Richard Ramirez Dead: Serial Killer Known As The ‘Night Stalker’ Dies In California Hospital

LOS ANGELES — Richard Ramirez, the demonic serial killer who left satantic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims’ bodies during a reign of terror in

the 1980s, died early Friday in a hospital, a prison official said.

Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin’s death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure.

He had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California.

At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, “Hail, Satan.”

His marathon trial, which ended in 1989, was a horror show in which jurors heard about one victim’s eyes being gouged out and another’s head being nearly

severed. Courtroom observers wept when survivors of some of the attacks testified.

Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985 as well as charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and

attempted murder.

Satanic symbols were left at murder scenes and some victims were forced to “swear to Satan” by the killer, who entered homes through unlocked windows and

doors.

Ramirez was finally run down and beaten in 1985 by residents of an East Los Angeles neighborhood while attempting a carjacking. They recognized him because

his picture had appeared that day in the news media.

The trial of Ramirez took a year, but the entire case which was bogged down in pretrial motions and appeals lasted four years, one of the longest criminal

cases in U.S. history.

 

Because of the notoriety of the case, more than 1600 prospective jurors were called.

After his conviction, Ramirez flashed a two-fingered “devil sign” to photographers and muttered a single word: “Evil.”

On his way to a jail bus, he sneered in reaction to the verdict, muttering: “Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland.”

The black-clad killer, unrepentant to the end, made his comment in an underground garage after a jury recommended the death penalty for his gruesome crimes.

Inexplicably, Ramirez, a native of El Paso, Texas, had a following of young women admirers who came to the courtroom regularly and sent him love notes.

Some visited him in prison, and in 1996 Ramirez was married to 41-year-old freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy in a visiting room at San Quentin prison.

Relatives called Lioy a recluse who lived in a fantasy world.

In 2006, the California Supreme Court upheld Ramirez’s convictions and death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court refused in 2007 to review the convictions and sentence.

Two years later, San Francisco police said DNA linked Ramirez to the April 10, 1984, killing of 9-year-old Mei Leung. She was killed in the basement of a residential hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood where she lived with her family.

Ramirez had been staying at nearby hotels.

Ramirez previously was tied to killings in Northern California. He was charged in the shooting deaths of Peter Pan, 66, and his wife, Barbara, in 1985 just before his arrest igeles, but he was never tried in that case.

 

More than 18 years after his execution, John Wayne Gacy’s blood may solve old murders…

Gacy’s blood may solve old murders 

Detectives have long wondered what secrets serial killer John Wayne Gacy and other condemned murderers took to the grave when they were executed — mostly whether they had other unknown victims.  Now, in a game of scientific catch-up, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department is trying to be creative: They’ve created DNA profiles of Gacy and others and figured out they could get the executed men entered in a national database shared with other law enforcement agencies because the murderers were technically listed as homicide victims themselves when they were put to death by the state.  The department’s hope is to find matches of DNA evidence from blood, semen or strands of hair, or skin under the fingernails of victims that link the long-dead killers to the coldest of cold cases. And they’re hoping to prompt authorities in other states to submit the DNA of their own executed inmates or from decades-old crime scenes.   “You just know some of these guys did other murders” that were never solved, said Jason Moran, the sheriffs’ detective leading the effort, noting that some of the executed killers ranged all over the country before the convictions that  put them behind bars for the last time.   The Illinois testing, which began during the summer, is the latest chapter in a story that began when Sheriff Tom Dart exhumed the remains of unknown victims of  Gacy to create DNA profiles that could be compared with the DNA of people whose  loved ones went missing in the 1970s, when Gacy was killing young men.   That effort, which led to the identification of one Gacy victim, caused Dart to wonder if the technology could help answer a question that has been out there  for decades: Did Gacy kill anyone besides those young men whose bodies were  stashed under his house or tossed in a river?   “He traveled a lot,” Moran said of Gacy. “Even though we don’t have any information he committed crimes elsewhere, the sheriff asked if you could put it past such an evil person.”    After unexpectedly finding three vials of Gacy’s blood stored with other Gacy evidence, Moran learned the state would only accept the blood in the crime database if it came from a coroner or medical examiner.    Moran thought he was out of luck. But then Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil surprised him with this revelation: In his office freezer were blood samples from Gacy and at least three other executed inmates. The reason they were there  is because after the death penalty was reinstated in Illinois in the 1970s,  executions were carried out in Will County — all between 1990 and 1999, a year before then-Gov. George Ryan established a moratorium on the death penalty. So it was O’Neil’s office that conducted the autopsies and collected the blood samples.   But there was bigger obstacle.   While the state does send to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System the profiles of  homicide victims no matter when they were killed, it will only send the profiles of known felons if they were convicted since a new state law was enacted about a decade ago that allowed them to be included, Moran said.   That meant the profile of Gacy, who received a lethal injection in 1994, and the profiles of other executed inmates could not qualify for the database under the felon provision. They could, however, qualify as people who died by homicide.   “They’re homicides because the state intended to take the inmate’s life,” O’Neil said.   Last year, authorities in Florida created a DNA profile from the blood of executed serial killer Ted Bundy in an attempt to link him to other murders. But officials there, where the law allows profiles of convicted felons be uploaded into the database as well as the phase-in of profiles of people arrested on felony charges, don’t know of any law enforcement agency reaching back into history the way Cook County’s sheriff’s office is.   “We haven’t had any initiative where we are going back to executed offenders and asking for their samples,” said David Coffman, director of Florida Department of   Law Enforcement’s laboratory system. “I think it’s an innovative approach.”   O’Neil said he is still looking for blood samples of the rest of the 12 condemned inmates executed between 1977 when Illinois reinstated the death penalty and 2000 when then-Gov. George Ryan established a moratorium. So far, DNA profiles have been done on the blood of Gacy and two others; the profile of  the fourth inmate has not yet been done.   Among the other executed inmates whose blood was submitted for testing was Lloyd Wayne Hampton, a drifter executed in 1998 for his crimes. Not only did Hampton’s  long list of crimes include crimes outside the state — one conviction was for  the torture of a woman in California — but shortly before he was put to death,  he claimed to have committed other murders but never provided details.   So far, no computer hits have linked Gacy or the others to any other crimes. But  Moran and O’Neil suspect there are investigators who are holding DNA evidence  that could help solve them.    That is exactly what happened during the investigation into the 1993 slayings of  seven people at a suburban Chicago restaurant, during which an evidence  technician collected a half-eaten chicken dinner even though there was no way to test it for DNA at the time.    When the technology did become available, the dinner was tested and it revealed the identity of one of two men ultimately convicted in the slayings.    Moran says he wants investigators in other states to know that Gacy’s blood is now open for analysis in their unsolved murders. He hopes those jurisdictions will, in turn, submit DNA profiles of their own executed inmates.   “That is part of the DNA system that’s not being tapped into,” he said.

Oregon man stunned family feared he was Gacy victim…

 After Ted Szal ran out on his family near Chicago 35 years ago, he had no idea his relatives feared he had been killed by notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Szal’s family learned this week that their missing relative is alive in a suburb of Portland, Ore. “My family thought I was dead. That hurt when I heard that,” the 59-year-old carpenter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “There’s a difference between being murdered and running away, and I basically just ran away.” Szal was 24 when he parked his car at Chicago’s O’Hare airport in 1977, threw his keys down a sewer grate and got on a plane to Colorado Springs. He abandoned his relatives after the turmoil of a divorce and a bitter family feud. He intended to never look back, Szal said. But it wasn’t that easy. Holidays and birthdays were tough, and his wife pleaded with him to reconnect, he said, but he was too stubborn to make the phone call. “I threw the keys away and I threw my life away 35 years ago,” Szal said. “I missed them a lot, course I did. But I’m also stubborn. I made up my mind,” he said. Newly liberated from his life in Chicago, Szal “wandered around the mountains for a while” in 1977. Low on money and unable to find work, he moved to California before migrating to Oregon to help build a new shopping mall in Springfield. When the crew moved on to a new project in Indiana, Szal stayed behind with the mountains and rivers he’d come to love. Szal hasn’t spoken with his relatives yet. It’s overwhelming, he said, and he needs to digest the news. He told police they could give his address to relatives, and they’ll start with letters. Szal’s older sister contacted the Cook County sheriff’s office in October when authorities asked for tips that might help them identify eight unknown Gacy victims whose bodies were recently exhumed. The sheriff’s office issued a public plea for families of young men who disappeared in the 1970s to submit DNA samples for comparison with the victims’ remains. Investigators exhumed the remains earlier this year, hoping that the passage of time and advancement of technology would work in their favor. They established a hotline and a website for people to file reports. Gacy is remembered as one of history’s most bizarre killers, largely because of his work as an amateur clown. He was convicted of murdering 33 young men, sometimes luring them to his Chicago-area home for sex by impersonating a police officer or promising them construction work. The building contractor stabbed one and strangled the others between 1972 and 1978. Most were buried in a crawl space under his home. Four others were dumped  in a river. Gacy was executed in 1994. Investigators said Gacy lived near O’Hare. As a young white man who worked in construction and disappeared from the airport in 1977, Szal fit Gacy’s victim profile, investigators said. Authorities used a computer database to find Szal living in Beaverton, Ore., and a local police officer visited his apartment Monday to confirm his identity. Cook County officials say his relatives were told Tuesday that he is alive. “Being able to tell an 88-year-old father that his son, whose picture he has been carrying around for 34 years in his breast pocket, has been found alive is something special,” Sheriff Thomas Dart said in a statement. Reached by phone, Szal’s father said he didn’t feel well and declined to comment. Szal said he was pleased to learn his parents are still alive. Even before his name was publicly linked to the serial killer, Szal had taken an interest in the Gacy case and had even read some books about it. He can understand why some would suspect connections to his disappearance, he said, but it never occurred him. A carpenter, Szal is now working on starting a building maintenance business. Finally reconnecting — facing his emotions and his feelings of betrayal — feels like a “horrible weight” has been lifted, he said. “We’ve had some tough Christmases just because it’s hard not to be depressed,” Szal said. “So this year there’s a little light shining on us now.”

Green River Killer Gary Ridgway…

Green River Killer Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty Friday Feb. 18, 2011 in Washington state to the murder of a 49th victim, Becky Marrero.

On Dec. 21, a human skull was found by teenagers in a wooded area, reports CBS affiliate KIRO.  Investigators also found bones while combing the area.  The remains were later identified as those of Marrero.

Ridgway already is serving 48 life terms at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.  He entered his plea Friday at his arraignment on a murder charge at the King County Regional Justice Center in the Seattle suburb of Kent.  He was charged Feb. 7.

The Sheriff’s Office said Ridgway was questioned extensively in 2003 about Marrero’s disappearance.  An official said though Ridgway had confessed to killing Marerro in 2003, her remains had not been found and Ridgway was unable to provide sufficient details to charge him with her murder.

In a plea agreement made by late King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng in 2003, Ridgway agreed to plead guilty to any future cases in which his confession could be corroborated with reliable evidence uncovered by investigators.  In return, Ridgway was spared the death penalty.

Ridgway is featured in the Zone Comic Classic… Black Dahlia, Mia Special which is one of the comics available here at Psycho Killers USA.

Lower prices now in effect…

Comic prices have been slashed. All Comics are now just $2.95. This price is for new, uncirculated comics, in mint condition. They have never been read or even paged through. And, all Comics are mailed flat in a plastic sleeve-bag with cardboard for protection.

Roman Polanski Arrested (and now freed)

Roman Polanski has been arrested and taken into custody in Switzerland for a crime commited 31 years ago back in 1972.

Susan Atkins died today.

She was the first of the Manson clan to pass. Charles Manson, here at Psychokillers USA

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