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Terrifying True Crime Story Behind American Horror Story: 1984

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Terrifying True Crime Story Behind American Horror Story: 1984

This article contains spoilers for the first episode of American Horror Story: 1984

The new season of American Horror Story has started and, as ever, it's frightening the s*** out of people.

Also as usual the story features elements based on real-life events - this time around we have Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker.


In the first episode of the new season, Ramirez (played by Zach Villa) broke into Brooke's (Emma Roberts) apartment and demanded her jewellery before hauntingly telling 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."

Fortunately for Brooke she manages to get away and flees LA by joining her new pals at Camp Redwood - but later in the episode we see Ramirez has followed the group to the camp.

Fans of the show might remember that Ramirez also appeared in the fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel.

Richard Ramirez also appeared as a character in American Horror Story: Hotel. Credit: FX
Richard Ramirez also appeared as a character in American Horror Story: Hotel. Credit: FX

But, as creepy as the show is, the true-life story of Ramirez is even more horrifying.

Ramirez was a self-confessed Satanist who prowled the streets of LA in a murderous crime spree than ran from June 1984 until August 1985.

He would break into people's homes while they slept and kill his victims using a variety of methods - including stabbing, shooting and bludgeoning.

He would also rape his victims and burglarise their homes - he would demand that people 'swear on Satan' about there being no valuables or cash stashed away in their homes.


He was eventually captured after he broke into the home of Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancee Inez Erickson, 29. After shooting Carns three times, he tied up Erickson and raped her - he then demanded money and jewellery before, once again, asking her to 'swear on Satan' that there was nowhere.

Before he fled, Ramirez told Erickson: "Tell them the Night Stalker was here."

Erickson was able to untie herself and run to a neighbour's house for help.

Richard Ramirez.  Credit: Los Angeles Police Department
Richard Ramirez. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

Once cops arrived, she was able to give a detailed description of Ramirez, which would lead to a mug shot of his from a previous arrest being splashed across newspapers. Miraculously, Carns survived the attack after surgeons removed two bullets from his head.

Meanwhile, Ramirez tried to make a run for it, but was spotted in California by a group of residents who held him and repeatedly beat him until police arrived.

At trial he was convicted of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 counts of sexual assault and 14 burglaries.

He spent more than 23 years on death row before he died due to complication secondary to B-cell lymphoma aged 53.


Ramirez never expressed any remorse for his crimes.

American Horror Story 1984 airs weekly in the UK on NowTV.

Featured Image Credit: FX

Topics: American Horror Story, TV and Film

Claire Reid
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