Richard Ramirez and El Paso

I don’t get much into the serial killer stuff but I’ll watch “Night Stalker.” The Netflix docuseries about Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez, probably doesn’t get too deep into his life there, but he’s a dark part of El Paso’s history.

Ramirez grew up on Ledo Street in a barrio called La Roca. It was in central El Paso, under the Spaghetti Bowl, and it no longer exists. After a devastating 2006 flood, the city bought 8 acres of that residential land, relocated the people that lived there, and built Saipan Ledo Park.

Ramirez attended Jefferson High School—or, La Jeff—before dropping out as a freshman. They called him Dedos and Ricky the Klepto because he’d pocket whatever he could get his fingers on. He also ate nothing but candy and drank only soda, a bad combination made even worse since Ramirez didn’t brush his teeth.

He was into that devil worshipping shit that was more popular in the 1980s. Ramirez would do occult things out in the El Paso desert. He liked to sleep inside Concordia Cemetery.

When authorities arrested him—chased and beaten by East L.A. residents after Ramirez tried to steal a car—an El Paso lawyer, Manuel Barraza, offered to help. Ramirez ultimately switched lawyers. Barraza would later become a district court judge and serve 6 years in prison for allegedly giving favorable rulings in exchange for sex and money.

When Ramirez went to trial, it seemed like his father couldn’t believe what his son was accused of. “The media turned him into a monster,” the father said. “He’s really just a poor boy who was raised to believe in God.”

During his trial, authorities from Los Angeles, where he did his killing, searched the El Paso home of Ramirez’s sister. They were looking for a pair of eyes he’d gouged from one of his victims. They didn’t find them. They did, however, find hundred of stolen rings and necklaces that Ramirez had taken.

Supposedly, also during the trial in the late, someone spray-painted a highway billboard on the outskirts of the city that normally read “Welcome to El Paso.” Vandals added “home of Richard Ramirez.”

Ramirez got sentenced to death in 1989. He died of natural causes, aged 53, while in San Quentin prison in 2013.

“The world judged him, whether fairly or unfairly, it no longer matters,” the Ramirez family said of Richard’s death, to the El Paso Times. “He is now before the true judge, the judge that sees and knows all things. We ask that you respect our sorrow and grief.”

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