“American Horror Story” fans know that the Season 6 farmhouse isn’t real — but that doesn’t mean that other plotlines are fake. The latest episode in the FX anthology series revealed the story of nurses Miranda and Bridget, who opened up an assisted living facility in Shelby and Matt’s house in the late 80s. It turns out that the story is very real.
Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood, also known as “The Lethal Lovers,” were nurses working at a nursing home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1987. The two women weren’t sisters, but they were lovers. According to AllDay.com, they murdered at least five elderly women while at Alpine Manor Nursing. They reportedly smothered the five victims as an act to invoke “sexual thrills.”
They were arrested in 1988 and Wood, then 26 years old, was charged with two counts of murder. Graham, who was 25 years old at the time, was charged with one count of murder. The NY Times reported that the two women were believed to be involved in eight “suspicious” deaths at the nursing home. Just like “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” there were reports that the two women chose their victims based on their initials. Michigan police chief Walter Sprenger said that they were “unable to confirm” if they were trying to spell “murder.”
Graham was charged on Nov. 2, 1989 with six counts of murder in the first degree. Wood had cooperated with the police in order to gain a lesser sentence, and was charged with one count of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Wood had claimed that Graham was the mastermind behind the killings and that she served as a lookout or distraction. However, author Lowell Cauffield, who wrote about their story in the true-crime novel “Forever and Five Days,” believes that Wood was the real killer. It’s speculated that Wood framed Graham after Graham left her for another woman.
Graham is sentenced to life in prison and is currently at Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Wood was up for parole in 2005, and could be released in 2021. She’s currently at FCI Tallahassee, a low security federal correctional institution in Tallahassee, Florida.
“American Horror Story: Roanoke” twisted the tale of Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood. In episode 2, a video recording of former farmhouse owner Dr. Elias Cunningham (Denis O’Hare) reveals the story of sisters named Miranda and Bridget. The two women were believed to be involved with two deaths at an assisted living facility, but left before an investigation was opened. Instead, they opened up their own facility in the farmhouse.
The women had certain criteria for accepting patients — only taking elderly folks whose family members were tired of caring or them. They also accepted patients based on the first letters of their name. They killed five patients and began to spell the word “murder” on the wall in red paint. However, they never got to finish the “r.” They mysteriously vanished, and police only found the bodies of their victims. It was believed that they fled the country, but Elias thinks that something in the house got to them first.
“American Horror Story: Roanoke” airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.