The Juror who Fell in Love With Richard Ramirez: "It was His Job"
Ramirez was known as "Death Row Romeo" in prison
Richard Ramirez terrorized the Los Angeles area during the 1980s, breaking into homes late at night with a .22 revolver handgun, knives, machetes, and other weapons used to murder his victims. He sexually assaulted most female victims before murdering them and left Satanic messages on the wall written in blood spatter.
Most people know Ramirez as “The Night Stalker,” but after his arrest and conviction for 13 murders, five attempted murders, and 11 sexual assaults in 1989, he was sent to Death row where he became known behind prison walls as “Death Row Romeo” due to the number of females who became obsessed with him.
The women showed up at court showing support for the serial killer. Richard loved the attention, calling the women his groupies. He wore dark sunglasses and waved and smiled at the women.
Guards said Ramirez received bags of mail each day, mostly from women obsessed over the “caring guy” on trial for murder.
One of those groupies, Doreen Lloy, became Ramirez’s wife during a 1996 prison ceremony. It all started in 1985 when Lloy became his pen pal. For 13-years, Loy faithfully wrote to the Night Stalker before he proposed to her in 1988. She accepted, and the two wed.
Lloy visited her husband at the prison at every opportunity, sometimes as many as four times per week. In 2009, DNA testing confirmed Richard Ramirez raped and killed 11-year-old Mei Leung. She then divorced him.
Before his trial, the city of Los Angeles interviews over 1,600 potential jurors to find the 11 who sat in the courtroom. The hysteria over the murder and the fame Ramirez acquired made the selection process gruesome. The murder trial is one of the most expensive to date, costing more than $1.8 million.
One of the jurors selected, a woman named Cindy Haden, fell head over heels with Richard. He could sense her attraction and “flirted” with her during the trial, staring romantically in her direction and sometimes blowing her kisses.
Haden baked him a cupcake on Valentine’s Day, topping it with the words, “I love you.”
Haden “spent time” with Ramirez every single day, she says. In a book written by Phillip Carlo, who interviewed Ramirez while he was on death row, Haden says that She and Ramize told each other they loved each other. Cindy told her parents about Richard, bringing them to the prison to meet him on at least one occasion. She also had photos of him sitting on her nightstand in her bedroom.
Maybe Haden fooled us all and “fell in love” with Ramirez in an effort for fame. She did appear on shows like the Geraldo Rivera show and 30 years later, here we are discussing her and The Night Stalker. I doubt it though, as much attention as women gave Ramirez and the dreamy look in her eyes when she mentioned Ramirez’s name.
That’s Just One Side of Him
When Geraldo asked Haden if she cared about Ramirez, she responded by saying, “Yes I do. That’s just one side of him. Everyone has a dreadful side.” Geraldo told her that she looked to be a “Young, educated woman,” and questioned how she could fall in love with a “butcher” as she sat in the juror box listening to the details of the crime so horrific the public has not heard it all. She replied by saying, “I look beyond that. I look at what’s behind that.”
Haden appeared on Geraldo a second time after the family of one of Ramirez’s victims said they were appalled that she could say she loves someone like him.
She also told a reporter during a TV documentary that Ramirez “opened my eyes to the darker side of the world.”
Haden Convicts Ramirez Despite Her Love
Thankfully, Haden knew where to draw the line between reality and fantasy. She told reporters she did believe Ramirez would kill again if given the chance because it was “his job” just like you and I go to work each day. She also stated that she could have caused a hung jury but knew that Ramirez was guilty and that he needed to be punished. That’s why she voted to convict despite her feelings toward the serial killer.