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Surviving Victim Describes Attack by Night Stalker

Times Staff Writer

Night Stalker suspect Richard Ramirez robbed her, beat her, raped and sodomized her and then let her know he was going to spare her life by saying, “I don’t know why I’m letting you live. I’ve killed people before,” a Burbank woman testified Wednesday.

The woman said Ramirez vowed to “have my friends come after you” if she called police. Ramirez left behind a key to a pair of unusual handcuffs he had used to bind her and her 12-year-old son to a bedpost, the woman said.

The woman identified Ramirez in Los Angeles Superior Court and testified for 90 minutes. She appeared calm and assured, and she smiled at several points, such as when defense attorney Ray G. Clark asked her if her dog was “a large one or a yappy one.”

Ramirez showed no reaction to her testimony.

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Pointed Gun

It was around 4 a.m. on May 30, 1985, that the woman was awakened by a man holding a flashlight in one hand and a gun in the other, pointed at her head.

“Get up and don’t make any noise,” the woman quoted Ramirez as saying. She said he also called her numerous obscene names.

Ramirez took her to another bedroom where her son was sleeping, she said. He jumped on the boy and put a gun to his head. “Don’t look at me!” Ramirez told them repeatedly, the woman testified. The woman said she pleaded for her son’s safety, saying he already had been traumatized by the death of his father when he was 6. Ramirez handcuffed her son and locked him in a hallway closet, she said.

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At one point, as she knelt on the floor with her hands tied behind her back, he struck her twice in the back with his fist, she said.

Got Good Look at Him

After sexually assaulting her, Ramirez turned up the lights in her bedroom and smiled as he stood over her. A 15- to 20-minute conversation ensued, during which she got a good look at him, the woman testified.

Before Ramirez let her son out of the closet, he got her a robe and, using a pair of sharp scissors with six-inch-long blades, cut the pantyhose with which he had bound her hands, she said.

As he was leaving, Ramirez handcuffed her and her son to a bedpost, she said, adding that he seemed confused. He did not know whether he was in Glendale or Burbank. He also asked her for directions to the freeway, she testified.

‘Horrible Chill’

The woman later identified Ramirez at a police lineup after his capture on Aug. 31, 1985. When he spoke at the lineup, she said, she felt a “horrible chill.”

She later also identified numerous pieces of her jewelry taken during the incident that were later recovered by police and linked to Ramirez.

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Since testimony began on Jan. 30 in the case, there has been much graphic testimony by medical experts on the injuries suffered by the many alleged Night Stalker victims.

Some of them were shot in the head. Others were bound, beaten and stabbed. Some of the stabbing and slash wounds appear to have been inflicted after the victims were dead, the medical experts said.

Bloodied Crime Scenes

In the last few weeks, the 24 jurors and alternates also have quietly viewed numerous photographs of disheveled and bloodied crime scenes and of the victims themselves.

They have also heard two previous witnesses place Ramirez at the scenes of alleged Night Stalker attacks.

Ramirez, 29, is charged with 13 murders and 30 other felonies stemming from a terrifying spree of night-time residential attacks in 1984-85. He also faces a 14th murder charge in San Francisco and attempted murder and sexual assault charges in Orange County. If convicted, Ramirez could receive the death penalty.


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