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
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
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
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...
4. The Zodiac Killer
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
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
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.