MysteriYES: Rachel Takes Over because Willy is too Busy to Write Edition!!
Shaking things up a bit because this week is less of an unsolved mystery, but more of a not-so-friendly reminder, to lock your gosh-darn doors.
This week we will be covering Richard Chase, also known as the Vampire of Sacramento. This research is sourced by Wikipedia and My Favorite Murder-- great podcast.
Fair warning, this is rather gruesome and has cannibalism, extreme violence, etc. I did leave out a few details (not because I got lazy, of course not) that were overly gruesome, but this episode will still be a little graphic and unsettling, as there is animal abuse, brutal rape and murder and cannibalism.
Richard chase was born on May 23, 1950 in Santa Clara, California. Early on it was clear that Chase was doomed and basically destined to become a serial killer
By the age of 10 it was evidenced that he had signs of the Macdonald triad which include: persistent bedwetting, cruelty to animals and obsession with arson
If two or three factors of the factors are present in a child’s behavior, it is said to be predictive of violence later in life such as homicidal and sexually predatory behavior
Studies suggest that these stem from a history of parental neglect, abuse or brutality.
Chase claimed that his mother abused him and other sources say that his father was abusive or that both of his parents were strict and rageful.
During his teen years, Chase obsession with killing animals began to grow and also became an alcoholic and drug abuser.
Chase was said to mostly have “normal” behaviors as he entered high school, but began to dabble with marijuana and LSD
He also had been in a few relationships, but couldn't maintain any of them because he suffered from erectile dysfunction which doctors determined he suffered from due to “repressed anger.”
Additionally, around this age he began to develop hypochondria, which is being abnormally anxious about your health (maybe it had to do with all the drug use).
He would go to doctors saying that his heart would occasionally “stop beating” and would claim that someone had stolen his pulmonary artery (carries deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs; clearly he went down a WebMD rabbit hole or some 1970s equivalent)
He also believed that his cranial bones had become separated and were moving around
ADDITIONALLY he was convinced his mother was poisoning him.
Eventually, his parents moved him out and paid for him to live on his own in an apartment. It was then when he became really obsessed with animal blood
Chase’s roommates complained about him constantly being drunk or high, and always walking around naked, even with guests over. They wanted him to move out, but he refused, so instead all of his roommates moved out.
He would catch, kill and eat animals raw (birds, rabbits, etc). Chase believed that drinking their blood would help with many of his health problems, including preventing his heart from drinking.
Despite his alcoholism, his go-to drink was animal blood blended with coca-cola.
In 1976, Chase was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for injecting rabbit’s blood into his veins.
Prior to this, Chase was briefly in a psychiatric ward in 1973; likely for his hypochondria
While in the institution, staff members and other patients had nicknamed Chase “Dracula” because of his fixation with blood.
One day, a nurse caught him covered in blood and later dead birds were discovered outside of his windows. He had managed to catch birds and drink their blood and toss them back out the window.
Chase was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but it was argue that he was also dealing with drug-induced psychosis.
After months of treatment and being on medication, Chase was released and was deemed to no longer be a threat to himself or society.
His wonderful, caring mother gradually weaned him off his medications (probs to take them herself) and paid for him to move out and live in an apartment.
And if you thought things were bad, it’s only going to get worse from here.
So he’s off his meds, living alone after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He became fascinated with the Hillside Strangler and believed that him and the Stranger were both victims of the Nazi/UFO conspiracy he believed he was victim of.
He neglected in personal health and hygiene and at 5’11”, he only weighed 145lb.m
Just as an appetizer to the murders, let’s talk about a fun little episode where Chase almost got arrested
In August 1977, Chase was found on a reservation in the Lake Tahoe area, soaked in blood, with a truck full of guns and buckets of blood.
Alas, do not fear, he was not arrested as it was /only/ cow’s blood. Nothing to worry about, guys.
Also in December of 1977, he shot into the home of a sacramento woman, but did not harm anyone. However, two days later, he would commit his first murder.
Richard Chase killed six people in the span of a month. His first victim was Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old engineer and father of two. Chase shot Griffin on December 29, 1977 in a drive-by shooting.
Two weeks later, he began to walk around, trying doors. He later said that if the doors were locked that he took that to mean he wasn’t welcome, but if they were unlocked, he was welcome and could walk on in.
A woman claimed to have seen him attempting to open her back door, a window and then her front door. Since all of them were locked, he moved on.
On January 21, 1978, Chase broke into the house of Teresa Wallin who was three months pregnant at the time. He shot her three times and then (this gets really gruesome) raped her body while stabbing her with a butcher knife. He then removed multiple organs from her body, and drank her blood. She was later found by her husband, David Wallin, after her returned home from work.
It honestly gets more upsetting from here, and I’m also getting tired of this research thing (Willy, Zach..I get it now).
On January 27th, Chase killed four more people. His other victims include Evenlyn Miroth, 38 her son Jason Miroth, 6, her nephew David Ferreria, 22-months and her friend Daniel Meredith, 52. Chase again raped Miroth’s corpse and drank her blood.
I am not going to go into further detail because believe it or not, this was even more violent and gruesome than the murder of Teresa Wallin
This crime scene led to Chase being caught as there were handprints and shoe imprints everywhere.
Another thing that led to Richard Chase being linked to the murders, was an encounter he had with a former classmate, Nancy Holden, on January 23rd.
Earlier that day, he was caught in the house of Robert and Barbara Edwards, but got away. The police determined that he was searching for the house for valuables, but it was also found that he had urinated in a drawer of baby’s clothing and defecated on the child’s bed. Not super relevant to the next part of what I”m going to share, but super weird.
Holden was in the Town and Country Village shopping center when Chase approached her and asked “Were you on the motorcycle when Kurt was killed?”
Ten years prior, Nancy was dating a boy named Kurt who was killed on a motorcycle. After asking who he was, Nancy was shocked to see how disheveled her former classmate had become.
After talking to him for a few minutes, Nancy was able to get out of the store while Chase was paying, but Chase followed her to her car, hoping for a ride. Nancy immediately locked her car, roll up the windows and drive away before she could be stopped (***AS YOU SHOULD, if you feel like you’re in a bad situation, go ahead and be rude; it could save your life. As the ladies from my favorite murder would say, “f*ck politeness” you never know who and what you could be dealing with***)
Because of this encounter, Nancy was later able to identify Chase from police sketches.
Things began to add up and Richard Chase was (finally) arrested.
While Chase was in custody, the police searched his apartment and found that blood was everywhere. The kitchen was full of bloodstained food and drinking glasses, there were small pieces of bone and body parts i the refrigerator.
There are more gruesome details that I’m choosing to omit, but something freaky was that a calendar had “today” written on the days of the Wallin and Miroth murders and the same word was written on 44 future dates.
Chase’s trial began on January 2, 1979 and he was charged with six counts of murder and there were 250 prosecution exhibits and nearly one hundred witnesses.
While on stand, Chase claimed that he was semi-conscious during the Wallin murder and additionally said that he believed his problems stemmed from his inability to have sex with girls as a teenager and that he was sorry for the killings.
FBI profilers interviewed Richard Chase to add info on criminal psychology to their database. Here are some of the things that Chase had said
Chase believed that is blood was turning into powder back in 1976 and that is why he began drinking blood
He was convinced that if you lift the soap from a soapdish and it’s gooey, you have soap dish poisoning, but if it is dry you are safe. The poisoning turns your blood to powder and that powder then depletes your energy and eats away at your body.
He tormented and killed many pets (cats and dogs) leading up to his murders
Chase said that he first killed someone because his mom would not allow him to visit for Christmas and was “just shooting his gun out the window of his car”
Chase claimed that he was Jewish and had been persecuted by Nazi because he had the Star of David on his forehead (he didn’t). He said that the Nazis were connected to UFOs which had telepathically commanded him to kill to replenish his blood.
At the end of the interview, Chase pulled out a handful of macaroni and cheese from his pocket and asked for it to be analyzed for poison.
Inmates were either scared or taunted Chase and encouraged him to kill himself
On December 26th, 1980, Chase was found dead in his bunk. The coroner determined that he had stocked up and overdosed on his daily dose of Sinequan for hallucinations and depression.