Local serial killer leaves his mark at ARC
Guy Fieri, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh, Richard Trenton Chase: One of these ARC alumni is a convicted serial killer. Chase is a serial killer who attended American River College from 1968 to 1971, known to many as the “Vampire of Sacramento,” because he would often drink the blood and eat the organs of his victims.
During the months of December 1977 and January 1978 Chase killed six people: two women, two men, a 6-year-old boy, and a 22-month-old baby. These crimes have placed Chase at the top of the list of the worst serial killers in the United States.
Movies like “Rampage,” “Unspeakable,” and “Deadly Obsession” have used Chase as the model for their characters. The TV series “Criminal Minds” refers to him in several episodes.
ARC students were surprised to learn that Chase, the “Vampire of Sacramento,” attended ARC.
“I have heard stories about him and how he drank blood,” said Kourtney Butler, a nursing student at ARC.
“I didn’t know he went here. It’s really kind of scary,” said Britane Stallworth, a business student at ARC.
According to medical records released during his trial, when Chase was 18 he sought out the help of a psychiatrist for a problem with erectile dysfunction as he was failing sexually with the girls he dated in high school.
These records also indicated that he was diagnosed with severely suppressed anger and was suffering from mental illness. This diagnosis, the first of many to indicate his mental illness, only fueled Chase’s belief that he was suffering from a blood disorder and that the only cure was to drink fresh blood.
Chase’s first victim came on Dec 29, 1977, with the murder of Ambrose Griffin. Asked why he murdered Griffin, Chase simply stated that he was frustrated with his mother for not letting him come home for Christmas.
From Jan. 23 to 27 of 1978 Chase went on a rampage. He broke into and ransacked several houses. Theresa Walling, 23, who was 12 weeks pregnant at the time. Police records indicate that Walling was shot, stabbed multiple times, mutilated, and disemboweled. She was also sexually assaulted after she died. There was evidence that her blood and several of her organs had been consumed at the scene.
As police were investigating this gory crime scene, they were called to the scene of an even gorier murder. Evelyn Miroth, her friend Daniel Meredith, Jason Miroth, Evelyn Miroth’s 6-year-old son, and
David Ferreira, Evelyn Miroth’s 22-month-old nephew, had been all slaughtered.
Police found Evelyn Miroth’s body mutilated, her torso ripped open, and several of her organs missing. Bloody rings near the body were later determined to indicate that her blood and organs had been collected. She had also been sodomized in addition to being raped after her death. Both Meredith and 6-year-old Miroth had been shot. Their bodies were left alone. Ferreira, the 22-month-old nephew, was missing. The boy’s decapitated corpse was found several months later.
Days after the killings, detectives apprehended Chase as he was leaving his apartment. Blood stained clothes and rags littered the apartment, a .22-caliber pistol was found and most damaging of all, human brain tissue and body parts matching the victims were found in the fridge. Several blenders were also found with blood and cut up body parts ready to be made into a bizarre smoothie.
A calendar was also found hanging on the wall, with the word “today” written on the dates of the killings. But even more chilling were the 44 future dates Chase had inscribed on the calendar.
Chase’s trial began on Jan. 2, 1979. The jury found him sane enough to know that what he had done was wrong. He was convicted on six counts of murder in the first degree. The court sentenced him to death.
On Dec. 26, 1980 the Chase killed himself in prison by overdosing on hoarded anti-depressants.
During interviews with Chase, FBI Agent Ressler asked how he selected his victims. Chase replied that he went down the streets testing doors to find one that was unlocked. “If the door was locked,” Chase said, “that means you’re not welcome.”