Ramirez Ordered Her to ‘Swear Upon Satan,’ Rape Victim Testifies

Times Staff Writer

A 28-year-old Diamond Bar woman whose husband was allegedly shot to death by accused Night Stalker Richard Ramirez testified Tuesday that her assailant ordered her to “swear upon Satan” that she would not scream before he searched her home for valuables and raped her.

“I said, ‘I swear upon God I’m not going to scream,’ ” the woman said, speaking softly but steadily. “He said, ‘Don’t swear upon God, swear upon Satan.’ ”

Minutes later, she said, her attacker, who had been rummaging through the residence for valuables, accused her of having hidden a diamond wedding ring.

“I said, ‘I swear upon God I did not,’ ” she said. “Again, at that time, he hit me and he said to swear upon Satan.”

The woman, whose name was not revealed in court at the direction of Los Angeles Municipal Judge James F. Nelson, dramatically identified Ramirez as her attacker at the conclusion of her testimony.


Accused Identified

“Do you see the man here today that was in your house that morning?” asked Deputy Dist. Atty. P. Philip Halpin.

Turning her head slowly, the woman shuddered as she viewed Ramirez slouching in his seat at the defense table. She quickly pointed her left hand toward him and said, “Oh, yeah! Him.”

The long-haired defendant, who had been covering part of his face with his left hand, grinned.

Ramirez, a 26-year-old drifter from El Paso, is accused of 14 murders, five attempted murders, 19 burglaries, six robberies, seven rapes, five acts of oral copulation, seven of sodomy, three lewd acts on children and two kidnapings in Los Angeles County in 1984 and 1985.

His preliminary hearing, held to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant his standing trial, is now in its seventh week.

Devil Worship References

Since Ramirez’s arrest last August, several references to devil worship have cropped up in the case. At an early court session in which he pleaded not guilty to the charges, Ramirez shouted “Hail Satan!” as he was led from a courtroom, and flashed a pentagram, inked on his palm, toward the spectators gallery.

Pentagrams also were found scrawled in the home of Monrovia murder victim Mabel Bell, 83, according to previous testimony at the hearing.

The Diamond Bar woman, the sixth surviving victim to identify Ramirez in court, said she was awakened in the middle of the night last Aug. 8 by a popping noise. The sound was apparently a gunshot that killed her husband, who was asleep beside her.

Saw Attacker’s Face

The woman said she was quickly handcuffed, beaten and placed on the floor. She added that she clearly saw her attacker’s face three times during the subsequent rampage, in which she was raped, sodomized and forced to orally copulate the man.

Thinking that her husband had been bound and gagged rather than shot, the woman said she sent her young son, who was not harmed, to rouse him after the attacker left. But her son said, “Mama, daddy’s not waking up.”

The witness had previously identified Ramirez as her attacker at a police lineup several days after his arrest. She also discovered jewelry and a television set taken in the incident at a police display at the County Jail the night of the lineup.

Hadn’t Seen Published Photos

During cross-examination, the woman said she had not seen photos of Ramirez in the media before the lineup because, due to her religious beliefs, she had not been watching television or reading newspapers during her mourning period for her husband.

Rather than ordering media representatives not to publish the woman’s name--as he has done in the case of several previous witnesses--Nelson had the woman write her name on a sheet of paper and hand it to his clerk. The judge told Halpin and Ramirez’s attorneys not to divulge her name during testimony.

The Diamond Bar attack was the last in Los Angeles County attributed by authorities to Ramirez before his Aug. 31 arrest.