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LOS ANGELES ? Richard Ramirez, the demonic serial killer known as the Night Stalker who left satanic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims' bodies during a reign of terror in the 1980s, died early Friday in a hospital, a prison official said.

Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin's death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure. Prison officials said they could not release further details on the cause of death, citing federal patient privacy laws.

Ramirez had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California.

At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, "Hail, Satan."

His marathon trial, which ended in 1989, was a horror show in which jurors heard about one dead victim's eyes being gouged out and another's head being nearly severed. Courtroom observers wept when survivors of some of the attacks testified.

Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985 as well as charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and attempted murder.

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About bloody time. Good riddance.

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Surprising that other inmates did not kill him.

I wonder if his wife can collect insurance ....

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About bloody time. Good riddance.

isnt it better he live and suffer imprisonment then just die ? seems like he got off rather lightly

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No, not really. Dead will do fine.

Too many of these slimes adapt well to prison life; three squares, a roof, a bed, health care, and a society of sorts. For some TV, sex, drugs, a library, etc. can be had there. Some have lived it up in custody.

Death denies that, or even the possibility.

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The Night Stalker was a great TV show. :)

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I agree with DocM. About time.

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