CARLO: The first really noted Serial Killer was Jack The Ripper.
CARLO: He killed seven prostitutes in London in the 1800s.
CARLO: I think there were other Serial Killers loose and participating in those types of activities but they just never got the press that Jack got.
RAMIREZ: Jack The Ripper created an aura around him, or maybe the media did.
CARLO: The press…?
RAMIREZ: But it was one of mystique and…uh…sinister character who was never identified. I remember in my childhood reading about him and I was intrigues by the way this…uh…killer, Jack The Ripper was depicted. Wears a black cloak—
RAMIREZ:—ighttime—most of the time, the media tends to, if not glorify, but…paint him in a way that is very sinister and diabolical and to some of us, that is appealing. Certainly, it was to me. [tape shuts off]
CARLO: Why do you think it was particularly appealing to you? It seems appealing to everybody…?
RAMIREZ: Well, not everybody.
CARLO: People are interested, thought.
RAMIREZ: Sure, I mean…they're interested, they're curious, but I don't think you could call it…I don't think they would call it appealing. I think people are…some people are fascinated by looking at how other people, such as killers, become who they are and how there are different types of people in the world. Certainly madmen in the world are something to look at because they are very…they are a minority in numbers.
CARLO: Do you think Jack The Ripper was a madman?
RAMIREZ: A madman?
RAMIREZ: Some say—he was a doctor…I couldn't say…
CARLO: Was he a psychopath?
RAMIREZ: A psychopath?
RAMIREZ: I could not tell you. I couldn't say. From what I've read about hm, certain he…if you came into his hands and...if you were a woman, certainly you would think this guy was mad. He would butch you, he would cut your organs out and stuff and lay them right beside you in a very precise manner. Uh…madman…yes, there are certain types of mental illnesses, mental disorders that would characterize him as a madman.
CARLO: Would you tell us what your feelings are about a psychopath?
RAMIREZ: What is a psychopath, Richard? A psychopath?
CARLO: Yeah. [tape shuts off] A psychopath is what?
RAMIREZ: There's a movie I'm going to see on the cable channel here and it's called Kalifornia and it's about a stone-cold killer. This is a movie called Kalifornia not with a "C" but with a "K."
RAMIREZ: Supposedly this movie has a psychopath in it. And…uh…what is a psychopath? Like I told you before. I could give you the definition that comes form the dictionary or I could give you my own view—
CARLO: What is your own view of what a psychopath is, Richard?
RAMIREZ: A psychopath…[tape shuts off]
CARLO: Richard, how would you—[tape shuts off] Richard, how would you suggest that people can become—can avoid becoming the victim of a Serial Killer?
RAMIREZ: There are ways…
CARLO: How can society protect itself—
RAMIREZ: There is no protection against a Mass Murderer, if you will. A Mass Murderer will come onto the scene—whether it be a post office, supermarket, restaurant—and open fire. Unless the bullets miss you, you will become a statistic. A Serial Killer, if he's looking for certain type of woman, certain type of victims, and you happen to match hi prefernce…it is possible that you could get away. You could even help in apprehending him, but it is said Serial Killers are very intelligent, otherwise they would not—
CARLO: They would not be able to commit crimes over a long period of time.
RAMIREZ: Exactly. What constitutes a Serial Killer right now is four murders or more, according to the FBI. Four murders is not that many but that's what categorizes a Serial Killer. I suppose to avoid being a victim is—
CARLO: —Being aware of the environment, being aware what's around you?
RAMIREZ:—taking precautions, locking your door, having your keys ready when you open doors…
CARLO: Your keys ready when?
RAMIREZ: When you open doors.
CARLO: Look over your shoulder?
RAMIREZ: Yes. Of course, one cannot live one's life like that in today's society, always aware. Especially if you haven't already been the victim of a crime. When you are the victim of a crime, a violent crime such as an assault or mugging, then throughout your life that will be at the back of your mind. Those types of people are more aware than those who have never been a victim of any type of crime. But, sure, a Serial Killer takes opportunities, in the victims being in the right place at the right time. He takes advantage of that.
CARLO: In other words, people are a victim of circumstance. But how can a woman be more insulated and more protected from a Serial Killer?
RAMIREZ: It's not possible because…to detectives…to apprehend a Serial Killer, they need to get inside the mind of the Serial Killer. Normal, ordinary people do not think like a Serial Killer. They have no conception of what is going on in a killer's mind, how he operates. They don't read, which is rightfully so. If they have a life to live, they're not going to spend a lot of time reading up on killers if that's not in their interest. Certainly, Serial Killers and killers have the advantage in that they use the element of surprise…uh…darkness, and such things as this…
CARLO: One of the conventional ways police manage to apprehend people who kill one another is usually the victim is known by their killer. But in serial murders, the victim is not known by their killer and therefore the conventional aspects that help homicide detectives—[tape shuts off]
CARLO: Do you think one of the reasons why Serial Killers are so successful in their crimes, and are able to go on for years and years, is because the police are not equipped to deal with this new phenomenon of serial murder, in that they don't have systems set up to help identify, categorize and apprehend?
RAMIREZ: Once they have a suspect, because of…the progress that has been made in forensics and all the new other evidence-gathering techniques, once they have a suspect there is a good chance they will catch the Serial Killer, because we all leave particles of ourselves wherever we are. So…yes, it is difficult for police. They are at a disadvantage because these are stranger-to-stranger crimes, and it will always be so. I don't think that can change.
CARLO: You mentioned that people always leave a bit of themselves behind and with today's technology, it makes it somewhat easier for them to identify Serial Killers. In an instance where a naked body is left out in a field and…uh…there are no clues left behind, it becomes virtually impossible, doesn't it?
CARLO: You once told me that—[tape shuts off]—about what they call "the devil's dandruff"—Cocaine, which is really prevalent in society today. What are your thoughts on Cocaine, Richard?
RAMIREZ: I love it! [laughs] No, well….if you look at it in broad views, it's a supply-and-demand type of thing. I saw a show not too long ago where the CIA, I believe, actually had been working with this stuff to get arms to the Contras and stuff like that. That's on a big scale, but on a street level, I thing Cocaine is addictive and I think it's very harmful to the body.
CARLO: What about to the mind?
RAMIREZ:To the mind, sure. It depends on how you ingest it. If you mainline it, I've heard and read that it can cause brain clots that lead to strokes. Sure, it's harmful, but the sense of pleasure it gives is very profound.
CARLO: What could you compare that sense of pleasure to, Richard?
RAMIREZ:There is nothing…to me, anyway, that comes near it.
CARLO: You once described it to me as an intense euphoric heat, a rush, a light tingling that goes to the brain.
CARLO: Your feelings about capital punishment in this country are very profound.
RAMIREZ:You better take away that CIA shite—[tape shuts off]
CARLO: Your feelings, your opinions about the death penalty in this country are very profound. Would you tell me your feelings about the death sentence?
RAMIREZ:As far as the death penalty is concerned, I think it is a power against the powerless. There are not many millionaires on Death Row. A lot of people choose to die, though. A lot of people, a lot of murder defendants actually get on the witness stand and tell the jury that they want the death penalty. They would rather die than spend the rest of their lives in prison. The death penalty is…to me…is not a very dignified way. They should have gladiator arenas like in the old Roman times because what I…it's just…you know, it doesn't seem right.
CARLO: Do you think that the Government does not have the right to take a life, or do you feel that in certain crimes—
RAMIREZ:Well, they're doing it for the victims. If the relatives of the victims want the killer's blood…uh…I think one of the relatives should pull the plug, the switch. But they leave it up to the State and…uh…that is something to look at. I've given it a lot of thought and I've written some things down but I don't have—
CARLO: How do you feel about it only being in thirteen states, as opposed to it being in every state across the board?
RAMIREZ: Right. Well, the way crime is going nowadays, it'll probably end up being in a lot of states in the future. People in different parts of the country feel differently about it and it's ultimately up to the people in every state. They vote for it and some states vote yes and some vote no, they don't want it.
"Right, in society today. I believe that…uh…tension in the workplace, and also lack of jobs, and the way families are…are brought up and child abuse, sure…it's like a recipe. Drugs, poverty, child abues—all this creates angry individuals. And, then again, lust killers—people tend to lump all Serial Killers in the same category but there are different types of Serial Killers, as you know. "