Richard Trenton Chase was a cannibalistic and necrophiliac serial/spree killer who was active in California from December, 1977 to January, 1978.
Allegedly abused by his mother while growing up, Chase had already fulfilled the MacDonald triad (bed wetting, animal torture and fire-setting) by the age of 10. In adolescence, he was already an alcoholic and chronic drug addict. He also suffered from erectile dysfunction. When an adult, he became a hypochondriac, eventually moving out of his mother’s home because he believed she was trying to poison him. He then moved into an apartment with some friends, who complained about his abuse of alcohol, marijuana and acid. Chase paid no attention to guests and would sometimes walk around naked when his roommates had people over. His roommates got tired of him quickly and, when they tried to throw him out, he refused. In the end, they moved out instead. Alone in the apartment, Chase began capturing, killing and disemboweling animals, consuming them raw. Sometimes, he would blend them with Coca-Cola and drink the remains as a milkshake, allegedly to prevent his heart from shrinking. In 1975, he was involuntarily institutionalized after being treated at a hospital for blood poisoning, which he had contracted by injecting animal blood into his veins. His bizarre behavior continued while he was in treatment (the staff even took to calling him “Dracula”), until he was prescribed psychotropic drugs. In 1976, he was deemed safe and placed in the care of his mother, who eventually prevented him from taking his anti-psychotic medications, allegedly because they dulled him, and got him his own apartment.
Chase’s killings were attempts at self-preservation, or so he believed. He had delusions of persecution by alien forces and insisted that he only ingested human flesh and blood to protect himself from “outside forces” that were trying to steal his blood. He thought his heart was shrinking and believed drinking blood would stop it. These paranoid delusions, coupled with schizophrenia, had been noticed in his childhood, and only became more severe as he got older. He was in his early twenties when his ability to maintain a stable life on his own began to crumble, and he was institutionalized. Once he was released, his killings would begin, though he had murdered at least one victim beforehand.