Not the First Time Dianne Feinstein Has Endangered Lives
Dianne Feinstein should never have been considered to chair the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Anyone who knows anything about that woman would never take that kind of risk. Her recent release of the CIA "torture" report is not the first time she has divulged information that has put Americans’ lives at risk. Nope, she endangered the lives of Americans as far back as August of 1985.
Those who were around back in the '80s may remember the name Richard Ramirez. Even those who were not alive or old enough to know may have since heard of him by his notorious epithet – the Night Stalker. Ramirez was a serial killer who terrorized the populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco from June of 1984 to August of 1985, claiming 14 victims. The crimes were huge news at the time. Few Americans had seen anything like it in their lifetimes. Ramirez was so aggressive and cocky, scrawling pentagrams on walls in victims’ homes and even making his final known rape victim swear allegiance to Satan. The public was desperate to see him captured.
By July of 1985, Ramirez had already committed some 13 murders, 5 rapes including sodomy, and 3 attempted murders, yet it seemed police were still far from catching him. They did have a couple of critical pieces of evidence, though. First, they knew that the killer or killers’ preferred weapon was a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which ballistics determined had been used in several of the murders. And, perhaps more importantly, they had discovered prints at multiple crime scenes from a particular Avia aerobic sneaker with a unique tread pattern. This information was known only to law enforcement and should have remained so. You can probably see where this is going.
Sometime after the murder of Peter and Barbara Pan on August 18, then-San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein caught wind of the firearm and shoe evidence and proceeded to announce as much on a televised press conference.
The Wikipedia entry (citation omitted) on Ramirez, among other sources, details the ramifications of Feinstein’s irresponsibility:
This leak infuriated the detectives in the case, as they knew that the killer would be following media coverage and have an opportunity to destroy crucial forensic evidence. Ramirez, who had indeed been watching the press, dropped his size 11 ½ Avia sneakers over the side of the Golden Gate Bridge that night. He remained in the area for a few more days before heading back to the L.A. area.
I had always heard that he also threw away the handgun that night but have not been able to confirm that.
After disposing of the evidence, Ramirez proceeded to drive 76 miles south of Los Angeles, to Mission Viejo, where he committed his final acts of violence. His victims that night were Bill Erickson, who survived being shot in the head twice, and his wife Inez, who suffered the aforementioned satanic rape. Inez ran to the neighbors’ house for help, discovering that their 13-year old son had written down part of the assailant’s license plate number. Fingerprint evidence from the stolen car, as well as evidence from a simple burglary of the home of prominent dentist Jack Saroyan, gave police what they needed. Police then released a mugshot of Ramirez at a televised press conference, announcing, “We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will. There will be no place you can hide” . On August 31, 1985, Ramirez was captured in East Los Angeles after being beaten and subdued by area residents.
On November 7, 1989, after a lengthy trial during which one of the jurors was murdered (not by Ramirez, for once), the Night Stalker was sentenced to die in California’s electric chair.
It is unclear whether the evidence was leaked to Feinstein by someone in law enforcement or if she used the power of her office to demand it. Either way, a “reasonably well-educated” individual like her should know better. In fairness, there is no way to know whether or not additional murders would have taken place had Feinstein never blabbed. After all, Ramirez might have changed shoes and ditched the gun with or without coverage. But no one can deny the incredible irresponsibility of letting a serial killer know what police have on him. Feinstein’s family was no doubt well-protected, unlike the people to whom she spoke so freely.
As for Feinstein’s most recent release of the CIA report, some skepticism of her motives is warranted. George W. Bush has been out of office for six years, yet this needed to come out right now…during the Gruber hearings? Clearly, the safety of the American people is still far less important than cheap political points, even after all these years.
As a side note, Richard Ramirez died of cancer in June of 2013, probably unaware that the U.S. public of today would yawn at his threats and satanic rants. Thankfully, he also seemed unaware that his ethnicity alone could probably have elevated him to the highest honor progressives can bestow – that of race victim. Nevertheless, natural causes are a not so fitting end to a man whose swagger and looks once garnered courtroom groupies, including one misguided female juror who fell in love with Richard yet voted to convict him. What is fitting is that he died waiting to be executed on California’s death row, which costs a fortune in taxpayer dollars yet rarely carries out an execution. It is just another waste of money in a state that continues to place people like Dianne Feinstein where they can do the most damage.
Marco Milaneci is an IT compliance program manager at a Fortune 500 company. He can be reached at mmblog [at] austin.rr.com.