ByJancy Richardson, writer at Creators.co
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

This week's American Horror Story was all about the real-life serial killers -- as James Patrick Marsh said, "We are the Mt. Rushmore of Murder..."

The real-life murderers featured in American Horror Story: Hotel's fourth episode, 'Devil's Night,' are some of America's most infamous and terrifying... here's some background on the very worst of our history.

1. Richard Ramirez

The real Ramirez and Anthony Ruivivar for AHS
The real Ramirez and Anthony Ruivivar for AHS

Victims: 16 +

Span of Killings: 1984 - 1985

Location: Los Angeles

Ramirez's first appearance in the hotel includes a dark joke about his crimes. When offered a room he says, "I don't need a key" -- this refers to Ramirez's history of breaking and entering to attack his victims.

2. Gordon Northcott

The AHS farm and the real Gordon Northcott (R)
The AHS farm and the real Gordon Northcott (R)

Victims: 20+

Span of Killings: 1926 - 1928

Location: Wineville, California

The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders were sensationalized in the media at the time, with many young victims unidentifiable due to their method of disposal in lime. The killings were dramatized in the 2008 movie The Changeling and fictionalized in an episode of Criminal Minds, 'Haunted.'

3. Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos and Lily Rabe for AHS
Aileen Wuornos and Lily Rabe for AHS

Victims: 7

Span of Killings: 1989 - 1990

Location: State of Florida

I was thrilled about Lily Rabe appearing as Aileen Wuornos, and she surpassed all expectations. If you've seen any documentaries about this troubled and unconventional woman, Rabe's performance was electrifying.

Famous Last Words...

Check out the subtle things you may have missed in previous episodes of American Horror Story: Hotel - Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3.

4. The Zodiac Killer

Our first glimpse of The Zodiac in AHS
Our first glimpse of The Zodiac in AHS

Victims: 20+

Span of Killings: 1960s–1970s

Location: State of California

Zodiac is the only unidentified serial killer to appear in the 'Devil's Night' party, and the show cannily treats his anonymity with aplomb. Still, there are some interesting theories about the true identity of The Zodiac Killer. What do you think?

5. John Wayne Gacy

The real Gacy and John Carroll Lynch for AHS
The real Gacy and John Carroll Lynch for AHS

Victims: 33

Span of Killings: 1972 - 1978

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Gacy raped, tortured and murdered boys and young men, but was also a jolly businessman in public. Lynch played up the creepy banality of evil marvelously in his portrayal of Gacy, and brought some dark humor as drunk Gacy slurs, 'Johnny Depp likes my paintings!'

6. Jeffrey Dahmer

The real Dahmer and Seth Gabel for AHS
The real Dahmer and Seth Gabel for AHS

Victims: 17

Span of Killings: 1978 - 1991

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A murderer, cannibal and necrophile, Dahmer's sad, twisted need for companionship was riffed on in the show with lines like, "Please don't ever leave me" and "I'm hungry." As March says on the show, Dahmer was murdered in prison.

See this article for a gruesome look inside Dahmer's house of horrors (warning: not for the faint of heart).

Famous Last Words...

In case you were wondering about the musical choices in this week's episode, I've created a Spotify playlist for every song featured. I'll be adding to it every week as the series goes on.

There are so many more twisted serial killers throughout history for American Horror Story to draw ghoulish inspiration from...

Source: Murderpedia, Spotify, FX

Trending

Latest from our Creators