This Date in History: Richard Trenton Chase murders three people “The Vampire of Sacramento”

Victims
Ambrose Griffin, 51 [12/29/1977] (no picture)
Teresa Wallin, 22 [1/23/1978]
Evelyn Miroth, 38 [1/27/1978]
Jason Miroth, 6 [1/27/1978]
Dan Meredith, 52 [1/27/1978] (no picture)
David Michael Ferreira, 22 months [1/27/1978]

On January 27, 1978, Richard Trenton Chase fatally shoots three victims (a woman and 2 children) in Sacramento, Calif. Police later found that his home was full of human blood. Chase was preoccupied with the idea of his heart shrinking, and he drank the blood of dogs, cats and rabbits to stop it from happening. He then grew tired of practicing on animals and graduated to humans. In all he killed 6 people. He was sentenced to death but committed suicide in his jail cell before his execution.

Find-A-Grave: Ambrose Edward Griffin
Find-A-Grave: Mrs Teresa Lyn “Terry” Blodger Wallin
Find-A-Grave: Evelyn Elizabeth Ferreira Miroth
Find-A-Grave: Jason Bradford Miroth
Find-A-Grave: Daniel J Meredith
Find-A-Grave: David Michael Ferreira
Sacramento man shot to death
Killer found dead in cell
The Vampire Killer
The Crime Web
Richard Chase
Group Presentation Richard Trenton Chase Vampire Killer of Sacramento
Murderpedia: Richard Trenton Chase
Wikipedia: Richard Trenton Chase
Sacramento Victim’s Family Shocked Haunted House Considered Using Serial Killer As Theme
Find-A-Grave: Richard Trenton “Rick” Chase

Books
Dracula Killer
A Thirst for Blood: The True Story of California’s Vampire Killer
Vampire Killer: A Terrifying True Story of Psychosis, Mutilation and Murder

Movies/Documentaries
Rampage
Lore: Deadly Obsession
The New Detectives: Mind Hunters


Richard Trenton Chase

NOTE: I have changed this entry as I had several people complain about 1 part of the entry. Please remember that this is about the crime & killer, but NOT about a disease/condition that the killer may or may not have had. The information from The History Channel website about Richard Chase is apparently inaccurate, according to at least 2 people who left me nasty messages. Sorry if this is/was offensive to anyone. But please, focus on the victims, not the killer!

36 Responses

  1. Victims
    Ambrose Griffin
    Teresa Wallin – Pregnant
    Evelyn Miroth
    Jason Miroth
    Dan Meredith
    David Ferreira – 22 Months Old. Kidnapped, decapitated, and found later in a card board box behind Vans Supermarket. Richard Chase is a classic example of the breakdown in our system. He should have NEVER been out on his own after his stays in the mental hospitals and events that happened previously.

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  2. this is seriously a sick and twisted guy. a 22 month old being decapitated. this guy was FUCKING MENTAL!!!! 6 people died because he was realesed from a mental institution. why did they even realese him???

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  3. wow this is a very sick and twisted story the poor familys of the people i can only imagine there pain

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  4. he is a sick person, but i doing a project on him and do you know if there is a movie about the murder. also about the trial too.

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  5. Jessica,

    He was mentally ill, so I do not believe they were able to establish a motive (usually they can’t in these types of cases as the mental illness can be a root cause). There was a movie “loosely” based on his story and the link is in the post. It was called Rampage and starred Michael Biehn.

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  6. You have to really wonder if Chase’s mother blamed herself. One of the books I read on serial killers explained that after he was diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia, she asked for him to come home so she could care for him. But, mother doesn’t always know best. She slowly weened him from his medication and you have to consider if maybe these killings would never have happened if he continued to take those meds.

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  7. Leah,

    You also have to remember that this happened in 1977-1978 where the mindset was different. However, I do believe his mother probably thought she could help him. But schizophrena is hard to treat and I think it was harder then. I don’t think his mother truly understood the situation. I feel bad for her and wish the doctors would have educated her a bit.

    But I wonder the same. If he was on his medication, would this have happened? (And I am not asking this if Tom Cruise! He would be against the drug therapy, although it is a necessity for schizophrena).

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  8. I am also doing a project on him. There aren’t many pictures of him… He was mentally ill and is not to blame. He suffered from the MacDonald Triad (bed wetting, pyromania and zoo sadism), developed hypochondria of type 3, the most dangerous type, also known as the Cotard syndrome. He also had erectile dysfunction, which led him to feel excluded and worthless, and had major drug problems with alcohol, marijuana and LSD. He shouldn’t have been let out of the mental hospital. I do agree with the fact that he did not get the death penalty because of reasons of insanity. The guy was really not well. it is very, but very depressing and sad that all those events happened, but the mother and the mental hospital was to blame. It is not for us to say he was “fucking fucked up” or laugh at his suicidal death.

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  9. I read in another informational page about him that he did all this stuff because he thought he needed to prevent the nazis from turning his blood into powder though poison that they had planted beneath his soap dish! he drank the animal blood to prevent his heart from shrinking! freaking weird!!!!

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  10. There´s a book called “whoever fights monsters” by Robert K. Ressler, a FBI agent who made some serious research on serial killers, I think he even created the term serial killer, and the first chapter is almost all about Richard Chase, with scientific approach, but also very detailed.

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  11. The author of this blog mentioned nasty letters regarding false info, I could probably help you determine false from true info and would be willing to help. I am Evelyn Miroth’s son and am familiar with all details. One of your replies for instance from Stephane erroneously say he was NOT sentenced to death, this is inaccurate. He did receive a death sentence but killed himself first. Also in the victim list you failed to mention my cousin, David Michael Ferreira.

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    • Vern,

      The nasty comments were not about the crimes themselves, but about a condition that was mentioned in an article about Chase, which I removed the link, but before I did, I received some nasty emails/comments about the information being incorrect and some even blamed the victims.

      I have corrected the post and included your cousin.

      I am sorry that this tragedy happened in your family.

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    • Vern, I was a classmate of Jason’s. I have never forgotten him.

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  12. thank you. People can be very stupid and idolize serial killers. I even ran across a site a few yrs back that was representing to be an actual blog type post from Ronald and Nancy Reagan saying that “poor little Rich Chase was just a mixed up kid who got mixed up on drugs” and that they were gonna adopt him and help him get straightend out. I dont get people like that, in some ways they are more twisted then the people they idolize

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  13. Vern ~ I went to school with Jason. To this day I remember watching them planting the tree and placing the plaque in Jasons memory. I did not remember him having a big brother. Did you go to school with us? I am so sorry that you had to go through this.

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    • I was a classmate of Jason’s! He was in the first grade, I was in the second. I remember so clearly saying “see you next week” on Friday afternoon after school. It happened over the weekend and none of us ever got to see Jason again. I would like to contact his father and tell him how much I have remembered Jason all of these years.

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  14. Hiya Kelly
    I did go to Cottage but at the time I was attending a private school. A few yrs ago I went to look at the plaque and it was covered with dirt from the yrs gone by, I dug it completely up and raised it so it was visible. Then about 2 yrs ago I went back and the tree was gone, I asked the secretary and found out it had to be removed cause it was causing problems due to its size. They let me take the plaque home. If you want to talk more you can e-mail me at velomir@yahoo.com

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  15. Hi Vern ~ Could not find this site for many moons. After I wrote the last post I too went over to the school looking for the plaque. I was really mad that it was gone. I am happy to hear that you have it. Do you still live in this area?

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  16. yes, I am in the area, near Greenback and 80. How about you? If you want to talk more please e-mail me directly at velomir@yahoo.com

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  17. Vern, I am so very sorry for your loss. I doubt, however, that the quote allegedly attributed to the Reagans was true. While there are people who do look at mental illness simplistically, I tend to believe that someone posted that in order to try to make Nancy’s anti-drug campaign or just the Reagans themselves look ridiculous. While Pat Brown started the push that closed the public mental institutions in California, there are many who still try to pin that on Gov. Reagan (who incidentally couldn’t stop what was already happening). Unfortunately, politics often trumps truth. I believe Chase should have been committed to a mental hospital.

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  18. permanently …I meant. I sent that too soon.

    Such institutions were meant to protect society first and then the mentally ill. Yes, I do believe that individual rights should be protected, but what about the rights of individuals to be safe in one’s own home as well as the street? They should never have drastically cut the mental health services in the 60s.

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  19. All the more reason to invest in a ccw permit. At least you might have a chance to defend yourself from someone who’s “mentally ill”. Strange that this guy seemed normal enough to everyone around that noone suspected he was the culprit. Normal enough to trick the doctors at the institution. And normal enough to feign insanity when he finally was picked up. He was “normal” it’s just that he had an “abnormal” thirst. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round. As for me, I choose not to leave my safety and protection in the hands of LE, I mean where were they when these victims were attacked? Had the first victim been packing heat, we probably wouldn’t even know this guys name. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that this wouldn’t fix every situation but, I’m sure there are many that it would.

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  20. Well said Jason, I totally agree. I recently had a convo with a guy who criticized me for suggesting Id kill someone in a heartbeat if they broke into my house. He actually said I just cant shoot someone in my house, said it might be a accident victim who was disoriented. As if that is such a common occurence that people get in a car wreck and just walk in to a house without knocking,,stupid liberals!

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  21. Vern, I admire you for speaking up after living through such a tragedy. I had never even heard of Chase until I had insomnia and happened to catch his story on ID channel Friday morning. It was the most disturbing story I’ve ever seen! I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It appears that many people dropped the ball on this one, especially his mother. I wish there was more info about her. God bless you!

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    • Thanks Liz, Per your last sentence, be assured He has!!! Between this and other losses in my life I became very depressed and abusing alcohol as well as drugs. But in His timing, YHVH slapped me around and made me see my need to rely on Him. In fact a few yrs ago a guy who I knew in passing but was around when my mom died told me a story that happened back then. There was a young pastor who was in my Aunt’s (David F’s mom) church, he was really shaken up by what happened and almost lost his faith over it. But that night as they were having a memorial/vigil he prayed, ” for the family left behind, especially that little boy, that he finds you Lord” (paraphrased),,,well it took almost 20 yrs but YHVH was faithful to answer that prayer! When I heard that story it brought a tear to my eye. It took some work but I tracked down the pastor and let him know his prayer was answered 🙂

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    • oh and Liz,,,what was the program you seen it on? And what is ID,,, not sure if I get that channel or not

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  22. It is Investigation Discovery channel. I tried to backtrack to get the actual episode, but I couldn’t find it. Here is a link to “Most Evil” series where he is listed under cannibals. http://investigation.discovery.com/tv/most-evil/ep-guide/most-evil-ep-guide-season-1.html

    I have Comcast, so I get that channel. It’s great! It was on around 2 a.m. on Friday, central time.

    I read somewhere that Richard Chase had a younger sister. It would be interesting for her to open up about their childhood. I’ll keep trying to get the show that I actually saw, but I really thought it was called “Lore”. I was exhausted, but couldn’t turn it off. It’s simply unbelievable.

    I live in a small town and never locked my door. Everyone is welcome here and just walk right on in. Not anymore. 😦 My door is locked now.

    Thanks so much for responding. I’ll try to find the actual episode for you and email you privately from ekcreamer@gmail.com.

    Liz

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  23. Here is the link, it was 120 minute episode of “Lore, Deadly Obsession”.
    http://investigation.discovery.com/tv-schedules/special.html?paid=141.15370.130556.0.0

    I tried to sign up to be notified when it was airing again.

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  24. I am just wacthing this today on the ID channel and am just shocked. I feel so bad for the families and I must just say he is in hell. Thats where Chase is. Simple as that. Its very sad that back in that time frame the “mentally ill” were not kept under lock and key. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  25. I went to school with Jason at cottage. We were in the same class.
    There’s still a small headstone behind the principles off with his name on it. I remember them trying to explain to us that he wasn’t coming back. So so sad

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    • Teresa,

      This comment is from Vern Miroth for you:

      “Teresa, the headstone you mentioned was actually a plaque in my brother’s (Jason) memory that was placed at the base of a tree also planted in his honor. The tree eventually got too big and had to be removed due to its proximity to the building. I was given permission to remove the plaque and take it home, I have it now.”

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  26. do you guys know if he was geographially stable or transient

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