The local paper here (OC Register) did a series on Richard Ramirez about a year ago. He was basically caught because he was noticed prowling around a house here in Mission Viejo. A 12 or 13 year old boy, just back from a camping trip (I believe) was in his garage at night and heard footsteps outside. He then saw him pass by the garage. The kid went in the house and looked out the front window, saw Ramirez and got a description of the car and a partial tag. Police came, took a report and saw footprints under the bedroom window. After leaving this house, he went a few neighborhoods over and attacked a sleeping couple. Beating and raping her, shooting him in the head. Both survived. The man is permanently brain damaged and had to move with his parents. Very sad.
The reporter revisited the kid and the male victim from the last attack. The kid had to go to court and vividly remember Ramirez. The man that was shot is a sad story. He was a pretty successful man and he now seems to have the mental capacity of a child. They also did a piece on the local news with him. He's quick to anger, collects batteries and still has the old bed with the bullet holes in the headboard. Sometimes, these people do more than just take a life, they destroy them.