RICHARD Ramirez was dubbed the Night Stalker after his serial killings.
He was 24 when he first began his murderous crimes, though he had been committing theft and had raped women before this.
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Who were 'Night Stalker' Richard Ramirez's victims?
Richard Ramirez's victims ranged widely in terms of their age, but they were mostly women or couples.
He would in most cases commit his murders in the victims homes and then steal their jewellery and valuables.
Though he had raped women and stolen before June 1984, the killing spree that led to him being caught took place in the greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco until August 1985.
His first murder was Mei Leung, a nine year old who he beat and raped before stabbing her to death.
He then hung her body from a pipe in April 1984.
In June of that year his Night Stalker killing spree began and the crimes took place as follows:
- June 28, 1984: 79-year-old Jennie Vincow was stabbed repeatedly while asleep in bed. Her throat was cut so deeply she was nearly decapitated.
- March 17, 1985: Dayle Yoshie Okazaki, 34, was shot in the forehead. 22-year-old Maria Hernandez was shot at but survived.
- On the same day Tsai-Lian "Veronica" Yu was pulled out of her car and fatally shot twice.
- March 27, 1985: Vincent Charles Zazzara and Maxine Levenia Zazzara were both shot. After Maxine died, Richard mutilated her body with a knife and gouged out her eyes.
- May 14, 1985: Bill Doi was fatally shot and Lillian Doi was raped.
- May 29, 1985: Mabel "Ma" Bell, 83, and her disabled sister, Florence "Nettie" Lang, 81 we both bound and bludgeoned. Florence was shocked with a cord and raped. They were found in a comatose state and Mabel died.
- May 30, 1985: Carol Kyle, 42 and her son were bound. Carol was raped.
- July 2, 1985: Mary Louise Cannon was stabbed repeatedly and died.
- July 5, 1985: Whitney Bennett, 16 was attacked while sleeping, but as Richard tried to strange her with a phone cord he saw sparks come of it which made him think Jesus was saving her and so he fled. She survived but had severe injuries.
- July 7, 1985: Joyce Lucille Nelson, 61 was beaten in her home. Sophie Dickman was held at gunpoint and Richard attempted to rape her.
- July 20, 1985: Maxon and Lela Kneiding were attacked then shot. He continued to mutilate their bodies.
- On the same day he shot Chainarong Khovananth and raped Somkid Khovananth.
- August 6, 1985: Christ and Virginia Peterson were shot but survived.
- August 8, 1985: Sakina and Elyas Abowath were both attacked, with Elyas being fatally shot and Sakina being raped.
- August 18, 1985: Peter and Barbara Pan were both killed and Barbara was raped.
- On August 24, 1985: Bill Carns was shot but survived and his fiancée, Inez Erickson was raped. She was instrumental in giving a detailed description of Richard to the police.
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How many people did Richard Ramirez kill?
Richard had over a dozen murder victims.
He was convicted on:
- 13 counts of murder
- 5 counts of attempted murder
- 11 counts of sexual assault
- 14 counts of burglary
How was Richard Ramirez caught?
In August 1985, Richard made a journey from Arizona to California by bus.
He saw a group of elderly women identify him as "The Killer" so attempted to flee and carjack another woman.
Bystanders intervened and chased him away, then he attempted to carjack twice more.
Eventually a group of civilians caught up with him, beat him, then held him down until police arrived at the scene.
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