tsai-Lian Yu and pulled her out of her car onto the road. He shot her several times and fled. A police officer found her still breathing, but she died before the ambulance arrived. The two attacks occurring on the same day bolstered media attention, and in turn caused panic and fear among the public. The news media dubbed the attacker, who was described as having long curly hair, bulging eyes and wide-spaced rotting teeth, "The Walk-in Killer" and "The Valley Intruder".
On March 27, Ramirez shot Vincent Zazzara, age 64, and his wife Maxine, age 44. Mrs. Zazzara's body was mutilated with several stab wounds and a T-carving on her left breast, and her eyes were gouged out. The autopsy determined that the mutilations were post-mortem. Ramirez left footprints in the flower beds, which the police photographed and cast. This was virtually the only evidence that the police had at the time. Bullets found at the scene were matched to those found at previous attacks, and the police realized a serial killer was at large. Vincent and Maxine's bodies were discovered in their Whittier home by their son, Peter.
By now, a multi-county police investigation was in operation. The law enforcement agencies worked through the month of April with no additional attacks by Ramirez. Two months after killing the Zazzara couple, Ramirez attacked a married couple: Harold Wu, age 66, who was shot in the head; and his wife, Jean Wu, age 63, who was punched, bound, and then violently raped. For unknown reasons on this occasion, Ramirez did not kill his victim. He left behind more clues to his identity, and was named "The Night Stalker" by the media. Survivors of his attacks provided the police with a description of a tall Hispanic man with long dark hair.
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His lips, His thin physique, High cheek bones
Actor/Actress, Other Crew
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