Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Vampire Killers

Vampires as Victims

As vampires gain in popularity, they start to appeal to a different kind of person as well: the self-styled vampire hunter.  The long-running popular television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about a group of teenaged vampire fighters in California, has influenced this subculture. While for many, it's just role-playing, some take this game with deadly seriousness.

On March 12, 2004, Timothy White was arrested outside a church in Jacksonville, Florida for shooting a co-worker twice at a Westside Domino's pizza delivery store.  He was reputed to be a born-again, Bible-reading Christian with an obsession with vampires and zombies.  Allegedly he believed the victim, David Harrison, was a vampire and that he, White, was a vampire slayer.  He shot Harrison, 22, in the face and stomach.  Then he left, but before the shooting, a witness had spotted him lingering outside the store.  Asked why he was there, he replied that he was "vampire hunting." 

When taken into custody, he was armed with a knife, a sawed-off shotgun, and three pistols.  He had no criminal record, but some people said that he kept to himself.  His victim had actually been a long-time friend.  Since Harrison was wounded and did not die, White was charged with aggravated battery with a criminal weapon.

 

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In Colorado, Kirk Palmer, 28, killed Antonia Vierira with a shotgun because he believed that Vierira had turned his girlfriend into a vampire.  He was charged with murder, but testimony at his trial supported the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.  He had told a psychologist that four days before the shooting in July 2001, he had removed a splinter from his girlfriend's thumb and "saw" Vierira come out of her body to tell him that she had been bitten and was now a member of his vampire gang.  Enraged, he had tried to combat Vierira the only way he could—by killing him.

Directly after the homicide, he had gone to Canada to "cleanse his spirit."   

On March 10, 2004, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to a mental hospital in Pueblo.

 

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