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|“||Concrete is so unforgiving. These old roads are like cheese graters, rip your clothes clean off at forty miles per hour. At fifty, human skin sloughs off like wet paper. Bones are ground into nubs as you try to hold your face up, but one little bump... and you're bouncing. That's when pieces of you start falling off.||„|
|~ Bruce threatening to drag Donna across the road.|
Bruce is a major antagonist in American Horror Story: 1984. He is a serial killer who wants to become the greatest, most famous murderer of all time.
He was portrayed by Dylan McDermott, who portrayed Johnny Morgan in a previous AHS season, Asylum, as well as Tim Wattley in The Campaign, John Stark in The Cowboy Way, and Richard Wheatley in Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Bruce is a sadistic psychopath with aspirations of becoming the "greatest" serial killer of all time, surpassing even his idols, Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez. He is handsome and charismatic, and uses his charm to get his victims to trust him; once they are in his power, he rapes, tortures, and kills them, mutilating their bodies post-mortem. By the time he appears in the series, he has killed five women.
American Horror Story: 1984
Bruce is first seen at a truck stop asking protagonists Brooke Thompson and Donna Chambers for a ride. They sense something strange about him, however, and turn him down. He secretly sabotages their car, and offers to fix it in return for a ride, a proposition they reluctantly accept.
He then kidnaps them and ties Donna to the back of the car. He orders Brooke to drive as fast as she can and drag Brooke along the gravel road, skinning her alive, threatening to kill her unless she does as he tells her. Donna manages to break free, however, and she and Brooke subdue Bruce, shooting him in the chest and cutting his thumbs off so he can never hitch-hike again.
Bruce survives, however, and is rescued by a passing by Mary Kay representative, whom he promptly kidnaps, throwing her in the backseat of her own car. He picks up hitch-hiker Jonas Shevoore, and turns up the radio to muffle his captive's screams. Jonas eventually becomes suspicious, so Bruce kills him and the woman.
Desiring revenge against Brooke and Donna, he drives to Camp Redwood, where they had told him they were staying. On the way, he accidentally hits Benjamin Richter, who he immediately recognizes as the legendary murderer "Mr. Jingles", as he is talking with Richard Ramirez. Star-struck, Bruce proposes to Richter and Ramirez that the three of them "team up" to kill as many people as possible. Richter refuses, but Ramirez likes the idea and takes him to meet camp director Margaret Booth, who tasks them with killing the rock bands who are scheduled to play there. They agree, as long as they are allowed to spare Billy Idol, whose music they both enjoy. Bruce and Ramirez kill Margaret's personal assistant Courtney, as well as the band Kajagoogoo.
Margaret's estranged husband Trevor decides to kill Bruce as part of his larger plan to kill Margaret. He offers Bruce a young woman named Midge to kill, an offer Bruce gleefully accepts. Before he can hurt her, however, Trevor stabs him to death, and kicks his corpse off of a cliff so his ghost will not inhabit Camp Redwood.
- While Bruce's past is not explored in the series, McDermott devised a backstory for the character to use as subtext for his performance. In the backstory, Bruce was born with psychopathic tendencies that worsened throughout a childhood filled with parental abuse and neglect, and began exhibiting antisocial behavior as an adolescent. According to McDermott, Bruce is incapable of feeling anything but rage.
Part 2: Death Valley
American Horror Stories