SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (CNN) — Richard Ramirez, a mass murderer and serial rapist known as the “Night Stalker” for his 1984-1985 crime spree in California, died Friday morning of natural causes at age 53, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.
The California death row inmate died at Marin General Hospital north of San Francisco, the department said.
Ramirez was convicted in 1985 of 13 murders — 11 in Southern California and two others in the San Francisco area — along with five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.
Ramirez, a professed “satanist,” was dubbed the “Night Stalker” for his preference of breaking into houses in the wee hours of the morning.
His attacks, many of them on elderly couples, terrified Southern California. His preferred method of attack was to quickly kill the male and rape — sometimes repeatedly — the female after ransacking the home for valuables. Some of his victims survived and provided descriptions, but police were unable to name a suspect.
Arrested in 1985, Ramirez was convicted and sentenced to die in 1989.