News reports are emerging that Richard Ramirez, the infamous “Night Stalker” that terrorized Southern California through 1984 and 1985, has passed away at San Quentin State Prison. He was 53.
Anyone who grew up during the mid-1980s remember the terror that Ramirez inflicted, as his murder-and-rape spree went from Northern California all the way down to Orange County, where Ramirez assaulted a couple in Mission Viejo in 1985 by shooting the man in the head and raping the woman. Miraculously, both survived.
I remember as a small child in Anaheim my parents putting our glass tables next to the windows every night, just in case Ramirez tried to break into our granny shack. And I also remember when Ramirez was finally caught in East Los Angeles in 1985, by a bunch of Mexicans who nearly beat him to death, as my good pal Ben Quiñones so memorably wrote for LA Weekly's 20th-anniversary issue.
KRON-TV Channel 4 reports that Ramirez died of natural causes. More news to come as it becomes available…
For a refresher on the Night Stalker case, watch this jailhouse interview with Ramirez: