The Night Stalker : Richard Ramirez

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In the NBC docudrama, Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker Ramirez's crimes, M.O., signature and his eventual trial unfold. Also the book Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler and Tom Shachtman, detail many of the characteristics of organized and disorganized killers, as well as how to profile one.

In order for one to become a serial killer, not only is a bad childhood is needed but also the preteen years only contribute to the corrupt development of a person. "…Most children who come from dysfunctional early childhoods don't go on to murder…the reason for this is that the majority are rescued by strong hands in the next phase of childhood, that of preadolescence—but our subjects were definitely not saved from drowning; they were pushed further under in this phase of their lives."(Ressler 85). Most likely Ramirez experienced emotional trauma as a child, and had always been a loner. At the age of 12 his cousin became a father figure to him, only progressing his skewed view of life. "In this period, a male child really needs a father…"(Ressler 86). His cousin, Mike, was a returning Vietnam veteran, and allegedly showed Ramirez pictures of women he had raped and tortured while there. Also, during an argument, he shot and killed his wife in front of Rick. When he moved to Los Angeles he was addicted to drugs, and had records of rape and theft, working his way up gradually. He was of average intelligence, and lived alone.

Ramirez fits almost perfectly into that of an organized killer. He was adaptable and learned from his crimes as well as watched T.V. to see how to elude the police further. He felt superior, taunted the police, initiated sexual relations in victims while alive, had a rape/torture kit, wore gloves to keep fingerprints out of the crime scene and would take a trophy, usually jewelry. He planned his crimes, as opposed to a spur of the moment crime, and wishes to fulfill his fantasies which have been building up for years before exploding in...
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