“Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez had recently married when now-Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Christopher Goffard ran into him in the visiting area at San Quentin State Prison.
Ramirez had already been sentenced to death after being convicted in 1989 of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. Ramirez, who infamously yelled out “Hail Satan” in court and drew a pentagram – apparently in his own blood – in his jail cell, died Friday of natural causes.
Goffard, who was there to interview another convicted killer for a story he was developing, wrote his impression of Ramirez and his then-wife Doreen Lioy:
On Death Row in San Quentin, Richard Ramirez seemed to wear a perpetual sneer, walked with a loose-limbed swagger, and offered a weak, moist handshake to visitors.
He had more than his share of female groupies.
Among them was journalist Doreen Lioy, who had seen his mug shot on TV and perceived what she called his “vulnerability.”
They fell in love through prison Plexiglass and were allowed to touch – and marry – in 1996.
In the inmate visiting room, it was common to see the newlyweds nuzzling while they enjoyed vending-machine snacks.
Ardently devoted to him, she visited him four times a week and was often among the first in the visiting line. She made it a point to pack breath mints, explaining: “So I can be able to kiss with confidence.”
When people pointed out the strangeness of her choice of spouses, she rolled her eyes.
“Hometown girl makes bad,” she would say.
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