Here’s why vampire murderer Richard Chase stalks us still
People are just drawn to a good vampire story. From Dracula to Twilight, there’s something about vampires that just draw us in. Even though we like to relegate these tales to works of fiction, there have been “real life” vampires as well. From Elizabeth Bathory to Vlad the Impaler, these stories horrify and fascinate us.
Unsurprisingly, there are also killers who claim to be vampires. One such killer is American serial killer Richard Chase, who was nicknamed the Vampire of Sacramento. His story is much more recent than any of us who like to think about.
Looking back on his life, it’s no wonder that Richard Chase went on the killing spree that he did. He grew up under the thumb of an abusive father, who did not get Chase, a disturbed child, the help that he needed. By the age of 10, Chase was showing the three signs of what’s known as “Macdonald’s Triad”, which is said to show predictors of sociopathy in a patient.
The signs for this are bed-wetting, setting fires, and cruelty to animals, which Chase reportedly had in spades. When Chase’s father kicked him out of the house, he developed a drug habit, which did not help his mental condition at all. In fact, he had a severe case of hypochondria.
Chase believed that his heart had stopped beating and that someone was stealing his pulmonary artery. He would also press oranges into his forehead, believing that it would help his brain absorb the Vitamin C directly.
Then, there was his oddest delusion, he believed that bones in his skull were moving around like puzzle pieces. So he shaved his head to watch the changes. In 1975, Chase was institutionalized after a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. The incident that led to his institutionalization? He tried to inject himself with rabbit’s blood, which made him ill.
In the hospital, he attempted to drink the blood of birds after killing them, believing that it would stop his illness. Chase believed that he was being poisoned and that the poison was turning his blood to powder. Despite this happening, the staff released Chase to the care of his mother rather than keep him there.
Despite what the hospital said, Chase was not in a better mental position. There was nothing legally binding to make him stay with his mother either. After his release, he shortly moved out of his mother’s home, claiming that she was poisoning him. Chase would move in with some friends, but they quickly demanded that Chase move out. He was high all the time and would walk around naked, even in front of guests.
Chase refused, so his roommates moved out instead. Living on his own, Chase would capture and kill animals. He’d eat them raw and use their organs to make a slurry with Coca-Cola that he would drink. Doing this, he believed that he was stopping his heart from shrinking.
Chase would continue to fall deeper and deep into his delusions. Until, well, it was too late.
Vampire of Sacramento
Chase would kill his first victim on Dec. 29, 1977 in a drive-by shooting. He was mad because his mother wouldn’t let him come home for Christmas. Ambrose Griffin, 51, was helping his wife bring in groceries when Chase shot and killed him.
Chase liked the rush and he wanted to kill again. On Jan. 23, 1978, he went to the home of Teresa Wallin, who was pregnant, and let himself in. Her door, like all his later victims, was left unlocked, which Chase felt was a sort of invitation for him to come inside and do what he needed to do.
It was with Wallin’s death that Chase also started to drink the blood of his victims. He also had sexual intercourse with Wallin’s corpse.
On Jan. 27, Chase went on his most gruesome killing spree. He entered the home of 38-year-old Evelyn Miroth. Also at home? Her six-year-old son Jason and 22-month-old nephew David along with her friend Dan Meredith. Chase killed Meredith and Jason at the scene, but was more interested in Evelyn.
Evelyn was murdered, sodomized, and partially cannibalized. Her nephew was missing from the scene and his decapitated corpse would be found behind a church months after Chase’s arrest.
It was the last killing for Chase. A neighbor heard the commotion and called police, who found Chase’s fingerprints in Evelyn Miroth’s blood. In Chase’s apartment, they found human brains in his fridge.
Chase was sentenced to death via the gas chamber for his crimes in 1979. His fellow inmates, however, were freaked out by Chase and encouraged him to kill himself. Chase did just that, found dead from an overdose in his cell the day after Christmas in 1980.
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