Richard Chase, the “Vampire of Sacramento,” stood out even among other serial murders for his extreme psychopathology. His succession of solid illusions plagued him his entire life, starting at a very young age and having catastrophic effects.
In Sacramento, California, in the late 1970s, Richard Chase murdered and dismembered six victims’ bodies, contributing to his eventual notoriety. Given his moniker, it shouldn’t be a shock that Richard Chase’s signature move was to drink the blood of his victims after he had already slain them.
But, the Vampire Killer’s most horrifying characteristic wasn’t even consuming the blood of his victims.
Early Life of Richard Chase
Richard Chase began to exhibit signs of mental illness at a young age, but his strict and occasionally physically violent father did little to aid him.
Chase had always been troubled and unhappy, and as he got older, his symptoms got worse. He frequently wet the bed, lit many minor fires, and showed evidence of animal cruelty.
The Macdonald triad, also known as the sociopathy triad, was first presented by psychiatrist J.M. Macdonald in 1963 to anticipate a patient’s sociopathy. It is believed that Richard Chase was suffering from it.
Chase’s father supposedly booted him from the house, so his issues worsened. Without supervision, Chase started abusing alcohol and narcotics, which also spread to other drugs.
The symptoms of his disease were made worse by psychotropic medications.
He claimed on multiple instances that his heart had stopped; at times, he believed he was a walking corpse, just like the vampire whose name he would eventually take.
But being periodically dead was no excuse to ignore his health; worried that he was lacking in vitamin C, it is said that he pressed whole oranges to his forehead in the hope that his brain would immediately absorb the nutrients.
He believed that his cranial bones had split apart and started to move below his skin, shifting positions and jumbling like puzzle pieces. This was one of his oddest and most intense hallucinations. To keep an eye on their movements, he shaved his head.
Unexpectedly, Chase was given a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis at the age of 25 and was institutionalized in 1975 to save him from endangering himself.
The staff at the psychiatric hospital gave him the nickname “Dracula” after they saw him murder and try to drink the blood of several birds. He claimed it was to fend off the effects of a poison that, in his imagination, was gradually reducing his blood to powder.
He attempted to inject himself with rabbit blood, which made him severely ill and culminated in his hospitalization.
Chase was freed to live with his mother despite several occurrences that were quite similar since the staff felt that they had successfully rehabilitated him.
It was a fatal choice because Chase’s health was getting worse.
The Vampire Killer Gets Worse
The Vampire Killer, Richard Chase, was controlled by his delusions, and numerous institutions could not provide him with the required assistance.
Despite being released into his mother’s custody, Richard Chase was not obligated by law to remain in her care. He moved out shortly after being discharged from the mental institution and later claimed that he believed his mother was poisoning him.
He moved into an apartment he and a few other young men he considered pals shared.
They apparently didn’t know Chase very well since they asked him to leave after he continued acting strangely, including abusing drugs, constantly being high, and having a tendency to roam the flat naked.
But Richard Chase refused, and it appeared to his former housemates that leaving the flat and looking for other housing would be the most straightforward course of action. They rightfully suspected that Chase was not right in the mind and could cause intense physical harm.
Chase was once more alone, which was a situation that almost always made his symptoms worse.
He rekindled his love with blood and started hunting and killing little creatures. He would consume their organs either raw or blended with Coke and drink.
Police discovered a bloody blender in Chase’s apartment. He had mixed up animal organs for ingestion using it.
He was discovered by Nevada authorities in August 1977, carrying a bucket containing a liver in the back of his pickup and covered in blood, late one night in the Pyramid Lake region. They released Chase after determining that the blood and organ belonged to a cow, not a person.
Once more, systems that could have assisted Richard Chase and safeguarded others let them down.
As it was, he became increasingly engulfed in the strength of his delusions because he was alone and had no one to watch or restrain him. Eventually, these delusions drove him to commit the inconceivable act.
The Horrific Crimes of Richard Chase as the Sacramento Vampire
Richard Chase was dissatisfied and lonely on December 29, 1977. He would later remember that he was upset because his mother had refused to let him spend Christmas with them.
His first victim was a 51-year-old man named Ambrose Griffin, who was assisting his wife in bringing in groceries at the time. Chase pulled out a.22-caliber revolver and shot him in the chest as he drove by their street.
It marked the start of an infatuation with killing human beings.
On January 23, 1978, Chase entered the home of Teresa Wallin, who was pregnant, through her unlocked front door.
During questioning, he would claim that he believed an unlocked door was an invitation to him and a justification for what transpired next. From that point forward, all his victims were homeowners who had forgotten to lock their doors.
The identical weapon that Richard Chase used to shoot Griffin was used to shoot Teresa Wallin three times. Chase then pulled out her organs and drank her blood after stabbing her with a butcher knife. He allegedly used a yogurt carton as a cup to scoop out her blood and drink it.
On January 27, he entered the house of Evelyn Miroth, 38, who was watching her 1-year-old nephew David while she was at work.
Jason, Eveyln’s six-year-old son, and Dan Meredith, a neighbor who had stopped by to see how she was doing, were inside the house.
Dan was watching the kids while Evelyn was in the bathtub. As Chase entered the house, Dan entered the front hallway and was shot in the head at close range.
Chase killed David at close range and shot Jason as he tried to flee into his mother’s bedroom. The sick assailant eventually entered the bathroom, where he fatally shot Evelyn.
He carried her body onto the bed, where he raped and sodomized her body, and drank her blood from many knife wounds he’d made at the back of her neck.
After he was done, Chase stabbed Evelyn’s corpse a half-dozen times in various locations on her body, including the anus. After cutting her body open and removing several organs, he began to consume her blood again.
Chase then went to get David’s body, split open his head, and started eating his brain. Another child knocked on the door. Chase was unaware that Jason had a prearranged playdate.
He left the house with David’s body, continued to eat it, and then dumped it at a neighboring church.
They found that in Miroth’s blood, Chase had left entire handprints and shoe imprints. Shortly after, Chase was taken into custody. When the police inspected Chase’s flat, they discovered that all the walls, floors, ceilings, refrigerators, and eating and drinking utensils were covered in blood.
What Happened to Richard Chase?
Chase was put on trial in 1979 on six counts of murder. The defense attempted to have him found guilty of second-degree murder instead of the death penalty, which would have resulted in a life sentence. Their argument that Chase’s crimes were not premeditated and his history of mental illness were critical factors in their case.
On May 8, 1979, the jury convicted Chase of six charges of first-degree murder and condemned him to death in a gas chamber after rejecting the defense that he was not guilty due to insanity.
Because of the tremendous violence and gore of Chase’s crimes, his other prisoners terrified him and frequently attempted to talk Chase into killing himself, according to prison officials.
Chase agreed to several interviews with Robert K. Ressler, discussing his worries about Nazis and UFOs. He also said that although he had killed, it was not his fault because he had been compelled to, as any person would do, kill to survive.
To capture the Nazi UFOs and bring them to justice for the crimes, he requested from Ressler access to a radar gun. He also gave Ressler a substantial portion of macaroni and cheese that he had kept in his pants pockets because he thought the guards were working with the Nazis to poison his food and murder him.
In his cell, Chase was discovered dead on December 26, 1980. He overdosed on prescription drugs and had committed suicide, according to an autopsy.
If you like to backtrack and rewind a bit, try the Places Around the World Where It’s Illegal to Die. Then, if you’re interested in the paranormal, try The Horrifying Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation.
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