Richard Trenton Chase was an American Serial Killer who killed six people in the span of a month, and was nicknamed “The Vampire of Sacramento” because he drank his victims’ blood and cannibalized their remains.
A self-described victim of abuse at the hands of his mother, Chase exhibited by the age of 10 evidence of enuresis, pyromania and zoosadism. In his adolescence, he was known as an alcoholic and a chronic drug abuser. He suffered from due to “psychological problems stemming from repressed anger.”
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 the 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.
After leaving his mother’s house (believing she was attempting to poison him), Chase rented an apartment with friends. Chase’s roommates complained that he was constantly intoxicated on alcohol, marijuana and acid. Chase would also walk around the apartment nude, even in front of company. Chase’s roommates demanded that he move out. When he refused, the roommates moved out instead.
Once alone in the apartment, Chase began to capture, kill, and disembowel various animals, which he would then devour raw, sometimes mixing the raw organs with Coca-Cola in a blender and drinking the concoction like a milkshake. Chase reasoned that by ingesting the creatures he was preventing his heart from shrinking.
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. He often shared with the staff fantasies about killing rabbits. He was once found with blood smeared around his mouth, but hospital staff discovered he had drunk the blood of birds; he had thrown the birds’ corpses out of his hospital room window. Staff began referring to him as “Dracula”.
In one of the many incidents in which he was held at the institution, he substituted the blood from the therapy dog to curb his addiction. He claimed he obtained the syringes from cracking open the disposable boxes left in the doctor’s offices. It took them weeks before they figured it out, and then they no longer brought any therapeutic animals in.Occasionally, he was discovered to have defecated on himself at which point he would paint art on the walls of the institution with the feces.
On December 29, 1977, Chase killed his first known victim in a drive-by shooting. He attempted to enter the home of a woman but, finding that her doors were locked, 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. He was later chased off by a returning couple as he pilfered belongings from their home and urinated and defecated on their beds and clothing.
Teresa Wallin was Chase’s next victim on January 21. Three months pregnant, Wallin was surprised at her home by Chase, who shot her three times, killing her. He then had sex with the corpse, mutilated it, and bathed in the dead woman’s blood.
Two days after killing Wallin, Chase purchased two puppies from a neighbor. He killed them and drank their blood.
On January 27, Chase committed his final murders. Entering the home of 38-year-old Evelyn Miroth, he encountered her friend, Danny Meredith, whom he shot with his .22 handgun. Stealing Meredith’s wallet and car keys, he rampaged through the house, fatally shooting Miroth, her six-year-old son Jason, and her 22-month-old nephew, David. As with Wallin, Chase engaged in necrophilia and cannibalism with Miroth’s corpse.
A six-year-old girl with whom Jason Miroth had a playdate knocked on the door, startling Chase, who fled the scene in Meredith’s car, taking David’s body with him. The girl alerted a neighbor, who alerted police. Upon entering the home, police discovered that Chase had left perfect handprints and shoe imprints in Miroth’s blood.
Chase returned to his apartment on Watt Ave., where he drank David’s blood and ate several of the child’s internal organs (including the child’s brain) before disposing of the body at a nearby church.
In 1979, Chase stood trial on six counts of murder.