Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Trenton Chase

The Mutilation Murders

FBI agent Robert Ressler once asked Chase how he selected his victims. He said that he went down the streets testing doors to find one that was unlocked. If the door was locked, he said, That means youre not welcome.

Apparently he found the door at the Wallin home unlocked. He encountered Teresa Wallin, 22 and three months pregnant. Before entering, Chase deposited a .22-caliber bullet in the mailbox. He opened the door and ran into Terry as she was taking out the garbage. She dropped the bag as he raised his pistol and shot her twice. One bullet entered her palm, held up defensively, and traveled up her arm to exit out her elbow and nick her neck. The other went through the top part of her skull. She fell and Chase then knelt over her prostrate body, firing another bullet into her temple.

His next move was to drag her into the bedroom, leaving a trail of blood behind.

Wallin crime scene
Wallin crime scene

He then retrieved a knife from the kitchen and an empty yogurt container from the trash bag that Terry had been carrying.

When David Wallin came home that night at six, he found the house dark. He entered and saw their dog, a German shepherd, waiting inside, but his wife was nowhere to be found. Oddly, the stereo was on. A bag of trash and what appeared to be oil stains on the carpet troubled him. He followed the stains to the bedroom. Then he began to scream.

His wife lay just inside the door, on her back. Her sweater was pulled up over her breasts and her pants and underwear down around her ankles. Her knees were splayed open in the position of a sexual assault. Her left nipple was carved off, her torso cut open below the sternum, and her spleen and intestines pulled out. Chase had stabbed her repeatedly in the lung, liver, diaphragm, and left breast. He also had cut out her kidneys and severed her pancreas in two. He placed the kidneys together back inside her.

There was blood in the bathroom and it was later learned that Chase had smeared Terrys blood all over his face and hands, licking it off his fingers. The discarded yogurt container near her body was also bloodstained, as if he had used it to drink her blood. His most heinous act, however, was to stuff animal feces into her mouth. There were odd rings of blood around the body, as if someone had placed a bucket there.

Rings of blood next to Teresa Wallin's body
Rings of blood next to Teresa
Wallin's body

Two days later, a puppy was found killed and mutilated not far from the Wallin home. A strange man with stringy hair and driving a Ranchero had bought two puppies from the family with seemingly no concern whether he got males or females, and then they found one of the other puppies from the litter dead.

On January 27th, Evelyn Miroth, 38, was baby-sitting her twenty-month old nephew in her home, one mile from the Wallin residence. Her 51-year-old friend, Dan Meredith, came over. Evelyn was about to send her son Jason, 6, to a friends house and when Jason failed to arrive, the friend sent her daughter over to check. The little girl saw movement inside from the front window, and then turned around to report that no one had answered the door. Neighbors grew worried and one finally entered the house and saw what had happened that morning.

Miroth house
Miroth house

Danny Meredith lay in the hallway in a pool of blood. The deputy who checked him saw a gunshot wound on his head, and then saw blood in the bathroom, and what looked like bloody water in the tub. Then he found Evelyn lying naked on the bed in her bedroom, her legs splayed open. She had a gunshot wound to the head, and her abdomen had been cut open and her intestines pulled out. Two carving knives, stained red, lay nearby. It appeared that she had been taking a bath when surprised by her killer, and then dragged to the bed. He sodomized her, stabbed her through the anus into her uterus at least six times, made several slices across her neck, and tried to cut out an eye. Bloody ringlets on the carpet indicated that he had once again used some kind of container to collect blood. He stabbed several internal organs as well, which the coroner later noted would facilitate getting at blood in the abdomen. Inside Evelyns rectum was a large amount of semen.

Evelyn Miroth
Evelyn Miroth

On the other side of the bed, police officers discovered the body of a boy, who turned out to be Jason. He had been shot twice in the head at close range.

Jason Miroth
Jason Miroth

The intruder had left bloody footprints behind which resembled the shoe marks found at the Wallin murder scene. Then they located an eleven year-old girl in the neighborhood who described a man near the victims residence around eleven oclock. She described him in his early twenties. He fit the description of a man seen repeatedly in that area walking around asking people for magazines.

Dan Merediths red station wagon was missing from the front of the house where neighbors had seen it parked that morning.

Then Karen Ferreira arrived, seeking the whereabouts of her son, David, left with her sister-in-law, Evelyn, that morning. No one had seen him, but a bullet hole was discovered in the pillow that had been in a crib. There was a lot of blood.

It later turned out that Chase had drank Evelyns blood and had mutilated the babys body in the bathroom, opening the head and spilling pieces of the brain into the tub. A knock on the door must have interrupted him and he had fled with the body.

As police looked for him, he took the baby to his home and severed the head. He removed several organs and consumed them.

It seemed to Chase that he would get away with this brutal series of murders, but he did not realize how quickly the police were closing in.

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