Over the course of a few weeks in Jaunary 1978, Richard Trenton Chase changed the way people thought about Sacramento forever. This brutal killer snuck into the homes of his victims before he shot them with a .22 caliber handgun and drank their blood. Facts about the vampire killer of Sacramento are gruesome, so you might want to save this until after you’ve had your lunch.
There are plenty of serial killers who thought they were vampires, but Richard Chase is one of the few cannibal killers who took the vampiric lifestyle to its most extreme. Rather than eat normal food, he drank blood at every meal, and if he could feast on the organs of his victims, that was even better.
Like many killers who drank their victims' blood, Richard Chase was certifiably insane. So who was the Vampire of Sacramento? And why did he do so many awful things? As you’ll come to discover, he was let down by medical institutions and his family for his entire life; six people died - including an unborn child - because he did not get the help he needed.
On January 23, 1978, Richard Chase committed one of the most gruesome crimes in American history. That night, he broke into the home of Teresa Wallin, a 22-year-old woman who was three months pregnant. He shot her three times. The second bullet broke her jaw, and the final shot delivered the death blow.
As Wallin bled out, Chase grabbed a kitchen knife and dragged her body to a bedroom where he began to mutilate her corpse. He sliced off a nipple, carved into her liver, and disemboweled her before violating the corpse. After desecrating her body, Chase grabbed a used yogurt cup, filled it with Wallin's blood, and drank it. Chase finished off his crime by going into her yard, finding a piece of dog feces, and shoving it into her mouth.
On January 27, 1978, just a few days after mutilating and killing Teresa Wallin, Richard Chase found his way into the home of Evelyn Miroth. Upon entering the house, he bumped into Danny Meredith, a family friend, and shot him with his .22 caliber. Chase made his way through the home where he shot and killed Miroth along with her six-year-old son, Jason, and her 22-month-old nephew, David.
After shooting everyone in the house, he took a knife to Miroth's body and began mutilating it just like he did with Wallin. He pulled her left eyeball from her socket and sexually assaulted her corpse without interruption. After he finished with Miroth, he took the remains of David (whom he had previously shot in the head) with him and ate his brains.
Richard Chase earned his nickname “The Vampire Killer of Sacramento” because of his obsession with blood. All of his murders, save for one, involved a gruesome personal ritual where he drank the blood of his victims. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, Chase practiced cannibalism on his victims, thinking they would help his body grow and keep his blood keep flowing. His obsession with blood is why he's considered one of the few people who actually suffer from Renfield Syndrome.
Adding onto the "Vampire of Sacramento" name is the fact Richard Chase believed he was running out of blood. He thought all of the blood he was drinking was refilling his veins and keeping him going. When he was hospitalized for blood poisoning in 1976 after injecting himself with blood from a rabbit he killed, Chase explained he thought his stomach was backwards and his blood was drying up.
Upon investigation, police discovered everything in Chase's apartment was covered in blood. There's no way to know how many animals he killed and drained.