Serial Killer Richard Trenton Chase

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Mike Cissell Criminology Steve Bredeson Final Part 1 Richard Trenton Chase 03-16-2015 Richard Trenton Chase (May 23, 1950 – December 26, 1980) was an American serial killer who killed six people in the span of a month in California. He earned the nickname The Vampire of Sacramento because he drank the blood of his victims and ate their internal organs. He did this as part of a delusion that he needed to prevent Nazis from turning his blood into powder via poison they had planted beneath his soap dish. Born in 1950, he was raised in a strict household and was beaten often by his father. In his teens he became an alcoholic and also developed a penchant for killing and mutilating animals and fire starting, all common traits amongst serial…show more content…
The victim was Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old engineer and father of two, who was helping his wife bring groceries into their home. One of Griffin's sons reported seeing a neighbor walking around their East Sacramento neighborhood with a .22 rifle earlier that week; the neighbor's rifle was seized, but ballistics tests determined that it was not the murder weapon; however, it was determined that the .22 used to kill Ambrose Griffin was the same one used to fire the bullet into the kitchen of the Sacramento woman two days…show more content…
In order to avoid the death penalty, the defense tried to have Chase found guilty of second degree murder, which would result in a life sentence. Their case hinged on Chase's history of mental illness and the lack of planning in his crimes, evidence that they were not premeditated. On May 8 the jury found Chase guilty of six counts of first degree murder. The defense asked for a clemency hearing, in which a judge determined that Chase was not legally insane; Chase was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Waiting to die, Chase became a feared presence in prison; the other inmates (including several gang members), aware of the graphic and bizarre nature of his crimes, feared him, and according to prison officials, they often tried to convince Chase to commit suicide, too fearful to get close enough to him to kill him themselves. Chase also granted a series of interviews with Robert Ressler, during which he spoke of his fears of Nazis and UFOs, claiming that although he had killed, it was not his fault; he had been forced to kill to keep himself alive, which he believed any person would do. He asked Ressler to give him access to a radar gun, with which he could apprehend the Nazi UFOs, so that the Nazis could stand trial for the murders. He also handed Ressler a large amount of macaroni and cheese which he had been hoarding in his pants pockets, believing that the prison officials were in league with the Nazis and attempting

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