Serial killer, cannibal, and necrophiliac Richard Chase went on a month-long killing spree that ended with six people dead, including children. Along with savagely murdering his victims, he also drank their blood. This earned him the nickname "The Vampire of Sacramento."
One has to wonder if Chase was alone in the blame for what he did to others. His parents and health officials considered him stable enough to live without supervision, despite the fact he displayed severe abnormal behavior from an early age.
Richard Trenton Chase was born on May 23, 1950. His parents were strict disciplinarians and Richard was often subjected to beatings from his father. By the age of 10, Chase displayed three known warning signs of children who grow to become serial killers: bed-wetting beyond the normal age, cruelty to animals, and setting fires.
According to published reports, Chase's mental disorders intensified during his teenage years. He became a drug user and regularly exhibited symptoms of delusional thinking. He managed to maintain a small social life. However, his relationships with women would not last long. This was due to his bizarre behavior and his impotence. The later problem consumed him and he voluntarily sought help from a psychiatrist. The doctor was unable to help him and noted that his problems were a result of his severe mental disorders and repressed anger.
After turning 18, Chase moved out from his parent's home and in with roommates. His new living arrangements did not last long. His roommates, bothered by his heavy drug use and wild behavior, asked him to leave. After Chase refused to move out, the roommates left and he was forced to move back in with his mother. This lasted until he became convinced that she was trying to poison him. Chase moved to an apartment paid for by his father.
A Search for Help
Isolated, Chase's obsession with his health and bodily functions heightened. He suffered from constant paranoid episodes and would often end up at the hospital emergency room in search of help. His list of ailments included complaints that someone had stolen his pulmonary artery, that his stomach was backward and that his heart had stopped beating. He was diagnosed as being a paranoid schizophrenic and spent a short time under psychiatric observation, but was soon released.
Unable to find help from doctors, yet still convinced that his heart was shrinking, Chase felt he had found the cure. He would kill and disembowel small animals and eat the various parts of the animals raw. In 1975, Chase was suffering from blood poisoning after injecting the blood of a rabbit into his veins. He was involuntarily hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia or Drug-Induced Psychosis?
Doctors treated Chase with the usual drugs used for schizophrenia, with little success. This convinced doctors that his illness was due to his heavy drug use, not schizophrenia. Regardless, his psychosis remained intact. After he was found with two dead birds with their heads cut off and blood sucked out, he was moved to a hospital for the criminally insane.
Incredibly, by 1976 his doctors decided he was no longer a threat to society and released him under the care of his parents. Even more incredibly, his mother made the decision that Chase no longer needed the anti-schizophrenia medications prescribed and stopped giving him the pills. She also helped him find an apartment, paid his rent, and bought his groceries. Left unchecked and without medication, Chase's mental disorders escalated from the need for animal organs and blood to human organs and blood.
On December 29, 1977, Chase killed 51-year-old Ambrose Griffin in a drive-by shooting. Griffin was helping his wife bring groceries into the house when he was shot and killed.
Random Violent Acts
On January 11, 1978, Chase attacked a neighbor after he asked for a cigarette, then restrained her until she turned over the entire pack. Two weeks later, he broke into a house, robbed it, urinated inside a drawer containing infant clothing, and defecated on the bed in a child's room. Interrupted by the owner's return, Chase was attacked but managed to escape.
Chase continued to search for unlocked doors of homes to enter. He believed a locked door was a sign that he was not wanted. However, an unlocked door was an invitation to enter.
On January 23, 1978, Teresa Wallin, pregnant and at home alone, was taking out the garbage when Chase entered through her unlocked front door. Using the same gun he used to kill Griffin, he shot Teresa three times, killing her, then raped her corpse while stabbing her several times with a butcher knife. He then removed multiple organs, cut off one of the nipples and drank the blood. Before leaving, he collected dog feces from the yard and stuffed it into the victim's mouth and down her throat.
On January 27, 1978, the bodies of Evelyn Miroth, age 38, her six-year-old son Jason, and friend Dan Meredith were found murdered inside Evelyn's home. Missing was Evelyn's 22-month-old nephew David, whom she had been babysitting. The crime scene was horrific. Dan Meredith's body was found in the hallway. He was killed by a direct gunshot wound to his head. Evelyn and Jason were found in Evelyn's bedroom. Jason had been shot twice in the head.
The depth of Chase's insanity was clear when investigators reviewed the crime scene. Evelyn's corpse had been raped and sodomized multiple times. Her stomach had been cut open and various organs were removed. Her throat was cut, she had been sodomized with a knife, and there was a failed attempt to remove one of her eyeballs.
Not found at the murder scene was the infant, David. However, blood in the baby's crib gave police little hope the child was still alive. Chase later told police that he brought the dead infant to his apartment. After mutilating the baby's body, he disposed of the corpse at a nearby church, which is where it was later found.
What he did leave at the grotesque murder scene were clear hand and shoe prints, which soon led police to his door and ended Chase's insane rampage.
The End Result
In 1979, a jury found Chase guilty on six counts of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Disturbed by the gruesome details of his crimes, other prisoners wanted him gone and often tried to talk him into killing himself. Whether it was the constant suggestions or just his own tortured mind, Chase managed to collect enough prescribed antidepressants to kill himself. On December 26, 1980, prison officials discovered him dead in his cell from an overdose of medications.