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Recalling Ramirez: Even Friends Didn't Trust Him

September 08, 1985|DAVID HOLLEY | Times Staff Writer

When he returned from Los Angeles he had a witches' star--a star with a circle around it--tattooed on his elbow, Gregg said. Gregg said he believed that Ramirez's drug use "got him susceptible to people talking about Satanism."

"He was a follower, not a leader," Gregg said. "He was the kind of guy you could say, 'Come on, let's do this,' and you could totally talk him into things."

Never Known to Date

Gregg said he never knew Ramirez to date.

"He was too shy to go up to a girl and ask her for a date," he said.

Donna Louise Myers, Gregg's mother-in-law who lives in the San Francisco suburb of San Pablo, said she met Ramirez while in El Paso on vacation about six years ago.

After 1981 he visited her in San Francisco about every four to six weeks, she said. He had no permanent address or job, stayed at "cheap hotels and flophouses" and carried most of his possessions in a backpack, she said.

"He did a lot of coke," she said, adding that she did not know where he got the money for such an expensive habit.

"I presume he ripped people off," she said. "He didn't tell me where it came from, and he didn't work. He always had money, though."

"He was very far into Satanism," she added. "Satan was his friend, he said."

Favorite Rock Groups

He read comic books and detective magazines, and enjoyed such rock groups as AC/DC and Judas Priest, she said.

Ramirez traveled between Northern and Southern California, usually by plane, and used public transportation within San Francisco, Myers said.

"If he brought a car (on visits to San Francisco), it wasn't his," she added.

Ramirez "always remarked about how skinny he was" and was very self-conscious about his weight, she said.

Although he "was heavy into coke and said Satan was his hero . . . that doesn't make him a weirdo," Myers said.

Once, she recalled, he stopped by to visit just as the Stalker composite sketch was being shown on television.

'Could It Be Me?'

"He asked me if I thought he could be the Night Stalker," she recalled. "I said no, I didn't think he had the guts. He just laughed. . . . If you knew him, you wouldn't think in a thousand years he could do something like this."

During recent months, Ramirez spent a considerable amount of time living and eating in establishments near Main and 7th streets at the edge of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, business owners and workers in that area say.

Alfredo Leyva, a waiter at Margarita's Place, said Ramirez had come in to eat about 10 times, the most recent being two months ago.

"He always come in alone," Leyva said. "He don't talk with nobody."

"This guy, he looked like he was scared of something," Leyva said.

Last week after his arrest, sheriff's deputies said Ramirez appeared calm and relaxed. He was eating three meals a day and sleeping well in his cell in the clinic block of Los Angeles Central jail, said Deputy Rick Adams.

A team of deputies was keeping him under a round-the-clock suicide watch.

David Holley reported from El Paso. Contributing to this article were Bob Baker, Leonard Greenwood, Eric Malnic and Scott Ostler in Los Angeles, Miles Corwin in Lompoc and Dan Morain and Mark A. Stein in the Bay Area.

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