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Here’s How An East LA Neighborhood Brought Down One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

In the mid-’80s, Richard Ramirez left residents of Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco paralyzed with fear. He entered the homes of at least 38 people through an unlocked door or window. He then raped, tortured, assaulted and/or murder his victims, striking fear into millions of Californians. This is the story of the man known as “The Night Stalker.”

From April 1984 until his capture in August 1985, Richard Ramirez claimed at least 28 victims, killing at least 13 of them.

Ramirez’s youngest victim was 9-year-old Mei Leung and his oldest victim was 83-year-old Malvial Keller. The connection between The Night Stalker murders and Mei Leung wasn’t discovered until 2009 when Ramirez’s DNA matched DNA recovered from the 1984 crime scene, according to the LA Times.

While Ramirez didn’t target anyone in particular, choosing his victims randomly, there was one common thread linking them: an unlocked door.

CREDIT: Inside Edition / Hye Nuv / YouTube

He would either access the home through an open window or unlocked door in the early hours of the morning while occupants were still asleep. Once inside, Ramirez would kill any males in the house before brutally raping and attacking the woman in the home. Some victims survived the attacks either by sheer will or because Ramirez inexplicably chose to let them live.

According to International Business Times, Ramirez used a wide array of weapons for his attacks.

During his killing spree, Ramirez used knives, a gun, a hammer, a tire iron and his own fists to attack his victims. In some instances, there were children who witnessed the brutal acts committed on their parents by Ramirez, according to International Business Times.

During the attacks, Ramirez would talk to his victims about Satanism.

CREDIT: Inside Edition / Hye Nuv / YouTube

According to International Business Times, Ramirez, who was raised Catholic, told one of his last victims to swear her love to Satan before leaving her alive but beaten and raped.

It was because of a 13-year-old boy that police began to make some headway in the case.

Los Angeles Magazine profiled James Romero about the time he encountered Ramirez. Romero, then a teenager, had just come home from vacationing with his family in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. He was up late the night they returned. Unable to sleep, Romero went outside to get a pillow he forgot in the family camper when he heard a noise coming from behind the house. He didn’t see anything at first so he started to work on his bike in the garage. That’s when he heard footsteps on the gravel walkway by the garage.

Image result for rosarito beach mexico
Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Credit: desalination.biz

Romero told Los Angeles Magazine that he rushed into the house and went to his bedroom window just in time to watch a tall man dressed in black walk by. Romero was able to get back outside in time to see the man get into an orange Toyota hatchback with a chrome roof rack. He was able to get a partial license plate as the car sped off. He relayed the information to the police, who finally got a break in the case they needed. With this information, police were able to locate the car and get a fingerprint that traced back to Richard Ramirez. Police had a suspect.

But it wasn’t the police that caught Ramirez. It was a group of citizens that detained him.

According to Los Angeles Magazine, Ramirez was in Arizona visiting his brother when police released his name and photo to the public. He was unaware that the police were closing in on him and had already identified him as The Night Stalker

Image result for the night stalker la times
credit: LA Times

It wasn’t until he arrived in the Hollenbeck neighborhood of East LA around 8 a.m. on August 31, 1985, that he first noticed a photo of his face on the front page of a newspaper. The LA Times reports that Ramirez made his way to Hubbard Street, where he tried to carjack two women. However, the commotion of the carjacking caught the attention of the neighbors.

Night Stalker Crime Scene
credit: YouTube

Before he knew it, he was being chased by a hoard of people, who tackled him to the ground and beat him. It wasn’t until more neighbors started coming outside to see what was happening that people realized that they had captured Ramirez, according to the LA Times.

Image result for the night stalker
credit: LA Times

“He was saying, ‘Hey, let me go, c’mon, let me go,'” Julio Burgoin, one of the people who chased Ramirez down, told the LA Times. “I said, ‘No, you’re not going anywhere.'”

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credit: giphy

Police arrived and arrested the 25-year-old serial killer, taking him to the local jail where a large crowd of people surrounded the cop car and cheered for his arrest.

Ramirez’s trial took four years before he was formally convicted and sentenced.

It took three years before jury selection for the case began and another year to hear the case, according to Biography. During the trial, a juror was found murdered on August 14, 1989. However, it was proven that Ramirez didn’t orchestrate the murder.

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credit: The Orange County Register

The trial also became a major spectacle due to Ramirez’s wild outbursts and a moment in which he held up his palm to show a pentagram drawn on it to the cameras.

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credit: LA Times

On Sept. 20, 1989, Ramirez was convicted on 43 charges. Those charges were 13 counts of murder, 5 counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of sexual assault, and 14 counts of burglary. On Nov. 7, 1989, Ramirez was given 19 death sentences for his crimes, to which he responded, “No big deal. Death always comes with the territory. I’ll see you in Disneyland.”

Seven years after his conviction and sentencing, Ramirez married Doreen Lioy, who was a magazine editor at the time.

Lioy and Ramirez were married at the San Quentin State Prison despite her family’s objections to the marriage.

Ramirez died in 2013 as a result of B-cell lymphoma.

CREDIT: San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Ramirez was at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., receiving treatment for the lymphoma when he died. It was also found that he had suffered from liver failure due to chronic substance abuse and hepatitis C.


READ: This Latino Serial Killer Was Once A Winner On “The Dating Game”

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The United States And Chile Will Miss The 2018 World Cup, Here Are The Memes (And Goals)

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The United States And Chile Will Miss The 2018 World Cup, Here Are The Memes (And Goals)

Whew. Where do we begin. The final match day of 2018 World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF (North America, Central America & Caribbean) and CONMEBOL (South America) was intense. With the fate of several teams, including Argentina, Chile, Peru and the United States, all being decided in one day, this match day was not for the faint of heart.

Before the matches began, all eyes were on perennial World Cup favorite Argentina. Despite boasting the top player in the world, Lionel Messi, Argentina was in danger of elimination with a loss. Would Messi lead his team to victory and a trip to Russia?

Next was Peru. With a victory, “La Blanquirroja” had a chance to book a ticket to the World Cup for the first time since 1982.

The United States, despite its earlier struggles during qualification, looked to be in a good position to qualify. All the U.S. needed to advance was a win or draw against Trinidad & Tobago, a team that was already eliminated from World Cup qualification.

As the day progressed, there were lots of goals and several unexpected plot twists. Here’s how it all went down.

Less than a minute after Argentina vs. Ecuador kicked off, Ecuador scored a goal. If the result held, Argentina would have been eliminated.

But sure enough, Lionel Messi put the team on his back, scoring a hat trick to seal a victory and a trip to the World Cup.

https://twitter.com/Catalan_W5/status/917931439513133056

Messi’s clutch performance made it look like this was Argentina’s starting lineup:

CREDIT: memedeportes.com

Messi quieted those who said he could only perform at a high level for his club team, Barcelona.

https://twitter.com/messi10stats/status/917916178282139649

Once again, Messi became more than a hero.

Colombia vs. Peru was a nail-biter, with Colombia striking first and Peru leveling the score in the second half. The game ended in a 1-1 draw…

… which meant Chile was out of the World Cup after its 0-3 loss to Brazil.

The CONMEBOL teams that qualified for the World Cup were Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia. Peru kept its World Cup hopes alive and will have a two-match playoff versus New Zealand.

Chile, the reigning Copa America champs, will experience the World Cup like many of us:

https://twitter.com/diepanda_13/status/917933637282168833

Like Argentina, the United States gave up an early goal. Unfortunately for the Stars & Stripes, they gave up a second goal to Trinidad & Tobago.

Despite being down 0-2, the U.S. was still on track to make the World Cup. Why? By halftime, Panama and Honduras, the two teams that could leapfrog the U.S. in the standings, were also losing.

Christian Pulisic gave the USMNT a lifeline with an early second half goal.

All the U.S. needed was another goal to tie the match.

But as the clock ticked, Honduras tied things up with Mexico AND Panama tied things up with Costa Rica.

Both Mexico and Costa Rica had already booked their tickets to Russia.

Then Honduras took a 3-2 lead over Mexico…

… Panama took a 2-1 lead over Costa Rica…

And the United States, which failed to score another goal, was eliminated.

The CONCACAF teams that qualified for the World Cup were Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. Honduras will face off Australia in a two-game playoff.

Naturally, USMNT fans were devastated.

U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl summed up it this way:

Of course, rival fans were ready with the memes.

Even U.S. fans were roasting their team…

https://twitter.com/lthomasnews/status/917935397736538112

… and themselves.

It seemed like Pulisic was the only player to escape criticism.

Just how unlikely was the result? Here are some numbers for you:

With the U.S., Chile and Netherlands all eliminated from the World Cup, some Mexico fans rejoiced.

The U.S. eliminated Mexico from the World Cup in 2002, Argentina eliminated Mexico in back-to-back World Cups (2006 and 2010), and Netherlands eliminated Mexico in 2014 (the infamous “No Era Penal” match).

But the biggest party will happen today in Panama…

… where President Juan Carlos Varela declared a public holiday so the country can celebrate its first appearance in a World Cup.

¡Felicidades, Panama!

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