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x Perfect x Scar x (xperfect_scarx) wrote,
@ 2003-06-30 22:31:00
Previous Entry  Add to memories!  Add to Topic Directory  Tell a Friend!  Next Entry

    Current mood: accomplished
    Current music:Cradle of filth: her ghost in the fog

    for Nyara (nighairuh)
    "As the sun descended over San Francisco on the evening of August 17, 1985, a beat-up brownish-red 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix pulled off Highway 80 and began to cruise the adjacent suburbs that bordered it. Within the next couple of hours, the car found its way into the upper-scale neighborhood of Lake Merced. It was well after dark, the time of evil. Parking his car in the darkest spot he could find, the Night Stalker emerged and, checking for the .22 calibre handgun in his belt, headed to one particular two-story home where, he felt, the devil was directing him.Tall, gaunt, dark, ugly 25-year-old Richard Ramirez paused. He turned to look back at the Pontiac he had been driving these last few weeks. He ruminated a moment, and decided after tonight he'd better play it safe and ditch this auto. It was time to steal another one, perhaps before the sun rose. But – first things first – he drew the revolver – so tight, so hard, so metallic in the moonlight – and strolled nonchalantly to the unlit gangway beside the home of elderly Chinese couple, Mr. & Mrs. Pan.

    Houses like these were so easy to penetrate, Ramirez knew...windows low to the ground, removable screens...a snap, a slight push, and he was in. Of course, Satan was guiding his every move, he knew that! Why fret about getting caught? All these homes, all these homes, and yet not once had the resident heard him entering. The devil silenced their ears while they slept. And he, Richard Ramirez, then took it a step further: He silenced them, forever. More blood to feed Hell, to keep its furnaces burning.

    Inside the house, Ramirez looked at his watch: Midnight. A good time to kill. He checked his weapon once more – yes, cylinder loaded. These homes were all laid out pretty much the same; he knew where the bedrooms were by instinct. Without pause, he walked to where the couple slept, found them snoring, and pulled the trigger. He loved the way their bodies jerked upon impact.

    His senses tingled...watching them rattle in death, hearing their throats beg for air, watching as their pillows darkened with life's liquid underneath what was left of their skulls. But, there was no time to admire his latest artwork; there was much more work to do here before he left. Time now for a little home decorating – so that the police would know that the Night Stalker was far, far from trapped.

    *****

    When the Pans' son visited his parents the next morning, he walked into the aftermath of doomsday. His father was dead in bed, his mother next to him, seriously injured. The walls of the home were etched with lipstick diagrams of devil worship, cursing and alien messages such as "Jack the Knife." Drawers were ransacked. A side window had been pried open and dirty footprints, bearing a Reebok design, trailed hastily from the windowsill across the carpet, in and out of the parents' bedroom.

    Mrs. Alberta Pan survived, but remained an invalid; her husband Peter was pronounced dead at General Hospital.

    San Francisco police knew immediately that the Horror of Los Angeles, the Night Stalker, had come to their city. Certainly, the modus operandi bore his logo: breaking and entry, the assassination of the male first where a couple was involved, and the cultist signatures left on the scene.

    Bullets retrieved from the victims, when matched with those in the possession of the Los Angeles task force, confirmed it. So did the shoe prints. Comparing notes with Detective Salerno, San Francisco homicide detective Frank Kowalski also learned that a brown 1978 Pontiac, which had been reported prowling the streets of Lake Merced the night of the Pan killing, matched the description of an auto seen in the vicinity of the most recent murders in the LA area. Undoubtedly, the same car, the same maniac.

    Authorities began wondering if the same man who perhaps traveled between LA and San Francisco might have committed four other recent unsolved homicides in San Francisco. In retrospect, they now seemed to have been.

    "On February 1, police discovered the mutilated bodies of Christina Caldwell, 58, and her sister, Mary, 70. They were stabbed dozens of times," reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "A coroner's report said a window of their ransacked flat was left open. Bloody fingerprints, palm prints and shoe prints were left behind, although (Detective) Kowalski said most of the prints turned out to be those of neighbors.

    "Another slaying being checked is that of Masataka Kobayaki, 45, part owner and chef of Masa's, a fashionable restaurant on Nob Hill," the Chronicle continues. "The fourth murder involved Edward F. Wildgans, 29, who was shot June 2 through the right temple by a late-night intruder. He died two days later. His girlfriend fought off the attacker (but was raped)."

    After interviewing the girlfriend, Nancy Brien, her description of her tormentor coincided with the image of the Night Stalker.

    Without delay, law enforcers in the City by the Bay disseminated wanted posters and leaflets. "The whole department has been mobilized to apprehend the suspect," promised Richard Klapp, police commissioner. Patrols were doubled at night, particularly in Hispanic neighborhoods where one of that nationality might easily blend in. According to the Los Angeles Times, investigators quickly learned that a male resembling the Night Stalker had stayed at the Bristol, a transient hotel at 56 Mason Street, during the week of the Pan murder. Manager Alex Melnikov remembered the lodger as dressing in all black and reeking of body odor. The stranger had signed out the afternoon of the said crime. Melnikov, said the paper, "had found an inverted five-pointed star, known as a pentagram, inscribed on the door of a room adjacent to one occupied by (the boarder)... A similar star was found in the Pans' home."

    *****

    Richard Ramirez had abandoned the Pontiac; and he had abandoned San Francisco. In haste. He chuckled, huddled behind the wheel of a stolen 1976 orange Toyota, thinking about why he had to make a quick departure: How that mayor of San Francisco – what's her name? Dianne Feinstein – mouthed off to those news station people about the police feeling like they were closing in on the Night Stalker; then how that county sheriff had a fit because she had screwed up the whole dragnet! Locos! Crazy people they! Now, turning the Toyota's grille off the Golden State Freeway towards the entrance to the community known as Mission Viejo, he determined to show them locos just who is the smartest one! The devil protected him! But, they had no one! Tonight, someone would die – not in San Francisco as the police suspected – but here in this rich-boy community so near to Los Angeles!

    The date was August 25, just after midnight.

    William Carns and his fiancée Renata Gunther dreamed well tonight in the home on Chrisanta Drive. Parking his car in shadow, Ramirez entered their fine stucco home and sought out the bedroom to see who slept there. He smiled when he saw the couple sound asleep. Both looked young, in their late twenties, and the beautiful Renata tingled his senses. Beauty for the sacrificial altar! For Lucifer! Out came his revolver, the .22, and he flashed its barrel toward the cranium of the male. Carns twitched, and gagged.

    Renata awoke to the dark, skinny, grinning Ramirez who leaned over her, panting, calling her bitch, shaking her and laughing in her face. His breath stank, his teeth – she could see them in the umbrage—were crooked and stained. His eyes blazed.

    Forcing her from her bed, he threw himself over her and raped her. Snarling in her face, he promised to shoot her unless she "Swear to Satan". Begging for her life, she did as he asked. But, before he released her from his grasp, he thrust her head to where he unzipped his trousers. Having performed, he left her alive, but in pain and nauseated.

    He had repaired back into the darkness from whence he came.

    *****

    A middle-aged woman named Donna Myers and her friend, Serafin Arredondo, who lived in the El Sobrante district of San Francisco had come forth in the meantime with a fascinating tale. Myers, who let out her home occasionally as a boarding house, had from time to time rented a room to a man she knew only as "Ricky". She told police he was tall, gaunt, Hispanic and, in a word, strange. What's more, he closely resembled the police sketch of the Night Stalker that appeared in the Chronicle. Ricky was from El Paso, Texas, she explained, and traveled throughout California -- mostly between San Francisco and Los Angeles. To her he often addressed his interest in the black arts.

    She related that one day, during a recent stay, she happened to come into her TV room when Ricky was viewing a news report about a Night Stalker victim. He seemed greatly interested in the program. Noticing her behind him, Ricky suddenly turned to her from his chair, grinned with a mouthful of crooked teeth, and whispered, "Now wouldn't you be surprised if I turned out to be the Stalker?" She thought at the time it was just a sick bit of whimsy, until she noticed the composite in the newspaper shortly thereafter. The memory chilled her.

    Arredondo, a friend of the Myers family who often visited the woman, displayed some men's jewelry – a diamond ring and cufflinks -- he had bought from this Ricky one afternoon not long ago. Ricky had claimed he was strapped for cash and was selling these items at a discount; he gave Arredondo a good deal. Since then, the buyer had read that the Night Stalker was known for robbing his victims as well as slaying them, and wondered if...well, just maybe...

    The police nodded; they understood completely. Taking the goods that Arredondo offered, they in turn handed them over to the investigative team for possible identification. That evening, the ring and links were labeled as stolen property that once belonged to one of the killer's male victims.

    Never knowing when this Ricky might turn up at Myers' doorstep, plainclothesmen began surveillance on her home night and day.

    A rhythm of lucky breaks was in full tempo. While this was occurring in the Bay area, eyewitnesses in the Mission Viejo neighborhood near LA had reported seeing an orange, older make of Toyota prowling their streets immediately prior to the attack on Carns and Gunther. On April 27, the book Night Stalker tells us, "the orange Toyota station wagon was found in a parking lot in the Rampart area of Los Angeles. Detectives watched the car for almost twenty-four hours before deciding it had indeed been abandoned and the Stalker was not going to return for it."

    But, the discovery of the auto would prove fruitful. Dusting the car for fingerprints, city investigators delivered the prints to the Orange County Sheriff's Office whose forensic laboratory was testing a brand new Department of Justice-created system for tracking prints in record time.

    The prints matched those of a small-time thief and miscreant from Texas named Ricardo Ramirez.

    Lauded the Los Angeles Times, "(The system picked) Ramirez's fingerprints out of 380,000 other sets, only three minutes after the system was fed a partial print lifted from (the Toyota)...The need to capture the Night Stalker was so urgent that the installation of the new 'Cal-ID' computer system, which is still in progress, was interrupted so the system could be reprogrammed to search for the Night Stalker's prints."

    The police had a name. Now they needed to research the suspect, to find out more about him. And, most importantly, they needed to find him before he slew again.

    *****

    Ricardo Ramirez was born in the barrio (Hispanic section) of El Paso, Texas, on February 28, 1960. His childhood was one of poverty and of hanging with youth gangs. Parents Julian (an illegal alien who worked in the rail yard) and Mercedes had, in all, seven children; Ricardo – who later Americanized the name to Richard – was the youngest. Roman Catholics, Mercedes tried as best she could to lead her familia onto a straight and God-like path. She succeeded with six of her brood. But, Ricardo went astray.

    Grade school teachers claimed he could have been a good pupil, had he proffered a little interest. He failed ninth grade twice, spending more time in the video arcades than at school. At an early age, he took to breaking into homes. Police caught him in the act of burglary several times, each time being shipped off to a work program – until the oft-time loser was sentenced in his youth to a disciplinarian hall.

    He had but three interests in junior high – and cared about little else – martial arts, marijuana and heavy metal. "He loved Black Sabbath and Judas Priest," remarks a friend from his teen years.

    Another interest grew from, say boyhood friends, the sort of music he listened to – that which glorified cultist practices. He seemed preoccupied with Satanism and stories about black magic, demons and dragons. While his mother sent him to Bible studies, hoping he'd learn the Christian ways of life, Richard took the lessons to heart – but learned them in reverse. That is, after class he would go to the library and read up on Satan and the fallen angels, the characters that his teachers merely skipped over while exemplifying Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles.

    Richard, in his teens, had been suspected of thievery, but the police could not prove their accusations. His first formal arrest as an adult was for possession of marijuana. Slapped with a small fine, he was then hit with another when pinched months later for the same offense. On his third arrest -- for reckless driving (a friend's car) – he avoided prison by agreeing to do neighborhood youth work while on three years' probation.

    At 20 years old, his probation ended, Richard Ramirez left El Paso.

    Between the time he departed his native Texas and the time he took up killing innocent people, Richard Ramirez encountered minor run-ins with the law. In 1984, he was taken into custody and photographed while suspected of driving a stolen car, a charge that came to nothing.

    "Ramirez is known to have gone by several aliases," accounts a retrospective article in the Los Angeles Times, "including Richard Moreno, Noah Jimenez, Nicolaus Adame, Richard Munoz and Richard Mona." But, in all, aside from simple infractions, he did little more than waste away slowly in the drug and booze bars of southern California – wearing black, always black -- salivating over Satan and freaking out on the flimsy, filmy veils of burning dragon weed.

    see the rest of it @ http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/ramirez/ramirez_4.html?sect=1



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