The Vampire Killer of Sacramento

Richard Chase was a disturbed and terrifying individual whose name remains etched in the annals of crime history. Throughout his brief but horrifying spree, Chase committed a series of gruesome acts that shocked the community and left a lasting impact on the criminal justice system. This article delves into the chilling details of Richard Chase’s crimes, exploring the mind of a deranged killer.

Early life and disturbing behavior

Richard Trenton Chase was born on May 23, 1950, in Santa Clara County, California. As a child, Chase exhibited signs of abnormal behavior, such as torturing animals and experiencing recurring fantasies of murder and mutilation. His mental instability only intensified as he grew older, leading to a series of institutionalizations and psychiatric evaluations.

Chase developed a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness. 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 to be able to watch this activity.

The vampire obsession

In 1976, he was involuntarily committed to a mental institution when he was taken to a hospital after injecting rabbit’s blood into his veins. The staff nicknamed him “Dracula” because of his blood fixation. He broke the necks of two birds he caught through the institution window and drank their blood. He also extracted blood from therapy dogs with stolen syringes.

The murder spree

Between December 1977 and January 1978, Chase embarked on a horrifying murder spree that sent shockwaves through the Sacramento community. His first victim, Ambrose Griffin, was shot in a drive-by shooting.

Later he broke into a house and shot Teresa Wallin, who was three months pregnant at the time. He then had sexual intercourse with her corpse while stabbing her with a butcher’s knife. He then removed multiple organs, cut off one of her nipples and drank her blood. He stuffed dog feces from Wallin’s yard down her throat before leaving.

On January 27, Chase entered the home of Evelyn Miroth. He shot her and her friend, Danny with his .22 handgun. He then fatally shot her six-year-old son Jason, and her 22-month-old nephew David. He then began engaging in sexual acts and cannibalism with Evelyn’s corpse.

A knock on the door startled Chase, who fled in Danny’s car. He left complete handprints and shoe imprints in Evelyn’s blood.

Chase was arrested shortly after.


Chase’s trial began in 1979, where he was charged with six counts of murder. However, his trial was mired with complexities due to his history of mental illness. Chase’s defense attempted an insanity plea, but he was ultimately found guilty of six counts of first-degree murder.

The legacy of Richard Chase

Richard Chase’s crimes left an indelible mark on the public consciousness. His case shed light on the issues surrounding mental health and the challenges of prosecuting individuals with severe psychological disorders. In response to his horrifying acts, California introduced reforms to its legal system, making it more difficult for the criminally insane to be released into society.

Death and infamy

On December 26, 1980, Richard Chase was found dead in his cell at San Quentin State Prison. He had committed suicide by overdosing on antidepressant medication. Though his life ended abruptly, the memories of his gruesome crimes continue to haunt those familiar with his horrific acts.


Richard Chase, the Vampire of Sacramento, will forever be remembered as one of history’s most disturbing and deranged criminals. His sadistic acts of violence and the chilling motivations behind them stand as a stark reminder of the darkest corners of the human psyche. The legacy of Richard Chase serves as a stark reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and the ongoing struggle to prevent such tragedies from recurring.

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