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The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez Mass Market Paperback – March 11, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle (March 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786013621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786013623
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Research is the strong suit of this book about darkly handsome Richard Ramirez, who terrorized Los Angeles for 14 months in 1984-85 with his penchant for breaking into homes dressed all in black, where he fiercely assaulted, sodomized, robbed, and (in 13 cases) murdered his victims. Carlo spent more than 100 hours interviewing Ramirez on death row, more than a month in El Paso, Texas, talking to Ramirez's family and friends, and another month hanging out with the two detectives who solved the case. He made visits to all 19 crime scenes in the middle of the night. His narrative maintains a steady focus on Ramirez, drawing no conclusions about his Satanism or his mental pathology and simply letting his appalling deeds and words speak for themselves. The trial and post-trial sections are long but interesting, covering Ramirez's rage attacks and his many "groupies" (one of them a juror!), especially Doreen Lloyd, whom he married in September 1996. (This reviewer found Philip Carlo's book much better than Clifford L. Linedecker's Night Stalker.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Richard Ramirez, a Mexican American from El Paso, committed perhaps 14 murders in the Los Angeles area during 1984 and 1985 and wounded several people. While robbery was one of his motives, his main objective, according to Carlo (Stolen Flowers), was to achieve power over the women in the houses he entered, to rape, torture and humiliate them. He saw himself as committing his crimes in the service of Satan and expressed contempt for conventional morality. Stubborn and with a vicious temper, he insisted on being represented by two young lawyers who had never been involved in a capital case. Found guilty in 1989, Ramirez was given 19 death sentences plus six years for each of 33 other charges. Carlo speculates on the psyche of this chilling killer and introduces an intriguing supporting cast, from the prosecutor, who saw the case as good versus evil, to the alternate juror who "fell in love with" the defendant. An exceptionally well-told true-crime tale. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Carlo does an excellent job of telling the story of Richard Ramirez.
When I read it I found myself getting back up and double checking all my windows and doors to make absolute sure they were locked!
Miss Regina A
This book was one of the best written true crime books i have ever read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Eric Raines on May 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A friend of mine was recently at the book store and decided to pick up a few "real crime" books. One was on Ted Bundy, another on Charles Manson, and a third that happened to be a book on Richard Ramirez. He decided to read the Ted Bundy piece first, and offered "The Night Stalker..." to me.
I never knew much about the crimes, other than my vague memories of laying awake at night as a child in my grandmother's Orange County home and praying the Night Stalker wouldn't choose my house to come to on any given night, and as such I decided to give the book a read through. From the first page I wasn't met with an ounce of disappointment.
The compelling descriptions on the psyche of Richard Ramirez, as well as the in-depth descriptions of the murder scenes and the acts themselves seemed highly detailed and a quick read. In fact, I'm half asleep at my desk right now due to my inability to put the book down last night.
Philip Carlo has written a compelling and interesting book on a subject that was all too close to me for my own comfort. I can only imagine the thoughts that went through his mind while going to the crime scenes and being face to face with the man deemed responsible for those atrocities. He has managed to capture it all within the pages of this book.
If you're into this genre, it hasn't been done better. A must buy!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on December 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With the exception of the Night Stalker himself, Philip Carlo is the foremost expert on Richard Ramirez and the Night Stalker case. Every television documentary I have seen on Ramirez's murderous rampage in southern California in 1985 includes interviews with Carlo and information coming directly from this book. Carlo provides one of the most thorough true crime works I have read. He has accumulated information from hundreds of interviews with the key people in Ramirez's life and the Night Stalker case, including hours with the Night Stalker, himself. Every thing is covered here: the gory details of the numerous rapes and murders, the exciting capture of Ramirez by an angry mob, the long and often infuriating trial, and Ramirez's Death Row wedding with an entertainment magazine editor. What I found to be the most interesting part of the book was the section on the Ramirez family, particularly young Richard's relationship with his cousin Mike.
Mike was a decorated Green Beret who returned to the U.S. a mental and emotional volcano. He taught young Richard guerrilla combat techniques which ironically came in handy when Richard set out for a "career" in burglary that later escalated to much worse crimes. Mike also showed Richard photographs of Vietnamese women sexually tortured and killed. A crime Richard witnessed Mike committing while a visitor in his cousin's home was a turning point in Ramirez's life.
The bizarre groupies who attended Ramirez's sometimes farcical trial is very eye-opening. I was shocked at the lengths to which some of these women went to visit Ramirez even after he was convicted for some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. That one of these groupies was a juror is even more remarkable (even Madonna wanted to meet him).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Johnson VINE VOICE on February 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phillip Carlo did lots of research and was very patient in producing this thorough and complete book examining the Night Stalker. Modus Operandi, descriptions of the LA area, and the fear caused by this sick person were detailed. The honestly gruesome details of what Ramirez did to his victims were covered. If there is evil on this Earth Ramirez fits the bill. This is a very good book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on June 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What is it that makes a serial killer tick? And what exactly is it that makes the public fascinated with them while fearful of them? Richard Ramirez, infamously known as the Night Stalker, is in a breed of his own. One of the most dangerous and feared serial killers in America, Ramirez and his crimes still haunt the public mind today as his murderous spree did in the mid-1980s. Philip Carlo's book about Ramirez's life and crimes is extremely thorough and well-written, a quick-paced nightmare of a read.

Richard Ramirez became known as the Night Stalker because his crimes occured at night; he would sneak into his victims' houses while they were sleeping and attack them. His rampages were never quite the same, making him an unusual serial killer who didn't always follow the same MO, but ensuring that he was all the more difficult to track because investigators wouldn't tie his crimes together. Except for homicide detectives Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno (of Hillside Strangler fame) who were convinced that the variety of crimes committed in quiet L.A. neighborhoods were the work of one man. Their task force was responsible for finding evidence to link these crimes and capture the man resopnsible for the string of robberies, rapes, murders, and attempted murders.

Carlo's book is divided neatly into different sections, creating suspense for the reader as he begins with vivid recreations of the Night Stalker crimes, then springboards into Ramirez's youth and finally into his capture and trial. Ramirez's crimes terrorized the Los Angeles area, but also mesmerized legions of people. A known Satanist, Ramirez instilled fear in not only his victims, but many who came in contact with him.
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