The Messed Up Truth About Richard Ramirez's Fangirls

In the mid-'80s, people from the Los Angeles area lived in constant fear due to the presence of a serial killer nicknamed the "Night Stalker." This individual, later identified as Richard Ramirez, was a petty burglar who moved on to murder sometime in 1984 and ended up killing at least 13 people before he was finally caught on August 31, 1985 (via Britannica). He claimed to be a Satanist and wasn't shy in proclaiming his allegiance to the Dark Lord, even going as far as to draw a pentagram on his hand, raise it, and say the words "Hail, Satan" during his first court hearing.

Decades have passed since Ramirez was sentenced to death row at San Quentin State Prison for those 13 murders, and he remains one of America's most talked-about serial killers. Heck, he was even fictionalized on "American Horror Story" and portrayed on-screen by Zach Villa, much to the chagrin of viewers who felt "AHS" co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk were glamorizing the Night Stalker's crimes. But that was far from the first time people were accused of overlooking Ramirez's violent actions, as his 1989 trial was infamous for the plethora of fangirls who showed up to his hearings and offered their support.

Women were reportedly attracted to Ramirez's 'dark, mysterious' personality

It's almost understandable that Ted Bundy had his fair share of female fans — he was, after all, a handsome, intelligent, and charismatic man, albeit a very dangerous one. Richard Ramirez, on the other hand, was notorious for his poor personal hygiene, what with his rotting teeth and his supposedly unpleasant odor (via Oxygen). So how come he was able to catch the attention of hordes of groupies during his trial, much like Bundy did following his arrest?

Speaking to Oxygen, author and criminologist Dr. Scott Bonn offered his thoughts on why he believes women were drawn to Ramirez. "I think his fangirl appeal had to do with the dark, mysterious way he presented himself; including sunglasses, dark clothes and long dark hair and brooding features," he speculated. "He was also very verbal, defiant and played to his audience." As for Ramirez's hygiene, or lack thereof, author Kevin Sullivan told Oxygen that the Night Stalker's personality more than made up for it, especially since he supposedly "cleaned up" for trial. "They are not smelling him or concentrating on his teeth," Sullivan continued. "They are getting turned on or whatever because of who he is."

During his sentencing hearing, Ramirez was clearly aware of his female following, as he'd smile and wave to his groupies, including one who reportedly showed up in a skintight spandex jumpsuit. It is also believed that he had up to 15 girlfriends from the time he was arrested in 1985, including one whom he'd eventually marry.

Ramirez married one of his so-called fangirls

With all the attention he was getting from women during his trial, it was seemingly inevitable that Richard Ramirez would tie the knot with one of them. That was what happened when Ramirez married Doreen Lioy, a magazine editor from California who started writing to the convicted serial killer not long after he was arrested. For 11 years, Lioy sent Ramirez letter after letter until they got married at San Quentin State Prison in 1996.

So how does a "very lonely" woman go from helping a young John Stamos rise to fame as a teen idol (via Entertainment Tonight) to marrying one of America's most notorious criminals? In an interview with CNN in 1997, Lioy said that she believes Ramirez is innocent and that he has many positive qualities that people overlook due to his reputation. "He's kind, he's funny, he's charming," she explained. "I think he's really a great person. He's my best friend; he's my buddy." Lioy's belief in Ramirez's innocence came at a price, however, as she told CNN that her family disowned her.

Additionally, Stamos' parents, who had become close to Lioy in the early days of his career, distanced themselves from her due to her relationship with Ramirez. "First of all, to be that lonely that this is the only man on the planet that she can find, I just thought, 'How horrible.' This man is the personification of evil — just a monster. And here is someone that was part of my family, sort of," the actor told Entertainment Tonight.

According to The Sun, Lioy allegedly split from Ramirez in 2009 after DNA evidence revealed that he raped and murdered a 9-year-old girl in 1984. Ramirez was apparently engaged to a 23-year-old woman at the time of his death from cancer in 2013 (via The Telegraph).