The Life of the Chase

A serial killer is defined as a person who commits a series of murders, often with no specific motive. A serial killer usually suffers a mental disorder that brings up the traits of a killer. The mental disorders could also be a cause of a chemical imbalance or a troubled childhood.

Most killers start off with killing small animals and work their way up to humans. Richard Trenton Chase, also known as The Vampire of Sacramento, was an American serial killer, necrophiliac and cannibal that was the result of an abundance of mental disorders and was abused by his parents as a child.

Chase exhibited several symptoms of children become adult serial killers, which included: bed-wetting beyond the usual age, pyromania and the abuse small animals.

His mental disorders intensified as he aged. He suffered from repressed anger (most likely due to his childhood), which resulted in an erectile dysfunction. Due to this problem, he was unable to keep a girlfriend in high school. He also had problems keeping a mate because he was impotent and had wild behavior.



Enter a captionChase in his teenage years. Photo Curtesy of:

As Chase got older, he knew something was wrong with him. He often isolated himself and ended up in the emergency room looking for help. He claimed that someone had stolen his pulmonary artery, that his stomach was upside down and his heart had stopped beating. This was when he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Ailene Macias, a fellow attendee of Chattahoochee Technical College, says, “He had a lot of mental issues that caused him to be an outcast to society, and what he did was disgusting. His mental illness was not an excuse to do what he did.”

He moved out of his parent’s house because he thought his mother was trying to poison him. Once out he moved in with a few friends, they would complain that he was always drunk from alcohol, or high on LSD and marijuana. He would also walk around the apartment nude, even in front of guests. Eventually they had gotten fed up and demanded he moved out. Chase refused, so his roommates moved out instead.

Chase’s first killing occurred during the holiday season on December 29, 1977, in a drive-by shooting. The man’s name was Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old man. Next, he attempted to walk into the house of a woman, but after he confronted a locked door he walked away. He later admitted to detectives that he took unlocked doors as a welcoming sign. He thought if the doors were locked, he was uninvited. That woman’s life was spared simply because she locked her door.


Teresa Wallin, Chase’s second victim. Photo Curtesy of:


Chase broke into a house on January 23, 1978 and shot a three-month pregnant Teresa Wallin. He shot her three times, killing her and then proceeded to copulate with her corpse, all while stabbing her repeatedly in the stomach with a butcher knife.

He soon after removed some of her organs and consumed them, cut off one of her papillum and eventually drank her blood. This is how he became known as The Vampire of Sacramento. Once he was finished mutilating her body, he left. While walking through her yard he found dog feces. He returned to the house to stuff it down Wallin’s throat.


David Ferreira, the 22-month-old victim who fell to the wrath of Richard Trenton Chase. Photo Curtesy of:

Two days later 1-year-old David Ferreira was spending the day with his aunt, Evelyn Miroth, at her house. Miroth had a 6-year-old son named Jason. Evelyn’s friend, Danny Meridith, had been visiting on the same. Chase shot Meridith first and stole his keys and wallet. Moving more through the house he then shot Miroth, Jason, then lastly David. Even after everyone in the house was dead, his work was still incomplete.

McKenzie Mitchell, a Sequoyah High School senior, says, “If I saw a man that looked like him in public, I wouldn’t think anything about it. He doesn’t look THAT crazy.” This goes to show that you would not always be able to tell if a person is a deranged killer or not.

When prompted by the same question as Mitchell, Sophia Singer, a Woodstock High School junior, says, “He looks really scary and has an ominous look, but I wouldn’t think he would be a killer.”

He copulated with Evelyn’s corpse and ate some of it, leaving perfect shoe prints and fingerprints in her blood. He put David’s body into the bathtub, sliced open his skull and consumed some his brain matter. A knock on the door scared Chase, so he grabbed David’s body and escaped in Meredith’s car. The person at the door was startled by Chase and called the police. Once in a more comfortable setting, Chase cut off David’s phallus and used it as a straw to suck blood out of his body. He left the remains at a church inside of a shoebox along with Danny’s keys.


Richard Chase, aka the Sacramento Vampire, soon after he was arrested. Photo Curtesy of:

Chase was arrested shortly after. A woman named Nancy Holden that went to school with Chase saw him try to get into two houses. After failing both times with greetings from locked doors, he approached Holden in hopes of getting a ride from her. Frightened by his appearance, she declined his request and called the police.

Upon his arrest, the police discovered his apartment to be drenched with blood. Police found raw human flesh wrapped in tin foil in his refrigerator. They also found blood and Coca-Cola mixed in a blender in his kitchen.


Chase during his trial. Photo Curtesy of:

Chase was convicted of six counts of murder. The defense tried to avoid the death penalty by claim of insanity and murder by second degree rather than the first. Ronald W. Tochterman, representing the state, would not let Chase see another day of light. He fought his case with the fact that Chase knew right from wrong and stated that some cultures believe you can strengthen or heal yourself using blood rituals. The two main reasons Chase was charged was the fact that head had Danny Meredith’s wallet and the gun they found on him was the same gun used to kill the family.

Tochterman’s opening statement to the trial included but was not limited to, “…Richard Chase brutally murdered six innocent people and mutilated their bodies…Richard Chase is a danger to society and is completely conscience of what he has done. Therefore, I believe that Chase should be severely punished for his actions. Thank you.”

Chase was sentenced to death by gas chamber but took his own life by overdosing on antidepressant pills that he had saved up from the prison guards on December 26, 1980.


  1. Reminds me of another serial killer documentary that I read about about a man called Jeffrey Dahmer I think.

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