Richard Ramirez: How did Richard Ramirez get caught?

Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer teased in Netflix trailer

All four episodes of The Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer are available to stream and download on Netflix now. The gripping series is told through first-person interviews with the officers who worked on the case and interviews with survivors. The documentary series also includes never-seen-before archival footage and photographs. How did Richard Rameriz get caught? has everything you need to know.

Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Night Stalker on Netflix

How did Richard Ramirez get caught?

Richard Ramirez was an American serial killer, serial rapist and burglar from El Paso, Texas.

From June 1984 until August 1985, Ramirez is believed to have killed at least 14 people and raped and tortured 24 others in and around San Fransico, Los Angeles.

His victims were men, women and children who ranged in ages six to 82.

READ MORE Night Stalker: Is Richard Ramirez still alive?

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Dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ by the media, Ramierez would break into people homes, kill and often rape and would also rob the property at night.

Ramirez was caught in August 1985 after an extensive police investigation, led by Frank Salerno and Gil Carrillo.

For more than one year, they had gathered evidence against the ‘Night Stalker’ such as fingerprints, footprints from a pair of Avia trainers which linked several crime scenes to the one killer and ballistics.

At one point, Ramirez was even stopped by a police officer on a traffic violation.

At the time, Ramirez had been on the run in a stolen vehicle after attempting to attack and rape a woman nearby.

As heard in The Night Stalker, as Ramirez stood at the side of the road whilst the police officer retrieved a notebook, he heard on the officer’s radio news of the attack on the women and he fled the scene on foot.

The leak in mid- August 1985 infuriated the detectives working on the case as they suspected the killer would be following the media coverage and would destroy crucial forensic science.

When it was discovered that the ballistics and shoe print evidence at the murder scene of Peter and Barbara Pan in San Fransisco Bay matched the shoe print evidence of the other crimes in Los Angeles, San Francisco’s then-mayor Dianne Feinstein revealed the findings in a press conference.

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However, the growing case against the Night Stalker did not deter him and Ramirez attempted to kill again.

On August 25, 1985, he broke into the home of James Romero Jr who heard Ramirez attempting to break in tot he family home. He was able to chase off Ramirez, who he believed to be a thief and made a note of the colour, make, style of the car Ramirez had been driving and the licence plate detail which he passed on to the place.

Ramirez then bork into the house of Bill Carns 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 2.

He shot Carns three times in the head before raping Erickson. Both survived the ordeal with surgeons removing two bullets from Carns’s head.

Erickson was able to give a detailed description of the Night Stalk to police and they were able to locate the stolen car in Wilshire Centre, Los Angeles.

Despite Ramirez’s attempts to wipe down the car of fingerprints, police were able to obtain a single fingerprint from the rear-view mirror and positively identify the fingerprint as belonging to 25-year-old Ramirez.

Finally, police had a face for the Night Stalker and law officials released a mug shot of Ramirez, who had a long history of traffic and illegal drug violations.

At the press conference, the police announced: “We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will. There will be no place you can hide.”

Six days later on August 31, 1985, Ramirez was caught not by police, but members of the public.

The day before, Ramirez had taken a bus to Tuscon, Arizona to visit his brother and returned to Los Angeles early on August 31, unaware his mugshot was all over California.

After seeing his face on the front pages in a convenience store in East Los Angeles and a group of women identifying as ‘El Matador’ [The Killer] inside the shop, Ramirez attempted to flee across the Santa Ana Freeway.

He attempted to carjack a woman on the Freeway but was chased away by bystanders who pursued him for more than an hour.

Ramirez attempted two more carjackings before being caught by the group of bystanders who held him down and beat him until police arrived.

On Septemeber 20, 1989, Ramirez was convicted of all charges against him: thirteen counts of murder, five attempted murders, eleven sexual assaults, and fourteen burglaries.

On November 7, 1989, he was sentenced to die California’s gas chamber and the spent the remainder of his life on death row.

Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting execution on California’s Death Row in 2013. He was 53-years-old at the time of his death and had spent 23 years on death row.

The Night Stalker is streaming on Netflix now

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