Ramirez, who was dubbed the Night Stalker, was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985.
In 1985, after almost two years of evil news headlines and terrorizing murders, a solid break came in the case when one of Ramirez’s sexual assault victims was able to see the car he got into when he drove away.
She was able to give a description of both Ramirez and his orange Toyota station wagon. A teenager later identified the car from news reports and wrote down half of its license plate number. The stolen car was found on Aug. 28, and police were able to obtain one fingerprint that was on the mirror of the vehicle.
Two days later, his mug shots were broadcast on national television and printed on the cover of every major newspaper in California. The next day, Ramirez was identified, chased, surrounded and severely beaten by an angry mob in Los Angeles as he was trying to steal a car. Police had to break up the mob to prevent them from killing him.
On Sept. 20, 1989, Ramirez was found guilty of 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.
Check below for a full list of the Night Stalker's victims.
April 10, 1984: Nine-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 1984 crime scene.
June 28, 1984: Seventy-nine-year-old Jennie Vincow was found dead in her apartment. She had been stabbed repeatedly, and her throat was slashed so severely she was almost decapitated.
Feb. 21, 1985: Sisters Christina and Mary Caldwell, ages 58 and 71, were found dead in their home. They each were stabbed dozens of times.
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.
March 27, 1985: Ramirez shot Vincent Zazzara, age 64, and his wife, Maxine, age 44. 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.
Two months after killing the Zazarra couple, Ramirez attacked a Chinese 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, Ramirez decided to let her live.
May 30, 1985: Ramirez attacked Malvial Keller, 83, and her disabled sister, Blanche Wolfe, 80, beating each with a hammer. Ramirez attempted to rape Keller but failed. Using lipstick, he drew pentagrams on Keller's thigh and on the wall in the bedroom. Wolfe survived the attack. The next day, Ruth Wilson, 41, was bound, raped and sodomized by Ramirez, while her 12-year-old son was locked in a closet. Ramirez slashed Wilson once and then bound her and her son together and left.
June 2, 1985: Edward Wildgans, 29, was shot and killed by Ramirez. His girlfriend was raped several times by Ramirez but survived. From early June through early July, three more women were killed. Two had their throats slit, one was beaten to death, and all three had their homes invaded.
July 5, 1985: Sixteen-year-old Whitney Bennett survived after being beaten with a tire iron by Ramirez.
July 7, 1985: Linda Fortuna, 63, was attacked, and Ramirez tried to rape her but failed.
July 20, 1985: In Sun Valley, Ramirez shot and killed a 32-year-old man, Chitat Assawahem, and his wife, Sakima, 29, was beaten and forced to perform oral intercourse. Ramirez then collected valuables and proceeded to leave. Later in the same day, a Glendale couple, Maxson Kneiding, 66, and his wife, Lela, also 66, were shot and their corpses mutilated.
Aug. 6, 1985: Ramirez shot both Christopher Petersen, 38, and his wife, Virginia, 27, in the head. Miraculously, they both survived. On Aug. 8, Ramirez attacked a Diamond Bar couple, fatally shooting Ahmed Zia, 35, before raping, sodomizing and forcing Zia's wife, Suu Kyi, 28, to perform fellatio on him.
Aug. 17, 1985: Ramirez shot to death a 66-year-old man in San Francisco, also shooting and beating his wife, who survived the attack.
Aug. 24, 1985; Ramirez traveled 50 miles south of Los Angeles to Mission Viejo and broke into the Mediterranean Village apartment of Bill Carns, 29, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 27. Ramirez shot Carns in the head and raped Erickson. He demanded she swear her love for Satan and afterward forced her to perform oral intercourse on him. He then tied her and left. Erickson struggled to get to the window and saw the car Ramirez was driving. She was able to give a description of both Ramirez and his orange Toyota station wagon.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.