|Franchise:||American Horror Story|
|Location:||Camp Redwood, California|
|Known relatives:||Unnamed father (deceased)|
Lavinia Richter (mother; deceased)
Bobby Richter (brother; deceased)
Lorraine (wife; deceased)
Bobby Richter II (son)
|Actor:||John Carroll Lynch|
Benjamin Richter is a fictional serial killer and one of the main antagonists featured in season nine of the FX Network television series American Horror Story, subtitled "1984". He was played by actor John Carroll Lynch.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In 1948, Benjamin's mother, Lavinia, worked as the cook at Camp Golden Star, the predecessor to Camp Redwood. Benjamin's brother, Bobby, died when he was struck in the head with a boat propeller while swimming due. Lavinia blamed Benjamin and the counselors for his death, as the lifeguard was having sex with another counselor and Benjamin watched from the woods. Lavinia murdered the counselors but was stabbed in the stomach by Benjamin when she attempted to kill him.
Benjamin Richter was an American soldier who served in Vietnam during the late 1960s. He proved to extremely efficient at killing, and demonstrated a perverse joy in his duties - so much so, that he was given a dishonorable discharge.
Back in the states, Richter found employment working as a janitor at Camp Redwood in California. Those near him were always alerted to his presence by the jangling of his key ring, earning him the nickname Mr. Jingles.
Original reports claimed that in 1970, Benjamin Richter suffered a psychotic break, and went on a killing spree at the campground, killing nine people before finally being apprehended. After murdering a camp counselor, he would sever one of their ears as a souvenir. One of Richter's would-be victims was Margaret Booth, who miraculously survived Richter's assault, though she did lose an ear in the process. Booth became the star witness at Richter's trial that sent him to a mental health institution to spend the rest of his days. It is later revealed, however, that Margaret was the culprit behind the 1970 murders and framed Mr. Jingles, using his war experience against him. After being subjected to number electroshock therapy sessions and drugs, Benjamin truly began to believe he was really the monster Margaret made him out to be.
By 1984, Margaret Booth had since become the owner of Camp Redwood, which had been closed down ever since the Richter murders. Her intent was to re-open the camp, and she hired staff to serve as counselors.
Donna Chambers, a psychologist, visited Richter and gave him orders on how to escape in order to study him in the wild, informing him of Camp Redwood's reopening. He pretended to commit suicide by hanging himself in his cell and when an orderly checked on him, he murdered him and swiped his keys. Before escaping from the mental hospital, he triggered the master release switch, letting all of the other patients out. Richter escaped into the night amidst the chaos.
Benjamin Richter made his way back towards Camp Redwood. Along the way, he murdered a gas station attendant named Ed. Arriving at the campground, he murdered an amnesia hiker by impaling him with a sharp object.  Richter was unaware at the time that the hiker, later identified as Jonas Shevoore, was already dead and had manifested at the campground as a ghost.
Mister Jingles' next victim was his former psychiatrist, Karen Hopple, who came to Camp Redwood in search of him. After that, he murdered a pornographic film producer named Blake, by stabbing him through the head. He then killed two townies named Keith and Larry, who had been playing pranks on the counselors by dressing up as Mr. Jingles. He found a woman named Rita, who had been kidnapped by Donna Chambers and tucked away in a boat house. He killed her by impaling her with a sharpened broken piece of rowing oar. After that, he killed camp counselor Ray Powell, whom he decapitated as Powell attempted to escape the campground on a motorcycle. He brutally attacked the camp's resident cook, Chef Bertie, delivering several mortal injuries. She actually died however when Xavier Plympton finished her off as a mercy killing. He tried to kill Xavier himself, by shoving him into an industrial-sized oven and turning it on. Xavier managed to escape, but was badly burned. 
Benjamin Richter then had an encounter with Margaret Booth. Margaret shot Richter several times, but he miraculously survived. Later however, the badly burned Xavier Plympton found Jingles near the archery range and killed him by shooting him with a bow and arrow. Rival serial killer Richard Ramirez came upon the dying Richter and made him a Satanic offer. Benjamin agreed, and was fully resurrected from death. Agreeing to become Richard's literal partner-in-crime, the two drove away from Camp Redwood before sundown. 
By August, 1985 however, Benjamin could no longer tolerate Ramirez' bloodlust, so he betrayed him. Desperate to put his past behind him, he assumed a new identity, Donald, and began working a home video rental center in Alaska. He married a former prostitute named Lorraine, and had a son named Bobby. Richter abandoned his Donald identity after Ramirez tracked him down and murdered Lorraine. 
Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The character of Benjamin Richter was created by director Bradley Buecker and writers and series creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
- Playing the role Benjamin Richter is actor John Carroll Lynch's third character on American Horror Story. It is also the third time he has played a serial killer. He played Twisty the Clown in the season four storyline, "Freak Show" and season seven's "Cult". He played the ghost of real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy in season five's "Hotel".
Body Count[edit | edit source]
- Unnamed orderly - Escape from mental hospital.
- Ed - Gas station attendant.
- Jonas Shevoore - 1984 incident.
- Karen Hopple - 1984 incident.
- Blake - 1984 incident.
- Keith - 1984 incident.
- Larry - 1984 incident.
- Real Nurse Rita - 1984 incident.
- Ray Powell - 1984 incident.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- American Horror Story: Camp Redwood
- American Horror Story: Mr. Jingles
- American Horror Story: Slashdance
- American Horror Story: True Killers
- American Horror Story: Red Dawn
- American Horror Story: Episode 100
- American Horror Story: The Lady in White (Also in flashback to childhood)
- American Horror Story: Rest in Pieces
- American Horror Story: Final Girl