My correspondence with Richard Ramirez

Account of my correspondence with the American serial killer Richard Ramirez.

(In my book – In french only – “The Words of Evil – My Correspondence with Killers,” you will have the opportunity to discover more in a much more developed form, rich in twists and additional anecdotes.)

Richard Ramirez has become an iconic figure in a certain counterculture in the United States. It’s hard to overlook when delving into American myths and urban legends. I began corresponding with Richard Ramirez in the course of the year 2010. Initially, I didn’t expect a response because I knew he received many letters. I received his first letter on April 10, 2010. It also included a small drawing of the “Green Goblin,” one of the super villains in Marvel’s Spiderman comics. His letter was composed of short, error-free sentences and fit on one page. It mainly consisted of questions for me.

For example, Richard Ramirez asked me about my occupation, my music preferences, if I played a sport, if I had ever set foot on American soil, and, of course, how I had managed to obtain his address. Diverse questions to get acquainted. In my first envelope to him, I had included a photo of myself and some of my paintings. According to him, he appreciated the darkness emanating from them. He asked me to explain where I drew my inspiration. On his side, Richard Ramirez was no longer allowed to create drawings that were too “Evil” or, in other words, related to his own crimes, his case, and Satanism. In the 90s, he had his right to possess pencils and paper for drawing banned by the prison administration. It was his punishment for producing works that clearly glorified his bloody exploits.

Now, he contented himself with clumsily drawing, but with his own style, comic characters, pin-ups, cars, or often charming and cute little characters. I, in turn, received a drawing from him with each of his letters. Occasionally, Richard Ramirez asked me for pens or markers, but also to perform various small services for him. These usually involved making photocopies of documents he wanted to have in multiple copies to send to his other correspondents. These documents were typically photos of himself that he probably had to sign for his numerous “groupies,” short questionnaires with basic questions, and notes telling jokes. Often, he asked me to send him pictures of girls, semi-nude, in lingerie, or in swimsuits. His strong preference in women seemed to be towards Asians.

One day, I was surprised when he suddenly seemed interested in the contortions of gymnasts and women practicing bodybuilding! Regarding the pictures of girls, I made sure to send only “soft” photos to avoid censorship by the prison administration and being banned from corresponding with Richard Ramirez. Only semi-nude photos are allowed in death row. Intimate parts such as genitals or nipples must be covered or not visible. Overall, our correspondence followed this rhythm: I received a letter from Richard Ramirez every month and a half, approximately. In his letters, he spoke about himself only on rare occasions and felt that his sordid daily life in death row was not worth dwelling on. For him, his entire life had already been scrutinized and recounted in numerous books, newspapers, documentaries, not to mention the internet.

Now, he preferred to stick to asking questions and talking about specific things unrelated to crime or murder. During our correspondence, he never directly expressed his interest in Satanism, but he directed me towards heavy metal groups that used symbolic representations related to this doctrine. Some claim that Richard Ramirez had mellowed by the time he reached his fifties. The relative innocence of the content of his envelopes and letters seemed to indicate that he now took his entire existence as a vast joke… Having nothing to lose since being sentenced to death in 1989. He often mentioned his musical tastes, ranging from “rock” to “heavy metal.” Sometimes, he asked me to send him song lyrics from Judas Priest or Ted Nugent. The irony is that the latter is known for his involvement in the Gun Owners of America (GOA) and is also a staunch supporter of the death penalty.

Richard Ramirez often expressed interest in sports and beautiful cars. I sent him pictures of shiny, beautiful cars, and he seemed fascinated by the speed these cars could reach. Starting in March 2013, I had no news from him for over two months. I decided to reach out to him four months later. I was unaware that I had sent him a final letter on the very day of his death on Friday, June 7, 2013. The announcement of his death was very sudden because nothing in the content of his letters suggested that he was ill. Moreover, I had no external information that could have allowed me to foresee it. According to authorities, Richard Ramirez died of natural causes. Now, he is certainly in hell, sitting at the right hand of Satan. He has erected his own mausoleum in the collective unconscious of American society by becoming one of the most barbaric serial killers of the second half of the 20th century.

“You don’t understand me. You are not capable of it! I am beyond your experience. I am beyond Good and Evil…”

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