The infamous Richard Ramirez was a serial burglar, kidnapper, rapist, and murderer who terrorized the city of Los Angeles from the summer of 1984 until his capture in August 1985. Dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the media, Ramirez's year-long killing spree turned him into one of the most notorious serial killers in American history.
With his indiscriminate pattern of victims that included men and women of all ages and races, the police were stumped as to the identity of this brutal killer. Ultimately, it was a 6-year-old victim who managed to help the authorities bring the serial killer to justice.
So, what happened to Anastasia Hronas, the child who survived her encounter with the “Night Stalker”? Keep scrolling to find out…
What happened to Anastasia from 'Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer'?
Netflix’s four-part series Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer documents the crimes and subsequent manhunt for one of America’s most infamous serial killers, Richard Ramirez, aka the “Night Stalker.” The series also includes interviews with some of Ramirez's luckier victims, those who managed to survive his attacks with their lives relatively intact.
These people were an invaluable source of information for the police who were on the hunt for the killer and most helpful of all was one of Ramirez's youngest survivors. Anastasia Hronas, who is interviewed in the documentary as a 41-year-old, recounts the terrifying experience that she had with the “Night Stalker” and how she became instrumental in taking down this terrifying murderer at just 6 years old.
In the documentary, Anastasia recalls the night in February 1985 when she woke up to the sound of a window in her house being opened. In her sleepy state, Anastasia said that Ramirez reminded her of "a family member,” so she went with him when he ushered her out the window and then carried her away to his car.
By the time Anastasia realized something was wrong, it was too late. In the car, Ramirez made her open the glove compartment and told her, “Just so you know, that’s there.” Ramirez made Anastasia look at him and touch him as he drove her to a place “with a chain-link fence.” He made Anastasia get into a duffle bag, which he used to carry her into a house which she described as “dark and kinda dingy… and, I don’t know, slimy.”
Ramirez then proceeded to sexually assault the 6-year-old as a Madonna album played in the background. After what seemed like hours of torture, Ramirez put Anastasia in the duffle bag once again and left the house with her. He drove her to a gas station and told her to go inside and call 911 so her family could come get her.
To this day, Anastasia has no idea why Ramirez let her go and didn’t kill her like he did with most of his other victims. But it proved to be his downfall when, after Ramirez was finally caught, the 6-year-old was able to identify him in a lineup.
Gil Carrillo, the second detective on the case, recalls asking the young witness if she had any questions after the men in the lineup were made to repeat certain phrases. “Her little hand went up. I said ‘what is it sweetheart?’ And she said, ‘Do I write the word two, or the number two?’”
Anastasia said that since she knew that the suspects couldn’t see or hear her as a witness, she felt braver to make the identification. Later when Detective Carrillo visited her at her home, he broke down in tears when Anastasia proclaimed that she would “testify in court if it means keeping him locked up so he can’t hurt any other little girls like he hurt me.”
Luckily, the fact that Ramirez was facing the death penalty meant that Anastasia never had to look at him again.
Since her terrible ordeal, Anastasia has been able to move on and live a happy life. She’s married with her own children and didn’t let that one experience define who she was for the rest of her life.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is available to stream on Netflix.