Vampire mythos and legends have been around for centuries. From Bram Stoker’s famed Dracula to the more recent hit movie and novel series Twilight, vampires have long resonated with the public. Often portrayed as ruthless killers, but at the same time seductive and tortured souls that are forced to walk the Earth for an eternity, hiding in the shadows while they steak out their next meal, it’s no wonder that the fascination with these humanesq creatures have withstood the test of time. While these stories may be great for creeping out the kids or catching on a late night movie marathon, these real life vampires aren’t quite as charming as their fictional counterparts.
Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, a condition exasperated by his chronic alcoholism and drug use, Richard Chase had a long history of capturing and killing animals in order to drink their blood. After an extended stay in a mental institution, Chase was released and his parents put him up in his own apartment. There Chase resumed butchering, disemboweling, and drinking the blood animals, including his neighbor’s pets. Eventually animals weren’t enough for Chase and he soon turned to humans as his victims. Chase stood trial for the horrific murder of six people; including one where he used the victim’s own penis as a straw to drink blood from the victim’s body, and a 22-month-old baby. Sentenced to death in the gas chamber, Chase was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide.
Twenty-two year old Josephine Smith had been invited by an elderly homeless man to join him at an abandoned restaurant he had been squatting in while she waited for a ride. Allegedly Smith told the victim “I am a vampire, I am going to eat you” before biting hunks of flesh from his arms and face. The homeless man was able to escape and immediately dial 911. The homeless man was transported for medical treatment. When Smith was questioned about the attack she claimed that she had blacked out and had no recollection of the events or why she was naked and covered in blood. She was officially charged with felony aggravated battery on an elderly person.
Obsessed with the film Queen of the Damned, Menzies claimed that he had been receiving visits in his room from a character in the movie named Akasha. Allan claimed that Akasha had told him that he would be granted immortality and transformed into a vampire if he murdered people. Believing that his friend, Thomas McKendrick, and another acquaintance were plotting to kill him, Allan stabbed his friend repeatedly with a knife and bludgeoned him with a hammer. Menzies then drank McKendrick’s blood and devoured a portion of his skull. Menzies was found dead in his cell less than two years after receiving his life-sentence.
This 32yr old Kenyan confessed to police he had murdered 17 people. Recruited by a cult, Onyancha was instructed to murder 100 women and drink their blood. He claimed that spirits had guided him to his victims and that once he had successfully slaughtered and consumed the blood of his victims he would be rewarded with good luck. While awaiting his murder trial, Onyancha was sentenced to 12 years for attempting to rape his neighbor’s wife.
Marcelo Costa de Andrade
In 1991, Marcelo set out on a 9-month-long killing spree that left fourteen young boys dead, two of which he drank their blood. Falling in love with a 10yr old boy that would have been his victim, Marcelo instead strangled the boy’s younger brother in front of him. Marcelo confessed his love to the boy and requested that the boy stay with him. Too frightened to refuse, the boy agreed to stay the night, but was allowed to leave in the morning. When the boy was pressured by his family he confessed what Marcelo had done and the family immediately went to the police. Police initially believed that this was the only murder in connection to Marcelo, but he later confessed to the other murders and how he had drank the blood of some of the victims believing that it would make him as beautiful as them. Marcelo Costa de Andrade was institutionalized at Heitor Carrilho Psychiatric Hospital. In 1997, Marcelo escaped trying to make his way to “the holy land”, but was caught less than two weeks later.
James P. Riva
Riva’s long-held delusion that he was a 500yr old vampire and that his handicapped grandmother was stealing his blood in his sleep, finally forced him to snap. In April of 1980 Riva shot the ailing woman with golden bullets, stabbed her repeatedly, then drank the blood from her gushing wounds and set fire to her house. He told psychiatrists that he believed that by killing his grandmother he was appeasing the vampire gods of the underworld, and that by making a human sacrifice he would become handsome, gain sexual partners, and afford him all the luxuries he had always wanted. Riva was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder, in addition to 10-20 years for arson.
Preying upon the homeless, Rudiger told prosecutors during a taped interview that he was, in fact, a 2,000 year old vampire and that he needed to drink blood for vitality. After attacking his victims and drinking their blood, Rudiger would then use their blood to scroll a Chinese character symbolizing death near the scene of the crime. Rudiger’s sanity was questioned throughout the trial, and character witnesses confirmed that Rudiger had been in and out of sanitariums for other attacks and an incident where he attempted to commit suicide with a samurai sword. In spite of his history of mental illness, Rudiger was deemed fit to stand trial. He was sentenced to 23yrs to life in prison for the murder of a homeless woman and the attack of three others.
17 year old Matthew Hardman took his obsession with vampirism too far, breaking into a 90yr old widow’s home and brutalizing her in ritual fashion. It’s been reported that after Hardman broke into the woman’s home, he went into the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. He stabbed the knife into her chest and carved out her heart. He then placed the heart into a sauce pan on a silver platter. At her feet he arranged two fireplace pokers into the shape of a crucifix; a candle was placed near the body, and another candle on the mantle of the fireplace. He stabbed the victim in the legs and allowed the blood to pour into the saucepan containing the heart, he then drank from the saucepan, believing that his horrific sacrifice would transform him into a vampire. Hardman was sentenced to serve at least 12 years in prison.