Richard Chase was the man known as the "Vampire Serial Killer". He was an American mass murderer who killed six people in December 1977 - January 1978 in Villa Park, California. He was nicknamed "The Dracula Killer", "The Vampire of Sacramento" and "Vampire Serial Killer" because he drank his victims' blood and cannibalized their remains.

In 1979, Chase stood trial on six counts of murder. In order to avoid the death penalty, the defense tried to have him 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 suggestion that his crimes were not premeditated. The jury found Chase guilty of six counts of first degree murder, and he was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. In December 1980, a guard checking cells found Chase lying awkwardly on his bed, not breathing. An autopsy determined that he committed suicide with an overdose of prison doctor-prescribed antidepressants that he had saved.

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