With Netflix’s ‘I Am A Stalker: A Family Stalked’ delving deep into the case of Ruben Jaramillo, we get a true insight into the way delusions and a sense of self-importance can turn lives around. After all, as the title suggests, it chronicles not just how he tormented his partner but also her close loved ones for months on end in the hopes of ensuring she’d be only his and no one else’s. So now, if you wish to know more about him — with a specific focus on his past, his eerily atrocious offenses, as well as his current whereabouts — we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who is Ruben Jaramillo?
Since Ruben’s upbringing admittedly wasn’t stable despite having a family — he never had any friends, trusted acquaintances, or roots to turn back to growing up — his nature was affected a lot. The fact he was bullied in each town they moved to (no matter the state) didn’t help his situation either; it just made him more secluded in himself, as per his narrative in the original production. His dream was thus to have a wife, kids, and a home of his own, all the while being a present breadwinner, but even with his dating issues, nothing can excuse his efforts to achieve the same.
According to the Netflix episode, there was a period Ruben exclusively dated 18 to 24-year-olds, most of whom ran off with someone else entirely, giving rise to his deep-rooted trust issues. Therefore, when a 45-year-old co-worker, “Maria” (this is not her real name; she wishes to remain anonymous), showed interest in him as a 29-year-old in 2001, he decided to go with the flow. Their bond then went from conversations at the nursing home where they were employed to intimacy to her leaving her husband and three adult children for him — making them legitimate.
However, problems between the couple arose within months as her family disapproved due to their age gap, his bid to raise her daughter’s soon-to-be-born child as their own, and his infidelity. That’s why Maria decided to bow out by the time October 2003 rolled around, per ‘I Am A Stalker,’ just for Ruben to quickly, completely lose it upon realizing he wanted her in his life for good. It started with him writing the word “die” on their bedroom walls in his blood while she was moving out to indicate he’d rather cease to live than be without her and then evolved into true stalking.
Whether it be leaving hundreds of letters at Maria’s doorstep (threatening to take his own life or harm her family members), following her at her jobs, harassing every relative imaginable, or simply, consistently driving by their homes, Ruben reportedly did it all. She and her daughter did relocate to different apartments in a genuine attempt to get away from him, yet it didn’t work out in the way they’d imagined since he managed to find them rather quickly. It ultimately came to a head after two years of troubles — on September 26, 2005 — when he decided to show up at Maria’s parents’ home with handcuffs, a stun gun, duct tape, and a few other tools.
Ruben has always insisted the handcuffs and the stun gun were toys, but they weren’t because he did tase both Maria’s mother as well as her father before restraining the former’s hands. The latter actually even had a heart attack owing to the shock wave, so while the perpetrator was, in his own words, “dealing with him,” the matriarch managed to slip away and call for help. Ruben was gone by the time officials arrived at the scene, yet thankfully, not only were both the elderly individuals okay, but he’d also left behind his tools and several other pieces of evidence.
Where is Ruben Jaramillo Now?
It was on October 14, 2005, that Ruben was arrested at the US-Mexico border, after which he eventually faced the charge of aggravated robbery — the stalking count was dropped since it is harder to prove. The fact he’d carelessly forgotten a note describing his horrific intentions for that night in utter detail was also a reason, especially as prosecutors believed it would help them land a significant sentence without issues. As per the Netflix original, the note illustrated that he planned to harm the parents before grabbing hold of Maria, her daughter, as well as her then-toddler granddaughter and taking them to Mexico to live there “forever.”
Therefore, Ruben was found guilty following his February 2007 trial, where he reportedly took the stands and tried to justify his actions by claiming he’s let his fantasies cloud his thinking. Maria’s testimony against him, epitomizing everything, was also crucial in his conviction even though a charge for stalking wasn’t even on the table, leading to him getting a penalty of 45 years behind bars. So today, at the age of 51, Ruben is incarcerated at the maximum security Mark W. Stiles Unit in an unincorporated area near Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. He is not eligible for parole, meaning he will be released only once his sentence expires in October 2050.
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