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The Night Stalker: The True Story of America's Most Feared Serial Killer
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The Night Stalker: The True Story of America's Most Feared Serial Killer

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  5,116 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Based on hours of interviews with Ramirez on California's Death Row, a chilling account of the crimes of the "Night Stalker" follows Ramirez's criminal odyssey, from his first brush with the law, to his Los Angeles murder spree, to the investigation that brought him to justice. 200,000 first printing.
Hardcover, 421 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Kensington (first published 1996)
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Johnny Story
Sep 24, 2008 Johnny Story rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people into True Crime books
The first half of the book is great, following the 13 murders and couple of near fatal rape-assaults of Richard Ramirez in LA in 1984-1985. Though some might find him a more dynamic or interesting serial killer because of his allegiance to Satan; I find him more boring and more of a coward than most psychopath serial killers. The author Carlo pushes his oxymoronic subtle sermons (views/themes) all too often and almost seems to make excuses for how Ramirez came about. Richard hit his head and had ...more
Dawn Aumiller
I couldn't read this book fast enough, it kept me interested all the way through it. The author even did a god job making the reader feel the frustration of the jury through the defense teams inept arguments....

Made me want to write to Richard Ramirez, which is a scary thought in itself. To be honest, the book portrays him as a rather intelligent individual that's pleasant to be around....when he isn't raping and killing you, that is.
Eva Leger
Wow. This was recommended to me awhile ago and since I have this thing with fat mass markets I let it sit. I didn't see how Carlo could possibly fill 592 pages with interesting information but I'll be damned if he didn't do just that.
I fall into the category of people who are much more into the actual crime and life of the people involved rather than the long, drawn out, boring court cases. So not the case here. The long, drawn out court case was just as interesting as all the rest. What surroun
...more
Niki
I love true crime and serial killers and the first half of this book was OK. Great detail about the individual crimes and the men and women hunting the killer.

The second half of the book was boring as hell. You're essentially reading the transcripts from the trial and they aren't interesting. It reiterates everything you already read in the first half. I skimmed all of it looking for something interesting.

It would have been nice if the author had given us the highlights of the trial, and not mi
...more
Lacey
This book was amazing for someone like me whom is studying the forensic criminal justice field. To see how a serial killer mind ticks and his ways was really interesting to follow. The whole court system was really amazing how it went through. I would love if Philip would write a book about each of the famous serial killers. Because he interviews them in depth and he researches their story beyond reason. On top of it he also goes into psychosocial prospective to both sides of the argument of Ric ...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
WOW! The details in this book are very captivating. It's sad to know that this wasn't fiction.

Richard's childhood was a very odd one, starting with the sexual encounter he has with a cousin. The author of the books seems to insinuate that this is where Richard'd grotesque thoughts began.

The book was an amazing one from a True Crime reader's standpoint because of all the details of the crimes and cases Richard acted on. We got to knwo about the victim's and were told actual encounters on the cri
...more
Licha
Such a well researched book. This case has always fascinated me, probably because I remember being scared of the Nightstalker when I was younger. I remember we made sure to lock our doors and windows at the time. You could sense the whole city being on edge when all this was taking place. The book is very detailed and it is a very good read. Hard to put down.
Amy
I read a lot of these true crime books, but this one frightened me like no other. I almost put it down a couple of times, but I stuck with it. It is meticulously researched, but I did feel that the author should have highlighted the victims in the end and not the Night Stalker. Read it and you will never leave your windows open at night again.
Lisa
I can't think of anything or anyone who terrifies me quite as much as Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker. Responsible for a wave of brutal murders that left LA panicked and paralysed in the mid '80s, the Stalker was a home invader. Breaking into houses in the early hours, he would usually kill any men found on the premises before turning his horrifying attentions to the women, and any children left. Even though Ramirez is now thankfully in prison, and even though I live in an entirely different ...more
♥Beleza★✰
Summer of 1985 in Los Angeles was a summer of terror. Richard Ramirez committed numerous break-ins leaving in his wake 13 dead bodies and many more shattered lives. He was a completely different kind of serial killer.

From the back of the book: The classic account of one of the world’s most feared serial killers.

Philip Carlo divides the account into 4 parts labeled books, “The Hunted and the Hunters”, “Richie”, “Capture”, “The Trial”, an Epilogue and “special Update of the Tenth-Anniversary Editi
...more
Shauna Tyndall
This is an excellent, horrifying, heartbreaking real life tale. It's basically the life story of serial killer Richard Ramirez, also known as The Night Stalker. The murders were horrific, his childhood was terrible and the trial was a joke. It's an absolute travesty that the jury found him guilty and sentenced him to die. I believe he did kill those people, but the evidence in court was nowhere near enough to convict him. Not that it actually did much, Ramirez is still alive on death row. But th ...more
Joe
I liked this book, it's well written, a lot of detail was put down on every crime Richard committed. The only thing a had a problem understading was almost at the end, when Philip Carlo is writing about these women that were attracted to this Richard Ramirez, one actually married him. For crying out loud!!!.. What the hell is wrong with them?!!... this a-hole beat and raped women in the commission of his crimes, how incredibly stupid can these idiots be?!!..What is so fricking attractive about a ...more
Michael
Well.... I think the first part of the book was very good. This guy was a monster. The crimes and his background were horrible and interesting. My interest started to lag during the very long and detailed trial. I don't mind the court proceedings parts of true crime books unless they take up to much time. I was really getting tired of reading about the trial in this book. I felt the author went a little to much into it. If you are a person that enjoys the trial part of true crime books, you woul ...more
Cwn_annwn_13
As sleazy, trashy, sensationalized and exploitive as they tend to be I still have a weakness for true crime books. What Ramirez did was very disturbing and out and out evil. He did things like stab old ladies while they were sleeping and rape invalids. Almost equally as disturbing is this guy had female groupies fighting over him, including a juror, and Church of Satan nerds fawning over him and visiting him in prison.

In this book the author put it together by doing interviews with Ramirez, the
...more
Ted
The parts describing Ramirez's crimes and his capture were quite good. The section describing his childhood was decent. But the trial section was WAY too detailed. At one point the author included the name of the case that the judge cited in his ruling on a legal isue. There are also several boring chapters devoted to Richard's selection of a lawyer. Those are just a few of the zillions of things he (or his editor) should have omitted. I eventually gave up and just did a quick skim through the r ...more
Elesha
I've followed this case since I learned about it and it's definitely interesting. The Night Stalker has been one of my favorite serial killers to research (not in a bad way). It's just fascinating to learn about why people like these do the things they do. I did a paper on this case for my corrections class and I started it in the beginning of the semester and didn't finish it till the end of the semester. Took me a whole semester and 20 pages to put a well composed paper together. I enjoyed wri ...more
Michael
Mar 30, 2014 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Crime fans, Criminologists, Sociologists
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: true-crime
There was a time in my life when I thought I might become a big fan of the "True Crime" genre, that it could be for me what fantasy or romance novels are for some other people - a guilty pleasure that I would consume in huge quantities. This never really took off, and by the time I was in grad school I didn't have time for reading anything beyond what was necessary. Today, I guess I'm "too mature," or perhaps I just know myself better.

During my brief foray into the genre, however, I recall this
...more
Gemma
Don't do what I did and read this at night home alone with a storm battering your windows. Because this is so unbelieveably creepy that even the knowledge that Richard Ramirez languishes in San Quentin will be of any comfort.
Not that this is sensationalist, it doesn't have to be.

Also, would someone please write a biography of Frank Salerno? I would read that in a second.
Tanya
The author really did his reserch including getting pictures, emails from the killer's fans, interviewing and visiting Richard himself. The details are very accurate and the reader feels like they are being taken to the exact location and they are in the moment the crimes are taking place. Great read, reccomended to crime lovers.
Ulises Domínguez Blanco
Impresionante darme cuenta que Ricky Ramírez tuviera ascendencia Chihuahuense, específicamente de Jiménez, Chih. Un libro que me hizo ver de otra manera la forma de escribir, de ligar el Heavy Metal a la literatura, entre otras cosas. Este es uno de los libros que leí sin parar.
Stephanie
I have only gotten through half of this book, i love serial killer books and I cannot press myself to read this. This man was gruesome!
Adrian Phoenix
This one scared the crap out of me and made me make sure all doors and windows were locked. Like that would help.
Sharon Roy
Balanced, informed, well written.
Kyla Crowley
Finally! I have conquered this book.

Carlo tries to paint a completely unbiased portrait of Richard Ramirez in this book. He is merely an observer; he never speaks his opinion on Richard's innocence or guilt. Part 1, Richard's crimes, is even written straight through with the pronoun "he." The problem is that every person has a bias, and the book might have felt less clinical had Carlo allowed himself to open up a bit. For me, nothing can compare with Ann Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me," about h
...more
Nicole
I've always been familiar with Richard's notoriety as the Night Stalker as a true crime reader, but I had never really read up on Richard Ramirez's life before or knew the exact details of the crimes he committed, so this book made for an interesting read to say the least. It was divided into three main parts: The murders being committed, Richard's life growing up, and then his capture and trial. The first part of the book was the most disturbing of course. Out of all the true crime books I've e ...more
Niklas Pivic
Oct 28, 2011 Niklas Pivic rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all interested in serial killers.
This was a fascinating book, mostly because the author has described everything as it happened, which I deem to be a very hard thing to do considering a) the subject and b) how much research he has put into this.

First, Richard Ramirez is a serial killer seldom witnessed. He was intelligent, driven by simple, yet complex desires, a Satanist and had a very deranged childhood, seemingly propelled by his family troubles, including a somewhat failed father and older brothers who were all involved in
...more
Lucy Hart
A very well written account of Richard Ramirez's crimes (a series of brutal murders and rapes).

Ramirez, (The Nightstalker), was active in the Las Angeles area in the 1980's. he committed a string of horrific murders and sexual assaults on his victims, terrifying the citizens of the area for months.

These crimes are some of the most brutal ever committed and Carlo captures the mood at the time. I even found myself locking my bedroom window before turning in for the night a few times.

The chapters
...more
Marina Andreou
SCARY, DARK, HORRIFIC, YET FASCINATING, INTERESTING AND MYSTERIOUS!

This is the best book on true crime I've read so far! I couldn't put the book down! I was always into true crime stories and criminal profiling and this book made me love criminology even more! The story of Richard Munoz Ramirez aka The Night Stalker is captivating yet frightening! The story begins with childhood happenings. Richard witnessed gruesome pictures of rapings and killings that his cousin showed to him (his cousin Mike
...more
Lance Goff
I thought this was a great book. Carlo begins by detailing the Ramirez's crimes in chronological order. He then gives a biographical treatment to Ramirez's upbringing before moving back into the capture and trial of one of America's most terrifying serial killers.

For those unfamiliar with Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, the most concise description I can think of is this: he is the reason you check your doors and windows at night. Whatever fear you entertain that compels you to
...more
Caveman Pleasures
My favorite part of Law and Order is usually the "law" part, rather than the "order." A similar thing applies here. The book has a small drop in excitement after the crimes are over, but retains interest throughout. I like the way the book was structured, starting with the murders. It makes RR more interesting when he is formally introduced.

The most interesting thing about the first half is the sheer brutality of the crimes. I mean, to avoid most serial killers, just don't trust anyone. Don't pi
...more
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