Crime Life

Richard Trenton Chase
(The Vampire Killer)

Richard Trenton Chase

Richard Trenton Chase

Richard Trenton Chase was an obviously disturbed individual almost from the very beginning. By adulthood he was a drug addict and a disturbed hypochondriac, making two prolonged visits to mental institutions, once for killing rabbits and drinking their blood. The second of these hospitalizations ended in 1976 when it was judged that Chase was not certifiable. He immediately continued his downward spiral, continuing his blood-drinking of small animals. At the same time his own mother began to reduce his medication on her own, believing Chase was getting better, which was odd considering she had recently caught him cutting open a dead cat and smearing the blood on himself.

On December 29, 1977, Chase became a killer of humans when he inexplicably shot Ambrose Griffin, 51, in the back form his vehicle. Other attempted shootings were also reported in the area. The attack was merely a warm-up. 22-year-old Theresa Wallin, who was 3 months pregnant, was shot and killed by Chase in her front doorway. Chase finally had a human victim at his mercy, and he did not hold back, dragging her into the bedroom and slicing off her left nipple, cutting her midsection open, and pulling out many of her internal organs. He also stabbed her many times in the chest area and left a yogurt container in the bathroom that he had used to drink her blood out of.

Just four days later Chase killed again killing Evelyn Miroth, her six-year-old son Jason, her 22-month-old nephew David Ferreira, and family friend Danny Meredith. When a playmate of Jason's arrived and saw someone in the house but hobody answering the door, she alerted neighbors who investigated and discovered a gruesome scene. Jason Miroth and Meredith had been simply shot dead where Chase encountered them, but Evelyn Miroth had been shot in the head, sliced open with her intestines pulled out, stabbed in the anus several times, sodomized, and stabbed in the eyes and neck. There were also signs he had drank her blood. Even more horrifying was that her small nephew was not found, taken away by Chase between the time he was disturbed by the playmate and the discovery of the other bodies. It was obvious the child was dead however. A bullett hole and blood was discovered in the child's playpen and brain matter was found in the tub. It was later discovered that Chase had stolen Meredith's car and taken the baby to his home where he continued the mutilations and blood-drinking he had begun at the murder scene. The child's decapitated body was discovered in a vacant lot a couple of months later.

Thankfully that was the end of this horrifying killers reign. Neighbors who had observed Chase's increasingly frightening, bizarre behavior and noticed his similarity with a police composite sketch contacted police. The next day Chase was arrested outside his apartment when detectives who went to investigate him found him outside with bloodstains on his clothing and shoes and carrying Meredith's wallet in his pocket. Upon entering the killer's home It was even more obvious they had their man. The place stunk horribly and bloodstains covered much of the items inside. Body parts were found in the refrigerator as were pieces of bone.

Predictably chase entered a plee of not guilty by reason of insanity at his forthcoming trial, which had to be moved to San Jose because of the intense hatred toward Chase by some Sacramento residents. The highlight, or lowlight, of the trial was when Chase took the stand in his own defense, claiming to have been in a haze during the killings and that he didn't even realize that Ferreira was a human child. In the end it did him no good as he was judged sane, guilty, and to die in the San Quentin electric chair. He eventually cheated the State of California of their revenge, overdosing on a prescribed medication and dying on December 26, 1980.