AMERICAN Horror Story: 1984 actress Angelica Ross feared for her safety when working on the show about serial killer Richard Ramirez.
Ross admitted she passionately "hated" the real life character, who is now played in American Horror Story's universe by Zach Villa.
American Horror Story: 1984 is the horrific true tale of Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez, who bound and raped victims in their homes and gouged out their eyes with a knife.
His attack on one victim, Sakina Abowath, saw him fatally shoot her husband in the head as he slept before making her "swear on Satan" that she wouldn't scream as he raped her in her bedroom.
Ramirez tormented California between 1984 and 1985, breaking into family homes in the dead of night in random attacks to carry out sick sexual fantasies.
And Ross, who plays twisted psychologist Donna Chambers, who poses as a nurse at Camp Redwood, said she researched the killer to the point where the depravity of his crimes left her feeling terrified.
She told CinemaBlend: "I love Zach. Zach is great, but I hated his character. I hated Richard Ramirez. I felt just a lot of different feelings about serial killers, and he's a real serial killer, and…there's just a lot of things going on.
"But I realised that I like to look at the world with rose-colored glasses. And as a black trans woman, I've kind of had to settle with the fact that I can't walk alone a lot. I have to check the backseat. I have to do these things in order to stay safe in today's society, in this world.
"You don't want to think that these things exist, but there are boogeymen out there."
Ramirez was born in Texas in 1960, the youngest son of a former Mexican policeman.
His dad was prone to fits of rage which would lead to him being physically abusive.
To escape his dad's violence, Ramirez would sometimes sleep in a local cemetery.
But it was his cousin, Miguel, who opened Ramirez's eyes to sadistic brutality.
Miguel was a decorated member of the US Army's special forces who'd served in the Vietnam War.
When he came home, Miguel would show Ramirez Polaroid pictures of Vietnamese people he'd killed, as well as women he'd raped during the war.
Ramirez was just 13 when he watched as Miguel, in the middle of an argument with his wife Jessie, pulled out a revolver and fatally shot her in the face.
Miguel was found not guilty of murdering Jessie by reason of insanity and he was put in a mental hospital for just four years before he was back out, still influencing Ramirez.
During his trial, he famously shouted "Hail Satan!" while raising his hand in the air, with a pentagram – an ancient symbol that's become associated with the occult – drawn on his palm.
On September 20, 1989, Ramirez was found guilty of all charges: 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries.
He was sentenced to die in the gas chamber, but he said of his sentence: "Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland".
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During his trial, several sick fans of Ramirez sent him letters, and he ultimately married one of them while he was imprisoned — but she eventually left him.
In 2013, after 23 years on death row, Ramirez died at the age of 53 from cancer, escaping the gas chamber.
But his victims never escaped the trauma of his crimes.
American Horror Story: 1984 is on FX and Now TV.
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