The Eerie BAMS/Night Stalker Connection
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer” is in the number one spot right now on Netflix. One criticism of the docu-series: it’s too violent and graphic.
As I was watching “Night Stalker” over the weekend I was reminded of many of the details of the case that I had forgotten. I can distinctly remember the news coverage of the events as they happened in the mid-1980s. The fear that had gripped Los Angeles. The gruesomeness of the crimes (although without as much detail). Then, the capture of Richard Ramirez and the country’s horror/fascination of his persona: a self-proclaimed Satan worshipper who loved the music of AC/DC. This last bit was a shock since I TOO was a fan of AC/DC. In fact, Richard Ramirez was often used as Exhibit A that rock music was a tool of the devil in my conservative religious upbringing.
I also remember that in 1996, the Buzz Adams Morning Show found itself thrust into the bizarre world of the Night Stalker and his many female admirers.
Ramirez had his female fans even back in the ‘80s during his trial. There’s actually a name for the condition that leads some otherwise normal, law-abiding women to fall for monsters like Ramirez. It’s called “hybristophilia” and it’s an attraction to persons who have committed heinous crimes like rape and murder. Richard Ramirez did both.
In 1996, death-row inmate Richard Ramirez married…yes, MARRIED…a woman named Doreen Lioy who had been writing him lover letters since his arrest back in 1985. We were talking about the phenomenon and were wondering what a woman who would marry someone like Ramirez was thinking.
Then, I got a note from the phone screener. Doreen Lioy, the blushing bride, was on the request line and wanted to talk to us. Of course, I was skeptical but some quick investigation revealed that the woman was telling the truth. It WAS Doreen.
Richard Ramirez was from El Paso. Relatives and people who knew him pre-Night Stalker still live here. And in 1996, some of his relatives were listening to the show that day. It’s been almost 25 years, but I believe that it was Ramirez’ sister who called in with Doreen.
We talked for 15 or 20 minutes and, as I recall, Doreen assured us she was in love with Richard and that she didn’t think he was actually guilty. Or maybe, he was guilty of some of the crimes but not others. Again, it’s been a long time and I haven’t been able to find the tapes. Yet.
That afternoon I got a call. It was a producer for Geraldo Rivera. I was told the Night Stalker’s new wife was THE most sought after guest for trashy shows like Geraldo’s…but no one had any idea how to contact her. Of course, I didn’t know because SHE called ME. I got calls from others (2 news stations from L.A., Inside Edition) but the Geraldo people were relentless. I think they thought I was holding out on them because they kept trying to entice me even after I told them I didn’t have any idea how to get ahold of the woman. “C’mon, if you help us maybe we can fly you up so you can watch the taping”. That sort of thing.
Doreen Lioy divorce Ramirez in 2009, reportedly after DNA evidence proved he raped and murdered a 12 year old girl in 1984. Doreen has been successful in returning to anonymity but for a brief moment in 1996, she was Geraldo Rivera’s dream guest…for about a week.
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