Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez” as Want to Read:
The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  9,736 ratings  ·  339 reviews
Painstakingly researched over three years, based on nearly one hundred hours of exclusive interviews with Richard Ramirez on California's Death Row, "The Night Stalker" is the definitive account of America's most feared serial murderer. From Ramirez's earliest brushes with the law to his deadliest stalking expeditions to the unprecedented police and civilian manhunt that r ...more
Paperback, 559 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Pinnacle (first published May 1st 1996)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Night Stalker, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Megan According to the wiki, they ended up splitting. Though it doesn't say when they parted.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,736 ratings  ·  339 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
Johnny Story
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Brett C
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, favorites
I was very intrigued by this story from the beginning. The book is broken into four sections: the murderous rampage, his capture, the trial, and then the epilogue. The author did an excellent job of giving the detailed account of the Night Stalker's gruesome story.

For me the intriguing part was his commitment to devil worship and the power of Satan. According to him worshipping the devil helped him accomplish these home invasions/robberies/murders/rapes. Stalking, lurking in the shadows of the n
...more
Eva Leger
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-true-crime
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
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.
Lisa
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Niki
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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
Joe
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Licha
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Angela DeSilva
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True crime fans
This is the superior of the two Night Stalker books on Richard Ramirez.
Ozzie
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Adrian Phoenix
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, own
This one scared the crap out of me and made me make sure all doors and windows were locked. Like that would help.
Ann Marie
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aaaah another book I liked during my serial killer phase!
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
DAISY DISNEY
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
Kathryn
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
A very comprehensive and compelling account of the Night Stalker Richard Ramirez who terrorised LA for years and murdered 13 people in the process.

I am slightly baffled about why lots of women found him attractive, one of the jurors on his trial fell in love with him and he got married to 'another fan' if you can call them that!!!!

A good read none the less 4/5.
Marina Andreou
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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
Lady ♥ Belleza
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
J. Kahele
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is so frightening about this story was that it was true. This man, Richard Ramirez existed and he killed at will, regardless of genre or age. He had fans and the court system spent over a million dollars on his trial, wasted money on a monster who had no care for the life of anyone. What really saddened me is this man lived on death row for over 23 years, with heat, food and shelter, while most of his victims laid cold in the ground, their last minutes in fear, knowing they were going to di ...more
Bella
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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
Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
CW: rape, murder, graphic descriptions of death and mutilations, and hybristophilia (women who love serial killers)

I'm familiar with Richard Ramirez just because of his crimes and name. But, I wasn't this familiar. He's extremely disturbing. It was a fascinating book to listen to. Made my hour long commutes interesting! But, it was very disturbing at times. I feel for him at times, oddly enough, but I don't think that forgives what he did. Not gonna lie when I say that I'm happy he's gone now.
Tanya
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Gemma
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amy
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rebecca McNutt
Creepy and horrific, if you're a fan of the true crime genre you'll probably know exactly what to expect from it, but it's still worth reading. The Night Stalker could easily pass for a horror novel; I can't believe it's non-fiction! O_o
Sharon Roy
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Balanced, informed, well written.
Jennifer
This was a page-turner, easy to read. My only complaints would be that the second half was a bit repetitive, and the underlying "poor Richard Ramirez" theme was irritating.
Niklas Pivic
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
kaitlyn
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, true-crime
3 stars. the first half of this book was great - it’s obvious that a lot of research was put into it, but there is never a dull moment. carlo takes readers inside of ramirez’s head and helps explain the motives that led to him committing these gruesome crimes. however, the second half was extremely boring. i found myself skipping major portions of the trial because it was sooo long. overall though, it’s an interesting book and a good portrait of richard ramirez. i recommend it to true crime fans ...more
Ashley
Feb 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
The writing style drove me crazy. I had to give up on this one.
Nick Black
richie ramirez was a dark, dark guy, and any book about him is going to be at least minimally interesting. that said, this had a lot of minor editing concerns (primarily swapping of names, especially when discussing richard's large hispanic family)--if Richard's father Julian had truly "aged twenty years" every time Carlo uses the phrase, he'd have been a hundred--and the third part (trial coverage) was exceedingly boring. i'm unsure how bugliosi managed to make trial coverage so exciting in He ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders
  • Dead Ends: The Pusuit, Conviction and Execution of Female Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos, the Damsel of Death
  • The Hillside Stranglers
  • The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare
  • The Search for the Green River Killer
  • Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original "Psycho"
  • The I-5 Killer
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
  • Deadly Innocence
  • Zodiac
  • The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
  • Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer - America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
  • Small Sacrifices
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
  • I Know My First Name Is Steven
  • Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
  • Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters
  • Butcher, Baker: A True Account of a Serial Murder
See similar books…

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
30 likes · 21 comments
“Doreen” 1 likes
“That night she again slept in the back of her brother’s car, hidden under her raincoat, afraid of the rats, of the police, and of men who got their kicks from hurting women. Ruth knew it was a cruel world filled with people who were capable of terrible things.” 1 likes
More quotes…