This Man Helped Catch A Serial Killer Over 30 Years Ago, But He Sometimes Regretted It

OCTOBER 19, 2016  —  By Corinne Sanders

On August 25, 1985, thirteen-year-old James Romero couldn't sleep, so he went outside to grab a pillow from his parents' camper.

During his search, he heard strange noises and went into the garage to investigate. That's when he saw a man walking right by the screen he was standing next to. Afraid, he hid behind his parents' car. When he thought the person had gone, he ran back inside his house only to see the man in front of his bedroom window.

Sure that he had been seen, the terrified teen told his parents. They immediately called the police, who soon realized that the "Night Stalker" had made his way to Mission Viejo, California. Luckily, Romero had watched the man get into his car and had remembered most of the license plate number. With his help, police were finally able to identify the serial killer as Richard Ramirez and catch him a few days later.

Though Romero has been hailed as a hero for the past 31 years, he admits there were times when he wished he never had to go through that horrible experience.


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I don't blame him at all for the regret he feels. I can't imagine how terrifying it must have been to live through both the encounter and the threats about testifying. He was definitely a brave young man.


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