Richard Chase: What Was the Serial Killer Convicted Of?

Richard Chase
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Richard Chase was an American serial killer and cannibal who widely came to be known as The Vampire of Sacramento or The Dracula Killer. He was only active for less than a month but remains one of the most prolific known serial killers. However, he was convicted of six first-degree murders and was sentenced to death on May 8, 1979.

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Reader discretion is advised.

On December 29, 1977, Richard Chase shot 51-year-old Ambrose Griffin while he was helping his wife get groceries out of the car. More than a week later, Larson, Chase’s neighbor, reported suspicious activity to the police. On January 11, 1978, Chase allegedly stopped Larson to ask her for a cigarette and didn’t let her pass until she gave him one entire pack.

In the following week, Richard Chase broke into a married couple’s home and stole their belongings. He allegedly urinated in one of their drawers and defecated on their child’s bed. Although the couple returned before he could leave, Chase escaped and ran into a random house. Teresa Wallin, Chase’s second victim, was just getting out of the house to take the garbage out when he came across her.

According to The U. S. Sun, Teresa was pregnant when Richard Chase shot her in the hand, neck, and head. He then shot her again in the temple and allegedly dragged her into the bedroom. Chase raped and repeatedly stabbed Teresa with the kitchen knife. He reportedly removed some of her organs and filled a bucket with her blood. He then bathed in it and smeared the bathroom walls with her blood. Richard Chase also drank her blood from a container he found and left the crime scene to be found by authorities.

How did Richard Chase die?

Richard Chase committed the rest of his murders on January 28, 1978, when he entered Evelyn Miroth’s home while she was babysitting her one-year-old nephew. Her son, Jason, who was 6, and Dan Meredith, a neighbor. He entered with a pistol and killed all of those inside the house. Removing the organs and stabbing them multiple times was a common practice he inflicted on his victims. He also drank the blood of his victims, giving him the name, ‘The Vampire of Sacramento.’

Five days after his killing spree, the police caught Richard Chase, and he stood trial for six counts of first-degree murder. Although his lawyers argued that his sentence should be lowered to second-degree murder on the grounds of insanity, the jury found Chase guilty and sentenced him to death. However, in December 1980, Richard Chase died by suicide in his cell while on death row. According to the Toronto Sun, many of his co-prisoners allegedly told him to kill himself.

Chase was born in 1950 and, according to the Toronto Sun, was a hypochondriac. He often claimed that someone had “stolen his pulmonary artery.” Chase allegedly had a record of hurting animals and disemboweling. Additionally, he would reportedly eat the killed animals, sometimes blending them with Coca-Cola. Throughout his childhood, Chase was made to stay at mental institutions multiple times. His neighbor Larson also reported that she saw Chase taking animals into his home multiple times, against the building rules, and the animals never came back out.

Lore: Deadly Obsession is a two-hour-long ID TV movie that aired in 2011 and follows the crimes of Richard Chase.

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