‘Night Stalker’ prosecutor says Ramirez death ends ‘tragic period’
One of the deputy district attorneys who prosecuted “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez described the serial killer’s death Friday as an “abrupt end to a tragic period in the history of Los Angeles County.”
“This person hurt many people and our thoughts should be with the next of kin and survivors of these senseless attacks,” said Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Yochelson, who prosecuted the case with the late Phil Halpin.
A Los Angeles jury convicted Ramirez in 1989 of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.
As a result of that conviction -- and that Ramirez spent the rest of his life in prison -- Yochelson said, “Some measure of justice has been achieved.”
Yochelson has helped prosecute some of L.A.'s most high-profile cases, including O.J. Simpson and the officers accused of beating Rodney King.
When asked if he thought another serial like Ramirez could strike again, Yochelson said: “I would like to think that with the advances in technology that if a serial killer is operating they would be identified and apprehended quickly.”
At the time of the verdict, Ramirez, who was 29 at the time, asked for permission to leave the packed courtroom, which included several relatives of his murder victims. He heard the verdicts through a speaker in a holding cell, according to the Los Angeles Times’ coverage of the verdict.
The Los Angeles Superior Court jury of seven women and five men, which deliberated for 22 days.
As he was taken from the courthouse, Ramirez flashed a two-finger “devil sign” to photographers. Asked what he thought about the verdicts, he issued a one-word comment: “Evil.”
The wave of random slayings generated widespread fear throughout Southern California.
Among Ramirez’s victims were a traffic supervisor, an accountant, a lawyer, a student, a pizzeria owner, a parking lot attendant and an auto mechanic. Some were grandparents. One was a church deacon.
Ramirez left behind pentagram signs. In the Monrovia home of Mabel Bell and Florence Lang, a pentagram was drawn on a bedroom wall and on the thigh of one of the women. In a Sun Valley attack, he repeatedly ordered a woman to “swear upon Satan” as he looted her home and raped and sodomized her after killing her husband.
The pentagrams -- inverted, five-pointed stars inside circles, associated with devil worship -- also were found later on the dashboard of a car driven by Ramirez and on his arm. In jail, he drew a pentagram on the cell floor, apparently in his own blood. Ramirez also flashed a pentagram drawn on his palm once in open court, yelling, “Hail Satan!”
Ramirez died of natural causes at 9:10 a.m. Friday at Marin General Hospital, state corrections officials said.
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