Richard Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas, on February 28, 1960, to Julian and Mercedes Ramirez. Richard was the youngest child of six, epileptic, and described by his father as being “a good boy,” until his involvement with drugs. Richard admired his father, but at the age of 12, he found a new hero, his cousin, Mike, a Vietnam veteran and ex-Green Beret.
Mike, home from Vietnam, shared gruesome pictures of rape and human torture with Richard, who became fascinated with the pictorial brutality. The two spent a lot of time together, smoking pot and talking about war. On one such day, Mike’s wife began to complain about Mike’s laziness. Mike’s reaction was to kill her by shooting her in the face, in front of Richard. Because of Mike’s war record, he was sentenced to seven years for the killing.