Timeline: Night Stalker Richard Ramirez's L.A. reign of terror and its aftermath

Los Angeles Times staff, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Reports of his brutality left a generation of Angelenos in fear when night fell.

Under cover of darkness in 1985, Richard Ramirez went on a months-long spree of murder, sexual assaults and other crimes that spread terror and anxiety throughout the Southland. Monterey Park, Whittier, Arcadia, Rosemead and Monrovia — no suburban window felt safe from his intrusion. His reign of terror yielded many monikers, including the Walk-In Killer and the Valley Intruder. But the Night Stalker would ultimately become synonymous with his modus operandi.

Now, Netflix has turned its true crime lens on the startling period. Out now, "Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer" traces the full toll of the terror inflicted by Ramirez through the people whose lives were forever altered by his gruesome crimes.

The four-part series, which was directed by Tiller Russell, includes interviews with Frank Salerno and Gil Carrillo, the two lead Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives who worked tirelessly to track down the killer as well as survivors of Ramirez's ruthless violence and journalists who covered the savagery and the manhunt.

Ramirez was convicted on 13 counts of murder and 30 other felonies in 1989 and sentenced to death. He died in 2013 from complications related to B-cell lymphoma.

Here is a timeline of selected developments involving L.A.'s most notorious serial killer, as reported by The Times.


Aug. 10, 1985: Officers now believe at least 6 killings are linked to 1 man

The Times reports that the March 17 shooting death of a 35-year-old woman in her Rosemead condominium might have been the first in a countywide series of at least six slayings linked to a killer who enters an unlocked home at night to attack his victims as they sleep.

Aug. 14, 1985: Homicide cop is the perfect man for the job

"You don't want this guy following you," one former sheriff's investigator tells The Times of Sheriff's Sgt. Frank Salerno, lead detective in what was then known as the Valley Intruder case. "Sooner or later, he's successful."


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