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Richard Chase: The Vampire of Sacramento

Richard Trenton Chase, also known as The Vampire Killer or The Dracula killer was a twisted serial killer and cannibal, who went on a frantic and gruesome murder spree.

Note: This story contains accounts of murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism, each as disturbing and gory as the other. 

Chase lived in Santa Clara, California. By the age of ten, he showed signs of all three parts of the Macdonald triad: bed wetting, animal cruelty, and arson. This is seen as possible indicators of future violent acts. It was also said in his early teen years that he was a heavy drug user.

As he matured, he developed hypochondria, the fear and constant paranoia that the person will develop a serious illness or suddenly die. Chase constantly complained that his heart would sometimes stop beating, and that someone had stolen one of his pulmonary arteries.  

Chase would hold oranges on his head as he believed that the Vitamin C would be absorbed through diffusion. He also believed that his cranial bones were constantly moving, so, he shaved his head to watch it happen. 

Soon enough, he left his mother's home, mainly because he believed she was trying to poison him. Chase rented an apartment with some of his friends, however, his roommates began to complain. They said that he was constantly high off marijuana and LSD, or he had been excessively drinking. 

Chase would also walk around the place naked, even in front of company. After refusing to move out, Chase was left alone in the apartment as his friends decided to move instead. This was when the more violent activities began.

As he had the whole place to himself, Chase began to capture, kill, and disembowel animals. He would eat the animals raw, sometimes mixing the organs with coca-cola in a blender, and then drinking the sick concoction. Chase believed that by eating the creatures, he was stopping his heart from shrinking. 

He spent a brief amount of time institutionalised involuntarily from 1973 to 1976. The staff nicknamed him Dracula, as he had a fixation on blood. The reason he was put in the mental institution was that he was caught trying to inject rabbit's blood into himself. 

Although he was there, he still managed to break the necks of two birds he caught from one of the windows, and drank their blood. He also extracted the blood from some therapy dogs with syringes he had stolen. 

During his time there, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Chase went through treatment using psychotropic drugs, and was soon no longer seen as a dangerous member to society. Late into 1976, he was released back into his mother's care. 

His mother got him off his medication, and got him his own apartment. He was alone once again. A later investigation uncovered that in mid-1977 Chase was stopped and arrested in the Pyramid Lake (Nevada) area. He was seen with blood smeared all over him, and a bucket of blood in his trunk. The blood was proven to be cow's blood, and he faced no charges.

On December 29th, 1977, he killed his first victim in a drive-by shooting. The victim was Ambrose Griffin a 51-year-old engineer, and a father of two. 

Two weeks later, he attempted to enter a woman's home, however, the doors were locked, and he later told detectives that he took locked doors as a sign he wasn't welcome. If unlocked, he saw it as an invitation to let himself in. 

He was once caught and chased off by a couple returning home as he attempted to steal some of their belongings. Chase urinated and defecated on the couple's infant's clothes and bedding. 

January 23, 1978, Chase broke into a house, and fatally shot Teresa Wallin, she was three months pregnant at the time. He engaged in necrophilia with her body, whilst stabbing her body with a butcher's knife. Chase removed multiple organs, cut off one of her nipples and drank her blood. Before leaving, he stuffed dog feces down her throat. 

On January 27, Chase broke into the home of Evelyn Miroth. Whilst there, he encountered her friend Danny Meredith, and shot him. He took Meredith's car keys and wallet. Then, Chase went on to fatally shoot Miroth, her six-year-old son Jason and her almost two-year-old nephew David Ferreira. He mutilated Miroth's corpse, engaged in necrophilia and cannibalism. 

A knock on the door startled Chase, so in a panic, he fled in Meredith's car and took Ferreira's body with him. The visitor alerted a neighbour, who called the police. Chase had left perfect hand and footprints in Miroth's blood. Shortly afterwards, Chase was arrested. Police searched his home and found out his walls, ceiling, floor and all eating and drinking utensils were soaked in blood.

The Trial and The Aftermath

In 1979, Chase was put on trial for six counts of murder. In order to avoid the death penalty, his defense tried to get him convicted of second-degree murder, which would end in a life sentence. Their case was reliant on Chase's history of mental illness, and the suggestion that his crimes weren't premeditated.

On the eighth of May 1980, he was found guilty of six accounts of first-degree murder. The argument that he wasn't guilty by reason of insanity was excused, and he was sentenced to die in a gas chamber.

Chase's fellow inmates were aware of his violent crimes and feared him. According to prison officials, they sometimes tried to convince Chase to commit suicide.

Chase had a series of interviews with FBI agent Robert Ressler. In these interviews, he spoke of his fear of Nazis and UFOs. This is also where he said that he was forced to kill to keep himself alive, that it wasn't his fault, and he believed anyone else would do the same. Once he asked Ressler to give him a Radar Gun so he could capture Nazi UFOs, so that the Nazis could stand trial for the murders.

During an interview, he handed Ressler a large amount of macaroni and cheese. Chase was hoarding it in his pockets as he thought the prison officials were part of the Nazi league, and were trying to kill him with poisoned food.

Chase never received his death penalty as on December 26, 1980, he was found dead in his cell. An autopsy showed that the cause of death was overdose from prescribed antidepressants he had been stockpiling. This being the end of The Vampire of Sacramento. 

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