Night Stalker Richard Ramirez got married to a pen pal whilst he was on death row

They separated and then he managed to get engaged again

Some of us will openly admit to be obsessed with true crime and serial killers, whilst others go that one bit further and actually pursue them…whilst they’re in jail for heinous crimes. We’ve heard it all before, American Murder killer Chris Watts had countless women writing to him confessing their love, despite him being locked up having killed his wife and family. Richard Ramirez, the infamous Night Stalker serial killer, hasn’t avoided this strange admiration either, and he even managed to wife one of his prison pen pals.

Serial killer Richard Ramirez, subject of Netflix series Night Stalker: The Hunt for A Serial Killer, received 19 life sentences for the crimes which are explored in the documentary. But whilst he was in prison on death row, Richard Ramirez managed to find a wife, get separate from her and then get engaged all over again.

The Netflix documentary touches upon him getting multiple letters in prison, having “sex appeal” and “groupies” and that women turned up to his trial to support him. Here’s everything we know about his wife and what happened between them whilst he was in prison.

Who is Doreen Lioy? The wife Richard Ramirez had whilst he was in prison

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Doreen Lioy sent Ramirez dozens of letters in 1985, shortly after he was imprisoned and awaiting trial for murder, sexual assault and robbery. The freelance magazine editor from Burbank, California was reportedly taken back by his “vulnerability” in a TV interview and began visiting him up to four times a week. She sent him over 75 letters in total.

Their relationship became serious, and Lioy’s family soon all disowned her. Her twin sister told the San Francisco Examiner in 1996: “It’s unfortunate for me that I’ve been linked with all of this. I was taken aback by the news. To be related by birth is fine. I don’t want to be a part of this. It’s been a painful event for the family.”

Richard Ramirez, wife, Doreen Lioy, married, prison, Night Stalker, death row, Netflix

Doreen Lioy, via YouTube

Author of The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez claims Doreen had said she was a virgin, and this was part of what drew Ramirez to her. Ramirez proposed in 1988 but the pair didn’t tie the knot until 1996 because of “prison rules”. The ceremony took place while Ramirez was living on death row in California’s San Quentin State Prison. It was a 15-minute service, attended by Ramirez’s brother, sister, and niece, lawyers, and the author of a book claiming to outline Ramirez’s innocence.

When Lioy purchased their wedding bands, she bought a gold one for herself and a platinum one for Ramirez, who explained to her that “Satanists don’t wear gold.”

Since, Doreen (now Ramirez) has declared her love publicly for the killer. She’s done interviews about their relationship calling him “kind”, “funny”, “charming”, “a great person” and her “best friend”. She told CNN she was able to marry a killer because she genuinely believed he was innocent.

She added that she had dreamt of having “five or six children” but that couldn’t happen so she “replaced it with a different dream”, which was “being with Richard.”

However all this didn’t last. When new DNA evidence linked Ramirez to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old, after 13 years of marriage Doreen cut ties. They separated in 2009 and after that she never commented on their relationship again. She made no statement when Ramirez died in 2013.

He then had a different fiancee, also from prison

The breakup didn’t seem to be to upsetting for the serial killer, who was still getting letters and shortly became engaged to writer Christine Lee. Geraldo Rivera introduced Lee as Ramirez’s fiancee on his talk show, and she said they “never kissed” because their visits took place behind a glass screen.

Ramirez never married Christine Lee. He had B-cell lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and died because of complications from this in 2013.

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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• Who was Richard Ramirez? Subject of Netflix true crime series Night Stalker