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10 Insane And Unnerving Facts About The Vampire Richard Chase

by Joe Duncan
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Do you believe in vampires? Have you ever heard of the real-life Dracula? Ladies and gentlemen, I now present Richard Chase. Richard Chase was a serial killer who terrified Northern California during the late 1970s, and while he is not as prolific as your average Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, his murders tell a tale of mental illness and insanity that few of the others can live up to.

Known also as “The Vampire Killer” and “The Vampire of Sacramento,” Chase was a literal, in-real-life vampire . . . yes, he drank the blood of his victims. With a killing spree from 1977–1978, Chase terrified the city of Sacramento with his bloodlust and brutality. Regardless of the short duration of his murders, Chase was and will remain one of the most terrifying serial killers to ever live. His bizarre reasoning behind his gruesome crimes is enough to strike fear into each and every single one of us: nothing more than pure, ravenous bloodthirst.

Here are ten of the most twisted facts about Richard Chase which earn him his mark as one of the most horrific, yet fascinating individuals in human history.

10The Real-Life Dracula

Also known as “The Dracula Killer,” Richard Chase actually went by the literal alias, “Dracula.” Before his murders began, the staff at the hospital where he was once institutionalized jokingly called him “Dracula,” a nickname that would turn out to be ominously prophetic during his career as a serial killer.[1] There is something dark about this foreshadowing that happens all-too-often in life—when a simple joke turns into something that someone ends up living out to a shocking degree of accuracy for the rest of their lives.

There are plenty of cannibal serial killers out there, many of whom consumed flesh in various, deranged ways, but none of them rivaled the puzzling lust for the literal blood of his victims that Richard Chase had. Consuming his victims seemed an afterthought compared to this killer’s insatiable appetite for his true desire: blood.

9Sociopath, Schizophrenic, and Addict

The MacDonald Triad is a medical indicator used to determine if a child has a likely chance of eventually becoming a sociopath. Chase met all three criteria of the triad of sociopathy. He was a chronic bed-wetter by the age of eight, and by age ten he liked to set fires and also kill animals. These are traits shared with other serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer.

Sociopaths (also referred to as psychopaths or individuals with antisocial personality disorder) are individuals who have a blunted sense of empathy, an inclination towards risk, violence, and manipulation, combined with a complete lack of remorse for anyone they hurt. Sociopaths know right from wrong; they simply don’t care and proceed to do whatever their dark hearts desire. After his capture, two . . . not one . . . two psychiatrists determined that Chase exhibited zero signs of remorse or guilt for the crimes he had committed.[2]

Sociopathy is often comorbid with (exists alongside) drug addiction and alcoholism, two things Chase also suffered from when he was young and on into adulthood. His eventual suicide would be an intentional drug overdose. He also notably rented one of his first apartments with friends where he boarded up the windows so he could take LSD and smoke marijuana without the fear of being seen. Combine all of this with his constant hypochondria and the fact that he was a paranoid schizophrenic, this guy was the poster-boy for detrimental mental illness, with several mental disorders tormenting him which undoubtedly contributed to, if not all-out caused, the terror he would reign on society.

8He Always Carried a Gun

Fueled by his paranoid schizophrenia, by the age of 22 Richard Chase was arrested for possession of a firearm. This would not be the last time he got caught with a gun; he always carried a gun wherever he went . . . always. He would continue to carry weapons throughout his life and his usual method of killing was a .22 caliber pistol. It is safe to say that due to his paranoia and significant mental health issues, he was always packing heat and ready to take the lives of other people.

On August 3, 1977, Chase’s truck was discovered near a Native American reservation where police found a 30-30 rifle, along with another rifle, and his signature .22 caliber pistol inside. They also discovered that he had taken a cow liver and removed it, placing it in a bucket and smearing the blood on his naked body. However Tribal and Federal land require federal prosecution, and the United States District Attorney decided to withhold prosecution.[3]

7Rage and Erectile Dysfunction

Suppressed anger would be a theme that ran throughout Chase’s life, and he would take it out on his friends, family, loved ones, and most of all his victims. In the late 1960s, at 18 years old, his internal anger was already so intense that a psychiatrist diagnosed him with erectile dysfunction citing his suppressed rage as a direct cause. As a teenager, Chase could not maintain an erection without killing animals.[4] That is one perpetually pissed-off serial killer.

His vehemence was so intense that in an incident in 1977, when he was 27 years old, Chase rang his mother’s doorbell to pay her a surprise visit, and when she opened the door, threw a dead cat into her face that he had freshly killed.

Andrei Chikatilo, “The Butcher of Rostov,” is another notable serial killer who suffered from erectile dysfunction, so much so, that he could not achieve an erection with his wife or his victims until after they were being strangled, tortured, or were already dead.


This dude was a major hypochondriac for sure, something that plagued his familial and social relationships, and he would be treated for it at length by psychiatrists. He constantly complained of illnesses from headaches to stomach pains, and even once claimed that someone had stolen his pulmonary artery, that his stomach was “backward,” and more.[5] This delusion was so great that he was committed and diagnosed with schizophrenia and somatic delusions in 1976, which were largely the cause of his hypochondria.

At one point, Chase even managed to convince himself that he was part of the Younger Brothers, an outlaw gang associated with Jesse James. For a long time. Chase actually believed that his mother was trying to poison him and that Nazis, the FBI, and other organizations were after him. Of course in his mind there was only one way to fend off all that was out to get him—drinking blood.

5He Drank the Blood of Animals

It is hard for me to even imagine ingesting the blood of animals without my stomach turning in nauseous fury. Give me a silent nod here if you’re the same way. Chase dismembered, ate, and drank the blood of animals long before he committed his first murder. By the age of ten, while the rest of us were playing kickball and having fun with our friends on the jungle gym, Richard Chase was already killing and dismembering animals so he could drink their blood, an obsession which would follow him throughout the rest of his life.

Not only was this guy twisted enough to seriously hunt and kill living people so he could drink their blood, but he would also drink animal blood from many, many different creatures throughout the course of his life. He held a deep core belief that blood, and only blood, could save him from his paranoid delusions.[6]

4He Also Injected Animal Blood

He injected animal blood . . . Do you need a minute to process that one? Because my brain was loading like a Windows file transfer in 1998 when I first heard this. Yes, Richard Chase also injected animal blood into his own veins believing that it would help him cure many of the various “diseases” his hypochondria would dream up.

His first major institutionalization took place after he contracted blood poisoning by injecting rabbits’ blood into his veins.[7] One time, hospital staff at the institution discovered him with blood all over his face, which he explained away by telling the staff that he had cut himself shaving; it would be later revealed that Chase was killing birds and drinking their blood, disposing of the bodies when he was let outside. Even locked away in an asylum, Chase could not resist but to use any free time outdoors to capture animals and drink their blood.

3He Chose His Victims at Random

Stop for a minute and think about how many serial killers may be out there right now just lurking, stalking, trolling, and following their soon-to-be-victims. Kind of terrifying, isn’t it? If that does not send shivers up your spine, I don’t know what will.

When asked how he went about choosing victims, Richard Chase responded that he would check doorknobs down the street until he found one to be unlocked; he had no further necessities in a victim, as his core motives were neither financial or sexual, but rather out of pure bloodlust and a desire for carnage. While he did have sex with his victims, his murderous rampage seemed to be inspired by nothing more primary than his desire to consume human blood. It was because of this disorganized nature that he managed to evade capture, as, with no rhyme or reason to his killings, investigators could not figure out any real discernable pattern.

He once remarked that locked doors were a sign that he was “not welcome.” He specifically remembered going out one night to stalk for prey and finding a door unlocked, but he decided that that particular resident, whoever she may be is still unknown, should live; it was almost as if fate and chance themselves were choosing Chase’s victims.[8] Even more terrifying was when police finally caught up with Chase, his calendar had the word “today” written on days he committed murder. There were 44 future days with the word “today” already written on them when authorities made this discovery.


Richard Chase was notably a necrophiliac, meaning he would fondle and perform sexual acts on his victims. In 1978, Chase entered the home of Evelyn Miroth, who he would eventually kill along with her 6-year-old son, Jason, and her 22-month-old nephew, David Ferreira. He would then go on to sodomize Evelyn’s body.

As with his previous murder of Teresa Wallin, who he also raped post-mortem, Chase shot his victim three times before using a knife to stab her while he raped her corpse repeatedly. He then dismembered his victim, removing organs, and ate Wallin’s single, severed nipple. Alongside his necrophilic tendencies, Chase was a coprophiliac, meaning he had a compulsive obsession with the ingestion of human feces.[9]

1Bloodthirst and Cannibalism as Motive

It should be noted here that you could almost copy and paste sentences from this article to a notepad at random and get lyrics to a Cannibal Corpse song (I did not actually try this exercise). The horrific nature of Richard Chase’s crime spree is so shockingly terrifying that you wish it were a work of fiction.

Imagine coming home to find your pregnant wife dead, partially eaten, and having had her blood drank; this was the unthinkable agony David Wallin had to endure. On January 23, 1978, Chase murdered and cannibalized 22-year-old Terry Wallin using a yogurt cup to drink her blood from, before he literally bathed in her blood. When he murdered Evelyn and Jason Miroth along with her 22-month-old nephew, David, the infant was entirely missing when police discovered the grizzly scene, with a large blood stain in the crib where the infant once laid. His body would be found decapitated several months later.

The main motive for Richard Chase’s homicide spree was to procure the blood and flesh of his victims—all else was secondary. That is such a bizarre motive, isn’t it? Chase was obsessed with consuming blood and flesh, something that eventually graduated from the blood and flesh of the animals he would consume in his youth, to cannibalizing human beings. His lust for blood was motivated in part by his undying internal rage, but also, because Richard Chase believed that he in fact needed to drink blood to stay alive.[10]

That’s right . . . he believed . . . that he needed to drink peoples’ blood . . . in order to stay alive. In this way, Chase was very much the ultimate vampire serial killer, and it is somewhat surprising that he is not so well-known, as his bizarre and macabre methods and motives are enough to strike terror in any of us.

At the end of the day (fortunately) Chase was apprehended and stood trial for his crimes. He pled not guilty by reason of insanity, but the jury convicted him and sentenced him to death—a sentence he would not live to see, as he chose to die by his own hand instead.

I write about horror, serial killers, and generally seek to highlight the darker side of reality we all-to-often try to avoid. The world is a twisted place, and often fact is far more bizarre and macabre than fiction. I run several Facebook pages, Murderworks Horror, Serial Killer Memes, and Serial Killer Memes X, among others.

fact checked by Jamie Frater