Who Is Gordon Northcott? 'AHS: Hotel' & Ms. Evers Are Connected To Another Real Life Serial Killer
There are no shortage of murderers on this season of American Horror Story . It seems that no one is above taking the life of someone else on this show, especially if doing so gets them what they ultimately want, like eternal youth, money, or the affections of Lady Gaga's The Countess. Perhaps the eeriest part of the series is that many of these murderers also happen to be inspired by real life. We know that Lily Rabe will check in to American Horror Story: Hotel as the real-life serial murderess Aileen Wuornos, and that Evan Peters' Mr. March is reportedly based on the horrific H. H. Holmes, who turned his hotel into a torture chamber. Now, we might get another killer plucked from our own horrifying history: Gordon Northcott plays a role in AHS: Hotel, and his actions affect another important character.
Northcott's story is certainly fitting for the FX anthology. Northcott was a killer who was convicted of the murder of three boys in 1929 in Riverside County, California. The murders were coined the "Wineville Chicken Coop Murders" when a mass grave was discovered underneath the Northcotts' chicken coop. The Los Angeles Times reports that the ground below was "filled with bones, quicklime, bits of blood-soaked mattress and a .22-caliber rifle and bullets." Although at one point Northcott allegedly verbally confessed to five murders, but reduced that to one in his written confession. At the age of 23, Northcott was eventually tried and hanged in 1930 for the three murders, though some speculate that he could have had as many as 20 victims.
If the story sounds familiar, it may be because the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders were partially the subject of the 2008 Clint Eastwood drama The Changeling. The film starred Angelina Jolie as mother Christine Collins, who gets her kidnapped son returned to her — except he's actually not her son. When the mother insists that the police have given her an imposter, she is placed in a psychiatric facility as a way to silence her from coming forward. Collins is a real person, and her son Walter was allegedly one of the children murdered by Northcott, though only his mother, Sarah Louise Northcott, was convicted of the crime.
So how will Northcott fit in to American Horror Story? We already know his connection, though how it will play out is still a mystery. According to Entertainment Weekly, it is Mare Winningham's character Ms. Evers that has the connection to Northcott, as Ms. Evers' son was kidnapped by the serial killer. It's unclear what the full story of this kidnapping will be, as Evers does not appear to be the last name of any of Northcott's real victims.
American Horror Story has always had the ability to shock and frighten us, but real world connections like Northcott may be the most unsettling aspect of the series by far. It's just another reminder that life can be even more horrifying than fiction.
Image: Frank Ockenfels/FX