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What killed the 'Night Stalker'?

June 10, 2013|By Karin Klein
  • Richard Ramirez died last week.
Richard Ramirez died last week. (California Department…)

Why is it seemingly such a secret what the cause of death was of Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker"? With everything the public knows about his crimes, his weird beliefs and his many victims, for some reason this is being kept from open knowledge, at least for now. All authorities will say is that he died of natural causes.

The tabloids and gossip sites are reporting that it was hepatitis C; a handful contend that he turned bright green shortly before his death. But why are people left to guess whether these reports are true rather than simply receive a short, official statement?

Southern Californians are the people who were terrorized by his actions. The public paid for his trial and his decades of incarceration, as well as his hospitalization. It seems to me that the public has a right to know this. Ramirez gave up his right to privacy in such matters a long, long time ago. The irony is that the causes of death of his many victims were subject to immediate public knowledge, but not his.

If an autopsy needs to be conducted before the cause is determined, then authorities could simply say so (though in the cases of many other deaths, they venture at least an “appears to be” preliminary cause pending autopsy). Eventually, his death certificate will give the cause, but the delay is hard to fathom.

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