The Night Stalker

The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
Narrated by: Tom Zingarelli
Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Decades after Richard Ramirez left 13 dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo's classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. From watching his cousin commit murder at age 11 to his 19 death sentences to the juror who fell in love with him, the story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.

Incredibly, after The Night Stalker was first published, thousands of women from all over the world contacted Carlo, begging to be put in touch with the killer. Carlo interviewed them and here presents their disturbing stories and the dark sexual desires that would drive them towards a brutal murderer. And in an exclusive death row interview, the killer himself gives his thoughts on the "Ramirez Groupies" - and what he thinks they really want.

©1996 Philip Carlo (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This book will provide true crime readers a chilling inside perspective of a serial killer." (Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another True Crime classic...! (yay)


Its been a little while since a new "classic" true crime audiobook has been released...well, wait no more! I rate this in my TOP 5 (Helter Skelter, Green River Running Red, etc) along with several others. This was SOOO good. I know I will be re-listening to it many more times! I never knew *all* the intricate details surrounding the numerous crimes/murders of Richard Ramirez (aka "The Night Stalker"), I just recall seeing the somewhat censored tv news segments at the time. Wow. Unh. Wow. Putting eyeballs in a jewelry box? Electric cord shocking? Raping next to the freshly killed husband? And that's not all! Holy sheet! He covered every base of everything evil you can think of. Stabbing, shooting, clubbing, etc. He was bold, daring, arrogant and fearless - often attacking while multiple people were present in the home - and they didnt even have a chance. I dont think there has been another killer quite like him since.

The book is done in several segments. The first part details ALL the crimes (night after night of mayhem, torture and murder) ...in *every minute* detail. The second part, chronicles his childhood and youth - not meant to be a "oh boo-hoo feel sorry for me" thing, but certainly its clear that times were hard for him and especially his family. Then of course his capture and trial - which I found quite interesting as well; hearing about his defiant behaviour in court, and his lawyers trying to come up with SOME kind of defense for him. This book was written in 1995, and was slightly updated in 2005. It does cover quite a bit of additional material including tales of his devoted groupies and prison marriage, but not his death. There is also an "interview session" between him and the author at the end.


This one is totally WORTH THE CREDIT! Worth ignoring everyone you know for a few days while you listen to it. Lol. True Crime fans rejoice!!!

42 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great & Bad at the same time.

It starts off getting right into the interesting parts, but then slows down entirely and becomes a 7 hour courtroom transcript marathon that is almost as horrible as what Richard Ramirez did. Narrator does a good job, as does the author in half the book.

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent ! *5 STARS*

I get the chills from the warning of Richard Ramirez as a Stalker:
Be Aware of your surroundings. No one is safe.
Well-researched and well-narrated book!
Thank you Mr. Carlo.

24 people found this helpful

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definitely worth it!

I was reluctant to buy this book after reading everyone else's reviews. But I'm happy I did.

Yes, the narrator has trouble pronouncing some words. Does it bug? Not enough for it to detract because it's sporadic.

Yes, the last half of the book is the trial of Richard Ramirez. The reviews led me to believe it was more transcript less prose. But it was a part of the story and I thought it was akin to Ann Rule 's Ted Bundy story.

I enjoyed every minute and am sad it wasn't updated past 2006. But you should definitely get this book- holistic approach to all involved in these crimes.

8 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

The court precedings were long but interesting. Nice background on the monsters family. I was annoyed by the groupies and his family.

12 people found this helpful

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Very Good!

Grabs you into the story! Won't be able to stop listening until the book is finished.

10 people found this helpful

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Wow!

This book blew my mind! I hadn’t seen or read any stories about the Night Stalker in the past...this was my intro to Richard Ramirez. The story took me through a range of emotions...anger, disgust, surprise and even joy! The story is well written and the narrator was great. It’s long but the story moves quickly!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good but then not so much..

In the first two thirds of the book, the author does a pretty good job bringing everything to life. There must have been a massive amount of research into each of these people's lives, and it shows! Then we get to the courtroom section...which then just drags on and on (and on).. there are some characters sprinkled here and there, but we don't get to know them that well (some we probably don't want to know at all) but I'm guessing the bulk of this section is just a regurgitation of the court transcripts. Mildly interesting, but also stuff we really don't care about, such as that day the Judge dismissed court early so he could go to a meeting.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The narrator shouldn't "do" the voices

Would you consider the audio edition of The Night Stalker to be better than the print version?

I never read the print version

What did you like best about this story?

The story was fascinating. I left LA shortly before all this took place, so I never experienced all the horror and shock Angelenos felt.

What aspect of Tom Zingarelli’s performance would you have changed?

Please, please don't do the voices. It's offensive when you try and do a Spanish accent (or your idea of a Spanish accent), or when you make your voice higher for a woman's voice, especially since you didn't give each male character a different voice to distinguish one from the other. I understand this is a performance, but it's not a stage play. You have a pleasant voice, so a straight reading would have been great.

Any additional comments?

Great story. I knew the bullet points of extreme violence, a neighborhood of concerned citizens catching Ramirez, and the fan clubs, but the specifics were shocking.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Intrigued by the mind of a serial killer

Only wish was that there was more about Richard and why he did what he did or what he felt after he did it and while he was in that act. Very sick guy I definitely think he was insane.

1 person found this helpful