Here is a chronology of the 16 murders and some of the two dozen assaults police believe were committed by Night Stalker suspect Richard Ramirez, along with other key developments in the case:
Early 1985: Two people are slain in undisclosed parts of Los Angeles. Later, police will link these slayings to the Night Stalker. The locations and dates have still not been revealed.
Feb. 25: A 6-year-old Montebello girl is taken from a bus bench near school while waiting for an older sister. She tells police that she was carried away in a zippered garment bag, sexually assaulted and dropped off in the Silver Lake area.
March 11: A 9-year-old Monterey Park boy is kidnaped from his home at night, sexually assaulted, then left in Elysian Park, near Silver Lake.
March 17: Dayle Okazaki, 34, is killed, and her roommate, Maria Hernandez, is wounded in an attack in their Rosemead condominium.
March 17: Two miles from Okazaki’s home, Tsal-lian Yu, 30, of Monterey Park, is pulled from her car near her home and shot several times. She dies the next day.
March 20: An Eagle Rock girl is kidnaped and sexually molested by a man who breaks into her family’s home at night.
March 27: Vincent Zazzara, 64, a retired investment counselor, is beaten to death and his wife, Maxine, 44, is stabbed to death by an attacker who enters their ranch-style Whittier home through an open door. Their bodies are found by a business acquaintance two days later.
May 14: William Doi, 65, is shot to death in his Monterey Park home by an assailant who crawls through an open window. Doi, whose wife is assaulted, manages to telephone the emergency 911 number before losing consciousness--a call that police later said saved his wife’s life.
May 29: Mabel Bell, 84, and her invalid sister, Florence Lang, 81, are beaten in their Monrovia home, high above the San Gabriel Valley on a narrow, winding road. The women are found four days later by a gardener. Bell dies July 15.
June 27: Patty Elaine Higgins, 32, is slain in her Arcadia home. Her throat is slashed.
July 2: Less than two miles from Higgins’ home, Mary Louise Cannon, 77, of Arcadia, who had fought off two bouts of cancer, is murdered. Her throat is slashed.
July 7: Joyce Nelson, 61, is beaten to death in the Monterey Park home where she lives alone.
July 11: More than 600 residents jam a Monterey Park Neighborhood Watch meeting, anxious over the murders in their hometown and other nearby San Gabriel Valley communities. Police say they cannot yet connect the murders to a single suspect.
July 20: Chainarong Khovananth, 32, is slain in his Sun Valley home. His wife is beaten and raped, and their 8-year-old son is beaten. An estimated $30,000 in jewels and cash are stolen. Police are given a clue: A witness tells them the suspect fled in a maroon-colored Pontiac Grand Prix with a damaged right front fender.
July 20: Max Kneiding, 68, and his wife, Lela Ellen, 66, are shot to death in their Glendale home.
Aug. 6: Christopher Petersen, 38, and his wife, Virginia, 27, are both shot in the head in their Northridge home and survive.
Aug. 8: Elyas Abowath, 35, is shot to death in his Diamond Bar home. His wife is beaten. Their two children, ages 3 and 3 months, are not harmed. Later in the day, Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block tells reporters that the attack on the Abowaths is the latest in a series of six killings that authorities have linked to the same suspect. It is the first public revelation that a serial killer is loose in Southern California.
Aug. 10-11: Reports of crimes made by citizens to LAPD’s Communications Division, which processes emergency crime calls, jump more than 15% during the weekend, apparently because of anxiety over news of the Night Stalker’s attacks. Gun shops report increased sales.
Aug. 13: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offers a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Night Stalker.
Aug. 14: Sheriff’s investigators say they now believe that the Night Stalker is responsible for a seventh slaying, the March 17 shooting of Tsal-lian Yu in Monterey Park.
Aug. 17: In the first killing outside Southern California, Peter Pan, 66, is shot and killed in bed in his San Francisco home. His wife, Barbara, 64, is shot and beaten but survives. The house is ransacked.
Aug 20: A four-hour search in San Marino for a man resembling the Night Stalker is called off after homicide detectives find that the man, who fled in his car when he was stopped by a police officer, was not the Stalker.
Aug. 22: Homicide investigators announce that they believe the Night Stalker was responsible for the Aug. 17 slaying of Peter Pan. A day later, they link an additional seven murders to the Night Stalker, bringing the total to 14. They also indicate that at least three different forms of evidence link the Night Stalker to the Southern California and San Francisco killings: ballistic tests, messages scrawled on walls and a “distinctive” but undisclosed piece of evidence the killer has left behind in the homes of his victims. Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein announces that her city is offering a $10,000 reward.
Aug. 25: Bill Carns, 29, is critically injured--shot in the head while sleeping in his Mission Viejo home. His 29-year-old fiancee is raped.
Aug. 28: In what police call a “significant break,” a stolen 1976 orange Toyota station wagon that had been spotted near the scene of the Mission Viejo attack is found abandoned on a Los Angeles street. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council offers a $25,000 reward for the Stalker’s arrest and conviction, and Gov. Deukmejian announces the state will offer $10,000 more.
Aug. 29: Investigators say they have found “good” fingerprints on the stolen Toyota, thanks to a laser examining device. Meanwhile, they announce that they have linked the two murders that occurred early in the year to the Stalker, making a total of 16.
Aug. 30: Police issue an all-points bulletin for the arrest of a suspect--Richard Ramirez, whom they identify as being the thin, curly-haired man known as the Night Stalker. They make public a photograph of Ramirez.
Aug. 31: Police arrest Ramirez, taking him into custody after he is captured and beaten by angry citizens who grab him on an East Los Angeles street after he reportedly tries to steal a woman’s car.