Number of victims: 16+
Date of murders: 1984 - 1985
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing / Beating
Over a thirteen-month period, from June 1985 to August 1986, the residents of Los Angeles County were terrorized by a vicious killer who went by the terrifying epithet, the Night Stalker. The Stalker would eventually be identified as Richard Ramirez, a high school dropout and professed Satanist who had moved to California from El Paso, Texas.
Ramirez almost always employed the same M.O. He’d break into his victims’ homes after dark, usually in the early morning hours. He’d then dispatch any male occupant with a single gunshot to the head, leaving him free to carry out his sick fantasies on the female, raping and brutalizing the unfortunate woman over a prolonged period. Often he’d kill her, but a number of his victims survived and their descriptions left police in no doubt that the same perpetrator was responsible.
As the city of Los Angeles descended into a state of virtual siege, Ramirez attempted one audacious crime too many - be tried to steal a car in East LA in broad daylight and was caught by the owner and some of his friends. Ramirez was severely beaten, the police arriving just in time to save his life.
Tried on thirteen counts of murder, Ramirez was sentenced to death on November 7, 1989. He died in prison of complications arising from B-cell lymphoma on June 7, 2013.
Read the full, terrifying story of the Night Stalker, plus 11 more classic cases of serial murder in American Monsters Volume 1. Available now on Amazon.