Richard Chase: How Many Victims Did The Vampire Killer Have?

The severe psychosis of serial killer Richard Chase manifested into horrid and gruesome acts that were perpetrated on those who made the grave mistake of not locking their front doors, according to Thought Co: Chase found five of his six murder victims by simply looking for unlocked doors to homes, believing if a door was unlocked it was an invitation to go in.

Chase's depravity and violent tendencies were perpetrated against women, children, men, and many animals. The first person Chase is known to have killed was 51-year-old engineer Ambrose Griffin, the New York Daily News reported. Griffin was helping his wife carry groceries into the house on December 29, 1977, when Chase fatally shot him in the chest. Griffin got off easy compared to some of Chase's other five victims.

That's because Chase's psychosis caused him to have paranoid delusions of hypochondria, which developed in his teen years and into early adulthood. He believed aliens, the FBI and the Nazis were after him, per the New York Daily News. Chase thought someone stole his pulmonary artery, that his stomach was backwards, that his heart stopped beating, and that his blood was turning to powder, Crime Museum reported.

He also believed he knew how to fix it. He needed to consume the blood and raw body parts of animals to stave off his perceived ailments. But after a while, animals weren't working anymore.

Richard Chase mutilated and cannibalized some of his victims

A little less than a month after Richard Chase shot Ambrose Griffin to death, he shot 22-year-old Teresa Wallin to death at her home on January 23, 1978, per the New York Daily News. He then cut off and ate parts of her body and drank her blood from a yogurt cup before stuffing dog feces he took from her yard down her throat, Thought Co. reported.

The next murders happened only four days later, when Chase killed 36-year-old Evelyn Miroth in her home along with her friend Dan Meredith, 52, her 6-year-old son, Jason, and her nearly two-year-old nephew, Michael Ferriera, who she was babysitting. While Ferriera's body was missing, the other three had been shot, according to Robert Kessler, former FBI agent and author of the book "Whoever Fights Monsters: Twenty Years of Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI."

Meredith and Jason were untampered with, but Miroth's throat had been slit and her stomach cut open with several organs removed. She'd been raped and sodomized multiple times, including with a knife. According to Thought Co. they found the mutilated toddler months later. The messy crime scene helped lead police to Chase, who for obvious reasons was dubbed "The Vampire Killer." Somehow he was deemed legally sane when he committed his crimes. Chase was convicted of all six murders in 1979 and sentenced to death, according to Crime Museum.

Chase was not executed, however. Instead, he overdosed on prison-issued medications that he had stockpiled, and died in his jail cell December 26, 1980.