Written by: Jenae
Trigger warning: gore, sexual assault, graphic descriptions of violence, mental health, necrophilia, animal cruelty
No crime scene photos are used in this post.
The story of Richard Chase, a spree killer that killed six people in a span of two months, most of the murders taking place over the span of a week.
Not much is known about Richard’s early life. Richard has said that he suffered abuse at the hands of his mother while growing up but there’s no proof to these claims. By age 10, Richard was mutilating animals, wetting the bed, and starting fires. (This is also known as the Macdonald Triad, was thought to be a predictor of serial crimes later, no truth to this cause it’s not the same for every killer). As a high school student, Chase discovered that he couldn’t get an erection from his peers, despite being attracted to them. One source says doctors believe the dysfunction to be because of repressed anger. Like most youth, Chase dabbled in drug use with marijuana and LSD in his teen years.
He began to believe that if he drank the blood of animals, he could achieve erection. He was also a hypochondriac and believed more weird things about his health as time went on. He believed that holding oranges to his head would help Vitamin C absorbance, he thought that he his skull bones were moving around and shaved his head to watch them move, he believed his stomach was upside down inside his body, he thought his heart would randomly stop beating and that his pulmonary artery had been stolen.
Chase was institutionalized in 1976 because he ended up at the hospital for injecting rabbit blood into his veins. The staff and peers in the hospital called him Dracula due to his focus on blood. He also captured two birds and drank their blood while in the hospital. He would extract blood from the dogs in the hospital with syringes he stole. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and given a heavy regime of drugs. Later that year, the hospital deemed Chase well enough to no longer be a danger to society and he was released to his mother.
Chase’s mother took him off of his medication and helped him get an apartment with some roommates. His roommates complained that Chase was always high on marijuana and tripping LSD and drunk (at the same time). His behavior got more bizarre from there, Chase would walk around the home naked, even with his four roommates and company. The roommates requested he move out, he refused and instead everyone else moved out. Once he lived alone, he would catch rabbits, kill and disembowel them, then put their organs into a blender where he mixed it with coke and drank it, believing his heart would stop “shrinking” if he consumed this. He would kill neighbor’s pets. On one interaction with the police, Chase was found running through a Nevada desert naked and covered in blood. The police found his car, in it they found a cow liver and a bucket of blood. Police questioned him but Chase told them the blood was his and it had leaked out through his skin.
Chase’s first kill took place in December 1977, he shot Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year old man in a drive by while carrying in the groceries. Griffin’s wife thought her husband had suffered a heart attack because it had happened so suddenly.
In January 1978, Chase was checking doors in a neighborhood to see if any were unlocked. One woman reported watching him walk up to her home, check the door, and leave when he discovered it was locked. Chase later stated that if he approached and the doors were locked, he took that as a sign that he was not welcome and would move on. Nancy Holden, a woman he went to high school with saw him as he was wandering around the neighborhood, and Chase asked her for a ride and she said no. (he was pretty scary looking from being malnourished and unkempt.)
He moved on to a home down the street, he broke in to the married couple’s home (no one was home), urinated in a drawer full of baby clothes, and defecated on the baby’s bed. The couple came home as he was in the home and the husband attempted to fight him off and Chase escaped. Chase continued to check doors in the area until he was able to enter the home of Teresa and David Wallin. Teresa, who was three months pregnant, was home alone at the time. Chase shot Teresa three times with the same gun used to kill Griffin. Chase then dragged the body to the bedroom, sexually assaulted her while he stabbed her, then removed her organs and collected her blood in a bucket before bathing in it. Then he drank some of her blood from a yogurt cup.
Six days later, Chase committed his final murders. He entered the home of Evelyn Miroth. Evelyn was taking a bath while her friend Dan Meredith babysat her six year old son and 22 month old nephew. Chase entered the home, Dan heard footsteps, went downstairs and was shot point blank in the head by Chase. Chase then stole his keys and wallet and then shot 22-month-old David Ferrerira and six-year-old Jason Miroth. Chase then entered the bathroom where he shot Evelyn, dragged her body to the bed and sexually assaulted her. He then stabbed Evelyn in many vital points in the body. He consumed all the blood he collected from her body then fled the scene by stealing Dan’s car after being startled by a knock at the door, taking the David’s body with him. He consumed the blood and some of the organs from David’s body upon returning home, then left it at a church.
Nancy Holden called the police after news broke of these brutal attacks and claimed that she believed that Richard Chase was involved. The police conducted a background check and found out that a .22 caliber gun was registered to Chase, the same type used in all the murders. When police arrived on scene, they asked to speak with Chase and he refused. When he refused, the police waited in the hallway for him to leave. As he left with a bloody box, the police arrested him, noting that his clothes were also covered in blood.
Once the police entered the apartment, they saw an absolute nightmare. All of Chase’s kitchen utensils, the walls, floors, and fridge covered in blood. He had also left blenders full of organs and coke on the counter, many pet collars, and medical diagrams about the human body. In his fridge, there were animal organs, the brain and some body parts of David, and organs from both female victims.
Chase was indicted on six counts of first degree murder, although he had mental health problem, the judge deemed him competent to stand trial at the time. He was sentenced to death by gas chamber. In prison, many people knew of his crimes and became scared of them. They often tried to convince him to commit suicide because inmates were too scared to kill him themselves. Chase completed suicide in December 1980 by overdosing on saved up antidepressants given to him by prison doctors.
In the FBI interviews with Chase, he stated that he had to kill to keep himself alive. He talked about his fears around UFOs and Nazis. He asked the agent for a radar gun so he could stop the Nazi UFOs and they could stand trial for his crimes. He gave the agent large amounts of mac and cheese that he had placed in his pockets, believing that the prison was in with the Nazi UFOs and they were attempting to poison him through his food.
This is one of the most gruesome cases we've ever covered on NAMNAB. Got a a case we should cover? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org