After Stamos' mother, Loretta, died in 2014, the Fuller House actor went through her belongings and discovered she kept almost every magazine cover he was ever on.
“I have hundreds of teen magazine covers that I’m on. And spending time with all of that for the last four or five years, I was like, ‘What’s the angle?’ And then it sort of hit me," Stamos told Entertainment Tonight Monday.
Stamos explained that the connection was Doreen Lioy, one of the editors of Tiger Beat magazine. The actor met Lioy when he was 16 or 17 years old, and helped make him a star. "She groomed me," Stamos said.
After Stamos earned a breakout role in 1982 on General Hospital and a Daytime Emmy nomination, Lioy began featuring him in Tiger Beat and soon became friends with his mother.
“She was sort of like a sister and became best friends with my mother -- she was a very lonely woman -- [and] spent all the holidays with us," Stamos told ET.
While Stamos was becoming a popular teen idol in Hollywood, the woman who helped make all that possibly was becoming romantically involved with Ramirez.
Between 1984 and 1985, Ramirez killed 13 people in and around Los Angeles, and a 14th victim killed in San Francisco was later attributed to him from DNA testing. Ramirez received 19 death sentences, but died on death row from complications of B-cell lymphoma.
Lioy wrote Ramirez dozens of letters and he proposed to her in 1988. The couple married in 1996 and she once claimed she would commit suicide when his execution took place. They were still married at the time of his death in 2013.
"He's kind, he's funny, he's charming," Lioy told CNN in 1997. "I think he's really a great person. He's my best friend; he's my buddy."
Lioy also revealed she was disowned by her family, but understood how some people could find their marriage hard to understand.
"I know it is," she told CNN. "It'd be hard for me to understand if my best friend came to me and said, 'You know, this guy Timothy McVeigh, who just got convicted? I really think he's cute and I'm gonna write to him.' I mean, I would think that's kind of strange."
Stamos told ET he found an article his mother kept, in which Lioy used some of the same compliments to describe Ramirez that she once said about him.
"What did she see in me that she saw in him?" Stamos wondered.
“First of all, to be that lonely that this is the only man on the planet that she can find, I just thought, ‘How horrible.’ This man is the personification of evil -- just a monster. And here is someone that was part of my family, sort of,” Stamos explained.
Stamos said his father shut down his mother's friendship with Lioy "fast" after they heard about the letters Lioy was writing to the serial killer.
Despite her connection to a serial killer, Stamos still included Lioy in one of his new paintings. He created a Tiger Beat cover with images and headlines about Ramirez alongside photos of himself. Lioy is included in the piece.0comments
Stamos' art will be viewable to the public at the Malibu Lumber Yard Gallery beginning Tuesday.
Photo credit: Netflix