American Horror Story: 1984 premiere brings back serial killer Richard Ramirez
The Night Stalker previously popped up on an episode of 'AHS: Hotel.'
Beware the Night Stalker …
The Wednesday night premiere of American Horror Story: 1984 introduced Richard Ramirez, the real-life serial killer also known as “the Night Stalker” who was convicted of thirteen counts of murder in 1989. He’s played by Zach Villa this time around, but if you’ve watched AHS: Hotel, the fifth season of Ryan Murphy‘s horror anthology, you’ll probably remember Ramirez popping up in one episode.
On Hotel, the ghost of Ramirez comes to the Hotel Cortez after being invited — along with other serial killers like John Wayne Gacy and Aileen Wuornos — to Devil’s Night by Evan Peters‘ James Patrick March. Ramirez, who died in 2013, is shown killing a married couple with help from March.
In the 1984 premiere, Emma Roberts‘ character Brooke and her new friends go to a summer camp to work as counselors. Before they leave, Brooke is assaulted in her apartment by Ramirez (Villa), who takes what seems to be a wedding ring. He calls himself the Night Stalker and tells her to “swear on Satan.” In real life, Ramirez was an avowed Satanist who gave his victims the same instruction.
“You’re going to be famous,” Ramirez tells Brooke. “You’re going to die by the hands of the Night Stalker. I will find you. Satan will show me the way,” he says before fleeing her apartment.
He shows up again at the end of the episode when Brooke sees Ramirez at the camp.
The new season of the series is set in 1984 Los Angeles, which matches up with when and where the real Ramirez’s murder spree took place (1984-1985). The only departure from Ramirez’s real life is the summer camp arc, and we could see how that plays out over the course of the season — Villa is currently listed on IMDb as appearing in all 10 episodes of this season.
Another mystery is how Ramirez’s plotline interacts with this season’s fictional murderer Mr. Jingles (played by John Carroll Lynch), another killer speculated to be prowling the camp, who killed all those campers back in 1970. Is there a connection between them, do they ever meet? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Before Brooke’s run-in with Ramirez, she and her aerobics buddies have a conversation about the Night Stalker, as well as another notorious serial killer: the Son of Sam, who murdered six people and wounded seven others by 1977. The Son of Sam (real name David Berkowitz) was recently dramatized on Netflix’s Mindhunter in its second season, so it’s a big year for repeated depictions of serial killers, including Charles Manson on both Mindhunter and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
1984 also stars Billie Lourd, Gus Kenworthy, Cody Fern, DeRon Horton, Angelica Ross, Leslie Grossman, and Matthew Morrison.
American Horror Story
An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, and a hotel.