There was a time when it was normal to leave your windows open and doors unlocked. There was a time when people were not afraid to go to sleep wondering if they would see the next morning, a time before Richard Ramirez or the “Night Stalker.” As his nickname conveys, the Night Stalker preyed on innocent victims in the middle of the night. He would walk around neighborhoods and check for unlocked doors or open windows and invite himself in. Once he was in the house he would rape, kill and torture the innocent sleeping victims. He has been convicted of fourteen murders and the ones he did not kill are scarred for life. One survivor told a horrific story about being sexually assaulted with her son tied up in the closet, (LA Times, Chen). The night stalker even went on to rape and kill a woman who was sixty years old, (YouTube, Kelley). The torture he has brought upon others just seems like pure evil, but why is it so easy for this man to? There are no excuses for his appalling actions, but there are several factors that could have contributed to his killing outbreaks; such as, a birth defect, use of drugs and alcohol, and living with his deranged older cousin.
Richard Ramirez was the youngest of five children from his parents Julian and Mercedes Ramerez. Richards mother worked in a boot factory where she was exposed to different chemical fumes, (Real Crime, Dimitropoulos). Unfortunately, in those days, employees were not cautioned to protect themselves so working there while she was pregnant caused her children to suffer with birth defects such as respiratory difficultly and bone deficiency. Richard suffered from epilepsy and his brain could have developed slower than most from the chemical fumes, (Real Crime, Dimitropoulos). A lot of serial killers suffer from some type of mental illness, and if they have a traumatic experience along the way then it is harder for them to cope and result in criminal behavior. If Richards mom had properly taken care of the babies in her womb Richard might not have acted out as he did but we will never know what really goes on in a killer’s head.
Another cause to what could have made this monster is his use of drugs and alcohol. Richard turned at an early age to drugs and dropped out of high school which could have messed with his brain development. One of the main drugs he used was cocaine; cocaine is a dangerous drug that can alter your state of thought long term, (YouTube, Kelley). A lot of criminals tend to commit crimes while on drugs because of their altered state of mind, (Verywellmind,T). Since Richard was a long-time user, his mental state was definitely not healthy and killing and raping people probably did not even have an affect him.
The last and most disturbing reason of them all, is that he went to live with his deranged older cousin when he was still and adolescent. While his mother was known to be sweet and kind hearted, his father had abused him growing up, (YouTube, Kelley). Richard eventually grew tired of it and went to live with his older cousin who was a Vietnam war veteran. His cousin would boast and brag about all the women he would rape and assault and then kill them after, (YouTube, Serial Killer Documentaries). Richard, still being young during all of this, seemed to be fascinated and in awe of his cousin. Because of the previous reasons that his brain and mental state were altered, he could not handle coping with this and instead of seeing it for what it really is h was desensitized from his cousins’ frightful actions. His uncle even shot his own wife in the face and Richard witnessed it all, (YouTube, Kelley).
Richard Rameriez was a dangerous individual who affected the lives of many. In “Thesis II: The Monster Always Escapes,” from Jeffery Jerome Cohens “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” Cohen talks about how the monster from movies and books always reappear in the next movie or book even after they have been killed, (Cohen,4). Obviously, Richard Rameriez is a human who died June 7, 2013, (Los Angeles mob attacks Night Stalker). This thesis relates to Richard because of Richards older cousins’ actions. His older cousin that he lived with was a monster as well, I believe his actions turned Richard into the monster he was convicted as. Now in this story, the same monster did not escape; Richards cousin was a monster himself who helped create another monster and the cycle will continue. Someone else with a mental illness or someone who is just pure evil will see Richards crimes and be fascinated and inspired by them. No matter what, in our society, the monster always escapes and new monsters will be created and the vicious cycle will continue forever. “Monster Theory must therefore concern itself with strings of cultural moments, connected by a logic that always threatens to shift; invigorated by change and escape, by the impossibility of achieving what Susan Stewart calls the desired ‘fall or death, the stopping’ of its gigantic subject monstrous interpretations is as much process as epiphany, a work that must content itself with fragments,” (Cohen,6). The next thesis that connects with Richard Rameriz’s story is, “Thesis VI. Fear of the Monster Is Really a Kind of Desire.” There are two movies, a book and hundreds of articles involving the Night Stalker. “The same creatures that terrify and interdict can evoke potent escapist fantasies; the linking of monstrosity with the forbidden makes the monster all the more appealing as temporary egress from constraint,” (Cohen,17). This quote is talking about how the rebelliousness of monsters intrigues us and makes us interested in them even though they are so terrible.
Richard Rameriez was a cold-blooded killer who ruined the lives of not only the people he murdered, but the also the lives of their family and friends. There is no excuse for the pain he has cause other but there are a few situations that could have avoided making him a killer. If his mother would have avoided the fumes while she was pregnant, Richard could have had normal brain development and could have grown up to be a normal, functioning adult. Same with if he would had never turned to drugs and alcohol at a young age, he could have finished high school and even gotten a job or acquire life goals. The last and most traumatizing experience for him would be his cousin. Richard’s cousin was the worst possible person to live with and if he could have had a better home life, he could have had a chance. Watching his cousin rape and abuse women could have triggered a mental illness that could have been avoided. No child should have to go through that and his cousin is the real monster and created a copy. Richard Rameriez was convicted and is no dead, but people still sleep with a fear in the back of their heads from him. Even though he has died and cannot come back to life, the impact he has left on the world will stay forever, so before you go to bed tonight remember lock your doors and close your windows, because we never now who is out there.
Los Angeles mob attacks Night Stalker, A&E Television Networks, 7 July 2019, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/los-angeles-mob-attacks-night-stalker.
Dimitropoulos, Stav. real Crime: Was a Bad Childhood to Blame for ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez Becoming a Serial Killer?, A&E Television Networks, LLC. , 1 Nov. 2017, www.aetv.com/real-crime/was-a-bad-childhood-to-blame-for-night-stalker-richard-ramirez-becoming-a-serial-killer.
T, Buddy. Verywell Mind, www.verywellmind.com/crime-and-alcohol-statistics-from-1998-62821.
THE NIGHT STALKER – SERIAL KILLER RICHAR, YouTube, 18 Jan. 2015., www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hPRDHCFwOI.
Richard Ramirez ( The Night Stalker ) – , YouTube, 5 June 2017., www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtEOzX8V6yI.