In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Doreen Lioy was a successful editor at a teen magazine. But she gave it all up to become the wife of a Satanic serial killer.
Following Ramirez’s arrest and imprisonment in 1985, Lioy initiated their connection by sending him numerous letters. Initially captivated by Ramirez’s perceived vulnerability in television reports of his crimes, Lioy’s visits to him in jail gradually increased to four times a week, as described by a Los Angeles Times reporter who witnessed one such encounter at San Quentin.
As their bond deepened, Lioy faced alienation from her family, with her twin sister expressing disapproval in a 1996 interview with the San Francisco Examiner, stating, “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.”
Although Ramirez proposed in 1988, Lioy and he did not marry until 1996, with their wedding taking place at San Quentin. Attendees included Ramirez’s brother, sister, and niece, lawyers, and the author of a book advocating Ramirez’s innocence. During the brief 15-minute service, Lioy reportedly donned a short white dress and presented Ramirez with a platinum band, adhering to the belief that self-proclaimed Satanists refrain from wearing gold.
Regarding her experience of being married to a serial killer, Lioy expressed unwavering love and support for Ramirez in her 1996 interview with the Examiner, stating, “I claim to love him more than anything in the world.” Throughout their married years, Lioy, then known as Doreen Ramirez, fearlessly professed her affection for the infamous Night Stalker. In a 1997 CNN interview, she described him as kind, funny, charming, and her closest friend.
Lioy attributed her ability to fall in love with a convicted murderer to her steadfast belief in his innocence. She explained to CNN that she wholeheartedly trusted Ramirez, embracing her conviction in him completely.
Although Lioy acknowledged the lonely nature of her lifestyle as the spouse of a death row inmate, which prevented her from real izing her dream of starting a family due to the absence of conjugal visits, she seemed content with her new aspiration of simply being by Richard’s side.
However, despite her apparent unwavering love for Ramirez, Lioy’s affection reportedly waned after approximately 13 years of marriage. In 2009, DNA evidence connected Ramirez to the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in San Francisco in early 1984, well before his 1985 reign of terror as the Night Stalker began. It is believed that Lioy severed ties with Ramirez upon learning of this crime.
Following the emergence of these reports, Lioy chose not to comment on her relationship with Ramirez. However, their alleged separation was seemingly confirmed by a Daily Beast article published after Ramirez’s death in 2013. The article revealed that nobody had claimed his body several weeks after his passing. Furthermore, a spokesperson for San Quentin prison stated that Ramirez had not been granted any personal visits in 2010 and had refused visitors during his final years, suggesting a separation between him and Lioy during that period.
Since their potential separation a decade ago, Lioy has effectively maintained a low profile, staying away from public attention. The only recent reference to her is found in her father’s 2019 obituary, where she is listed as Doreen Ramirez. Apart from that, her current whereabouts remain unknown, and she has not made any statements following Ramirez’s death in 2013, which was attributed to complications from B-cell lymphoma and other chronic health issues.