Richard Trenton Chase was an American schizophrenic serial killer who killed six people in the span of a month in Sacramento, California, USA. He was nicknamed "The Vampire of Sacramento" because he drank his victims' blood and cannibalized their remains.
Born in 1950, he was raised in a strict household and was beaten often by his father. In his teens he became an alcoholic and also developed a penchant for killing and mutilating animals and firestarting, all common traits amongst serial killers in their youth. In high school, Chase had a handful of girlfriends, none of whom he was able to maintain a steady relationship with, partly due to his inability to achieve or maintain an erection, and because of an inability to become aroused in the presence of females. Upon consulting a psychiatrist, Chase was told that the root of his problems was either repressed rage or mental illness. Chase did not seek any further treatment after this diagnosis; it would later be determined that Chase had an aversion to conventional sex and could only achieve arousal and orgasm through violent or disturbed acts, such as killing animals and necrophilia. Chase developed hypochondria as he matured. He often complained that his heart would occasionally "stop beating", or that "someone had stolen his pulmonary artery". He would hold oranges on his head, believing Vitamin C would be absorbed by his brain via diffusion. Chase also believed that his cranial bones had become separated and were moving around, so he shaved his head in order to watch this activity.
As an adult, Chase moved back in with his mother, where he began to accuse her of attempting to murder him via poison, Chase's father forced him to move out of the house. Chase rented the apartment with friends. Chase's room-mates complained that he was constantly intoxicated on alcohol, marijuana, and LSD. Chase would also walk around the apartment nude, even in front of company. Chase's room-mates demanded that he move out. When he refused, the roommates moved out instead.Alone in his new apartment, Chase began to capture, kill, and disembowel various animals, which he would then devour raw. He then began to put the entrails of the animals he had killed into a blender mixing the raw organs with Coca-Cola in order to make smoothies. Chase reasoned that by drinking these smoothies he was preventing his heart from shrinking; he feared that if it shrank too much it would disappear and then he would die.
In 1975, Chase was involuntarily committed to a mental institution after being taken to a hospital for blood poisoning, which he contracted after injecting rabbit's blood into his veins. Chase escaped from the hospital and went home to his mother; he was apprehended and sent to an institution for the criminally insane, where he often shared with the staff fantasies about killing rabbits. He was once found with blood smeared around his mouth; hospital staff discovered that he had captured two birds through the bars on his bedroom windows, snapped their necks, and sucked their blood out. Among themselves, the staff began referring to him as "Dracula". After undergoing a battery of treatments involving psychotropic drugs, Chase was deemed no longer a danger to society, and in 1976, he was released into the recognizance of his parents; his mother, deciding that her son did not need to be on the anti-schizophrenic medication that he had been prescribed, weaned him off it.
His parents put him up in an apartment, where he began to capture, torture to death, and then drink the blood of rabbits, dogs, and cats; on occasion, he killed and ate neighbor's pets, and at least once contacted the neighbour by telephone to explain what he had done. At the same time, he developed a fascination for firearms and purchased several handguns, with which he practiced obsessively. He became fascinated by the crimes of the Hillside Strangler; he believed the Strangler was also the victim of the Nazi/UFO conspiracy that he believed he was the victim of. Chase also began to lose interest in caring for himself; he neglected personal hygiene such as bathing, grooming, and brushing his teeth. He stopped eating and dropped to the fairly meager weight of 145 lb. One day in 1977, Chase rang his mother's doorbell and greeted her by thrusting a dead cat in her face. He then threw the cat to the ground, knelt down, ripped its stomach open with his bare hands, and stuck his hands inside the cat, smearing its blood all over his face while screaming. His mother calmly returned inside the house and did not report the incident to anyone. On August 3, 1977, Nevada state police discovered Chase's Ford Ranchero lodged in a sand drift near Pyramid Lake, Nevada; inside were two rifles, a pile of clothes, a bucket full of blood and a cow's liver. The officers tracked down Chase, who was naked and screaming in the sand, soaked from head to toe in blood. When questioned, he claimed that the blood was his own, and that it had leaked out of him through his flesh. On December 27, 1977, Chase fired a .22 handgun into the home of a Sacramento woman. A police search of the woman's home found the slug in her kitchen; no one was harmed.
On December 29, 1977, Chase killed his first victim in a drive-by shooting, in an apparent "warm up" for the crimes he planned on committing. The victim was Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old engineer and father of two, who was helping his wife bring groceries into their home. One of Griffin's sons reported seeing a neighbour walking around their East Sacramento neighborhood with a .22 rifle earlier that week; the neighbour's rifle was seized, but ballistics tests determined that it was not the murder weapon; however, it was determined that the .22 used to kill Ambrose Griffin was the same one used to fire the bullet into the kitchen of the Sacramento woman two days before.
On January 11, 1978, Chase asked his neighbour for a cigarette and then forcibly restrained her until she gave him an entire pack.Two weeks later, he attempted to enter the home of another woman but, finding that her doors were locked, went into her backyard and walked away; Chase later told detectives that he took locked doors as a sign that he was not welcome, but that unlocked doors were an invitation to come inside. While wandering around, he encountered a girl named Nancy Holden, with whom he attended high school. He attempted to get a ride from her, but frightened by his appearance, she refused. He went down the street where he broke into the home of a young married couple, stole some of their valuables, urinated into a drawer of their infant's clothing, and defecated on their son's bed. The couple came home while Chase was still in the house; the husband attacked him, but Chase escaped.
Chase continued to attempt to enter homes until he came across the home of David and Teresa Wallin. David was at work; Teresa, three months pregnant, was in the middle of taking out the garbage and thus had left her front door unlocked. Chase surprised her in the home and shot her three times, once in the hand (a defensive wound) and twice in the head, killing her; it was the same gun used to kill Ambrose Griffin. Chase then dragged her body to her bedroom and raped it post-mortem while repeatedly stabbing it with a butcher knife. When he had finished, he carved the corpse open and removed several of her internal organs, using a bucket to collect the blood and then taking it in the bathroom to bathe in it. He then sliced off her nipple and drank her blood, using an empty yoghurt container as a drinking glass; before leaving, he went into the yard found a pile of dog feces, and returned to stuff it into the corpse's mouth and throat.
On January 23, 1978, two days after killing Teresa Wallin, Chase purchased two puppies from a neighbor, which he then killed and drank the blood of, leaving the bodies on the neighbour's front lawn. On January 27, Chase committed his final murder, which also qualifies as a mass murder. He entered the home of 38-year-old Evelyn Miroth, who was babysitting her 22-month-old nephew, David; also present in the home was Eveyln's six-year-old son Jason, and Dan Meredith, a neighbour who had come over to check on Evelyn. Evelyn was in the bath while Dan watched the children; he went into the front hallway when Chase entered the home, and was shot in the head at point-blank range with Chase's .22 handgun, killing him (again, this was the same gun used in the Griffin and Wallin murders).
Chase then turned the corpse over and stole Dan's wallet and car keys. Jason ran to his mother's bedroom, where Chase fatally shot him twice in the head at point-blank range; on the way to killing Jason, Chase also shot David in the head. Chase then entered the bathroom and fatally shot Evelyn once in the head. He dragged her corpse onto the bed, where he simultaneously sodomized it and drank its blood from a series of slices to the back of the neck. Medical examiners reported an inordinate amount of semen in the corpse's rectum, indicating an "unusual amount" of ejaculations.
When Chase had finished, he stabbed her "at least half a dozen times" in the anus, the knife penetrating her uterus. He stabbed her in a series of vital points on the body, which caused blood from her internal organs to pool into her abdomen, which he then sliced open and drained into a bucket; he then consumed all of the blood. Chase then went to retrieve David's corpse; he took it to the bathroom and split its skull open in the bathtub, and consumed some of the brain matter. Outside, a six-year-old girl with whom Jason Miroth had a playdate knocked on the door, startling Chase; he fled the residence, stealing Dan Meredith's car; the girl alerted a neighbour. The neighbor broke into the Miroth home where he discovered the bodies and contacted the authorities. Upon entering the home, police discovered that Chase had left perfect hand-prints and perfect imprints of the soles of his shoes in Evelyn's blood.
Chase, meanwhile, took David's corpse home with him, where he chopped off his penis and used it as a straw through which he sucked the blood out of the body. He then sliced the corpse open and consumed several internal organs and made smoothies out of others, finally disposing of the corpse at a nearby church. After the Wallin murder, FBI agents Russ Vorpagel and Robert Ressler were called in to investigate. They compiled a profile of the killer; they determined that the killer would be tall, malnourished, a loner, physically unclean, and that most importantly, he would continue to kill.
Five days after the mass murder, and after hearing the FBI profile, Nancy Holden contacted police saying she believed Richard Chase could be the killer. The police ran a background check on Chase, where they came across his registration of a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Detectives and a team of police went to Chase's apartment, where they asked to speak with him. Chase refused; the detectives and the police hid down the hallway and waited for Chase to leave, arresting him when he left the apartment carrying a bloodstained box; his parka and shoes were likewise bloodstained. Inside were pieces of shredded, blood-soaked wallpaper, and the bloodstained .22 with which he had committed his murders. Chase claimed that the bloody wallpaper and bloody gun were a result of his killing several dogs. When the police performed a search of Chase's person, they found that he was carrying Dan Meredith's wallet.
Detectives, along with Ressler and Vorpagel, performed a search of Chase's apartment. They found the walls, floor, ceiling, refrigerator, and all of Chase's eating and drinking utensils soaked in blood; on the counter was the blender Chase used to make his smoothies. It was caked in coagulated blood and the rotting matter of internal organs. Inside the refrigerator police found several animal body parts wrapped in aluminum foil; David's brains in a Tupperware container and pieces of his body wrapped in Saran Wrap; and several of Evelyn Miroth and Teresa Wallin's internal organs. On another counter were several pet collars; on his kitchen table he had spread out numerous diagrams depicting various aspects of human biology.
In 1979, Chase stood trial on six counts of murder. In order to avoid the death penalty, the defense tried to have Chase found guilty of second degree murder, which would result in a life sentence. Their case hinged on Chase's history of mental illness and the lack of planning in his crimes, evidence that they were not premeditated.
On May 8 the jury found Chase guilty of six counts of first degree murder. The defense asked for a clemency hearing, in which a judge determined that Chase was not legally insane; Chase was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Waiting to die, Chase became a feared presence in prison; the other inmates (including several gang members), aware of the graphic and bizarre nature of his crimes, feared him, and according to prison officials, they often tried to convince Chase to commit suicide, too fearful to get close enough to him to kill him themselves. Chase also granted a series of interviews with Robert Ressler, during which he spoke of his fears of Nazis and UFOs, claiming that although he had killed, it was not his fault; he had been forced to kill to keep himself alive, which he believed any person would do. He asked Ressler to give him access to a radar gun, with which he could apprehend the Nazi UFOs, so that the Nazis could stand trial for the murders. He also handed Ressler a large amount of macaroni and cheese which he had been hoarding in his pants pockets, believing that the prison officials were in league with the Nazis and attempting to kill him.
On December 26, 1980, a guard doing cell checks found Chase lying awkwardly on his bed, not breathing. An autopsy determined that Chase committed suicide with an overdose of prison doctor-prescribed antidepressants that he had been saving up for the last few weeks.
The 1988 movie "Rampage" was loosely based on Chase's crimes. Investigation Discovery's 2011 TV special" Lore: Deadly Obsession" was a two hour documentary reenactment of Chase's crimes. Chase was played by Dylan John Seaton.
"I cut myself shaving while in a mental institution. It was later revealed the blood was from birds" - Richard Chase
If you want to watch a documentary on the "The Vampire Of Sacramento" then just check out the links below: