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Mead High School’s Student News

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The Night Stalker will stalk your nightmares

Murder Richard Ramirez was called the Night Stalker
Jacob Morales
Mav Murder: A true crime analysis was started by Alice Stewart

This article covers sensitive topics that may be disturbing to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

Richard Ramirez grew up in Texas in the 1960s before moving to California—in a seemingly normal family. However, his uncle, Miguel Ramirez, exposed him to malevolent things at a young age.

Miguel, a Vietnam War veteran, told Richard about horrific things he’d seen and done in the war, including a photo of him holding a decapitated head. 

Miguel also introduced Richard to marijuana at age ten. 

A few years later, Miguel violently and fatally shot his wife, Jessie; in front of Richard. He was sent to a mental institution, so Richard moved in with his sister Ruth, and her husband, Roberto. 

Roberto was a “peeping tom”—peering into women’s bedrooms while they got dressed, taking young Richard with him. 

Richard would get a job at a Holiday Inn, frequently stealing from guests’ rooms, and even attempting to rape one. 

In 1982, Ramirez moved to California—where he committed the majority of his crimes. 

Ramirez was charged with 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries. Nine-year-old Mei Lung would be his first murder.

Lung was found in the basement of a San Francisco hotel—already deceased. She had been raped and murdered on April 10, 1984–left hanging from a pipe. Decades later, it was suspected that another perpetrator was on the scene, as additional DNA evidence was found that didn’t belong to Ramirez. 

In June of 1984, Ramirez was finally dubbed “The Night Stalker,” as he began his serial murders throughout Los Angeles. 

On June 28, 1984, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow was found deceased in her apartment—nearly decapitated. Law enforcement discovered a very profound fingerprint on the windowsill of Vincow’s residence. 

From here, Ramirez went on a killing spree. Within the same night, he attempted to murder Maria Hernandez and successfully murdered Dayle Yoshie Okazaki and Tsai-Lian “Veronica” Yu.

At this point, Ramirez was nicknamed “The Night Stalker,” “The Walk-In Killer,” and “The Valley Intruder.”

From April 1984 to July 1985, Ramirez attacked, raped, burglarized, and murdered 17 people.

However, in July of 1985, Ramirez attacked and attempted to rape Sophie Dickman, but she survived. Dickman told police that Ramirez told her to “Swear on Satan” that he stole everything of value in her home. 

More innocent people were harmed or killed from July to Aug. 1985; however, Ramirez attempted to break into the home of James Romero and his family, but his 13-year-old son was able to catch the make, model, color, and license plate of the stolen vehicle he was driving. 

That same night, Ramirez maliciously attacked Bill Carns and Inez Erickson. He murdered Carns, but let Erickson survive after raping her, telling her to “swear [she] loves Satan,” and instructing her to “tell them the Night Stalker was here.” 

Erickson was able to give the police a detailed description of Ramirez. Officials said “We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will” releasing a 1984 mug shot of his. 

He’d finally been identified. 

Near the end of Aug. 1985, Ramirez took a bus to Tucson, Arizona to visit his brother and returned to California the following morning. 

When he arrived, his mug shot was in every newspaper. Ramirez attempted to carjack a woman’s vehicle, ultimately failing. A group of bystanders noticed the interaction and began to pursue him—eventually pinning him down until law enforcement arrived. 

Ramirez was put on trial; charged with 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries.

He was ultimately put on death row and died there at age 53 due to health complications. 

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About the Contributors
Alice Stewart
Alice Stewart, Writer
Alice Stewart is a Junior. She enjoys drumline/Marching Band, skating, and moshing. She is involved with the Mav Marching Band, and volunteers at St. Anthony North Health Campus. She is looking forward to writing lots of true crime articles this year.
Jacob Morales
Jacob Morales, Writer
Jacob Morales is a sophomore. He enjoys playing the drums, eating sushi, and napping with his dog, Ellie. He is involved with Marching Band and Advanced Jazz Band. Jacob is looking forward to making music with his band, passing his AP classes, and playing concerts.
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