American Horror Story: 1984 is looking to be a right treat, a love letter to the teen-prey slashers of old.
Taking place at Camp Redwood, a group of summer-loving youths learn it was the site of a massacre in 1970 committed by Mr Jingles. Cue the Crystal Lake-esque slaughter.
But there’s another plot line: Brooke (Emma Roberts) is attacked by the Night Stalker (played by Zach Villa), a satanist serial killer, in her apartment.
Check out the trailer for AHS: 1984 below:
He tells her: ‘You’re going to be famous. You’re going to die by the hands of the Night Stalker. I will find you. Satan will show me the way.’
While fans will remember him the killer from AHS: Hotel, the fifth season of Ryan Murphy’s horror series, there’s more to the him: the Night Stalker was an actual serial killer in California.
1984 saw record-high temperatures in California: before Richard Ramirez obtained his famous name, he was referred to as the ‘Walk-In Killer’ – as he was known for climbing through people’s open windows during the night.
Ramirez was born on February 26, 1960 in El Paso, Texas. His path to Satanism started with his cousin Mike sharing horrific stories from Vietnam. As the pair started to commit crimes and take drugs, he found his religion.
Later, Mike murdered Ramirez’s wife – he didn’t help him do it, but he didn’t stop Mike either.
It’s unsurprising that Murphy selected 1984 as the timestamp of the new season: it was that year when Ramirez terrorised California.
Over the course of the year, he murdered 13 people and sexually assaulted 11 others. He also committed 14 burglaries and attempted five murders. From here, he became known as the Night Stalker.
After his name and photo were released to the public in August 1985, Ramirez was arrested in the days after.
Strap in, this is where it gets tasty.
Ramirez wasn’t aware his identity had been disclosed to the public. So, on August 30, 1985, he took a train to Tucson, Arizona to visit his brother.
As police were on the hunt for someone fleeing LA, they weren’t necessarily focusing on the people entering the city – Ramirez came back, and got off the bus with no attention whatsoever.
He stopped at a liquor store, and quickly things took a turn: a woman recognised him and called out ‘el maton’ which means ‘the killer’.
Ramirez ran like the wind across a highway, attempting to steal a Mustang in a bid to escape – unfortunately for him, a man literally pulled him out of the car.
He got up and ran across the street, threatening a woman for her car keys – funnily enough, her husband wasn’t having it and he beat Ramirez over the head with a pipe.
Do you think that’s it? Not quite. Ramirez was then chased and caught by a mob of people. When police arrived to arrest him, they initially weren’t aware of who he actually he was – he allegedly spewed ‘green, like The Exorcist‘ in the back of the car.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez said during the trial:
You don’t understand me. You are not expected to. You are not capable of it. I am beyond your experience.
I am beyond good and evil. I will be avenged. Lucifer dwells in us all. That’s it.
In November 1989, Ramirez was sentenced to death in California’s gas chamber.
In response to the sentence, the killer said:
Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland.
After spending more than 23 years on death row, Ramirez died from B-cell lymphoma at the age of 53 on June 7, 2013.
How much the season will involve Ramirez beyond the first episode is yet to be seen – but with such grisly inspiration, American Horror Story: 1984 should be immense.
AHS:1984 airs in the UK on FOX HD.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.