Staking a Claim
As with all things historical and criminal there are always varying accounts of every crime that's ever occurred. When vampirism is involved, and the added incidents of cannibalism, necrophilia, witchcraft, and lycanthropy, it gets that much murkier. In Chapter 11, we discussed the evil torturer Erzébet Bathóry who's almost always included in the dark dungeons of the vampire realm. Sadly, she was not alone in her bloodlust, madness, and murder. Many sadists, cannibals, necrophiles, and torturers with no aversion to blood or consuming it have walked the planet, worst among them the infamous Marquis de Sade (for which sadism is named), the “Rostov Ripper” Andrei Chikatilo, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy to name a few.
A wide range of documented cases of vampiric crimes surfaced during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, running the gamut from Frenchman Martin Dumollard, who was convicted and executed in 1861 for murdering several young girls and drinking their blood, to sixteen-year-old New Yorker and self-proclaimed vampire Salvatore Agron who donned a Bela Lugosi get-up and randomly stabbed two young boys in 1959. Typical of many of the cases involving alleged vampirism are a variety of psychological and behavioral disorders, including a lack of remorse, promiscuity, domination, childhood abuse, and all measure of perversion and deception in order to accomplish their bloody goals. Though there are dozens of cases of alleged vampires, a few stand out in regard to their bizarre nature.
Frenchman Joseph Vacher of Bourge, for example, undertook a walking tour of the country and along the way killed a dozen individuals by biting their necks and drinking their blood. He was convicted and executed in 1897. In 1920, Russian Baron Roman von Sternberg-Ungren wasn't convicted, or even charged with murder, but he was known for drinking human blood, presumably against his victims' wishes and with the motivation that he was Genghis Khan reincarnated. A change in government put him out of favor with the new regime and he was finally executed. In Argentina in 1960, Florencio Roque Fernandez was identified by fifteen women as the man who assaulted them in their bedrooms to drink their blood.
James Riva suffered from the common belief that consuming blood would give him immortal life. He also claimed to hear a vampiric voice. In 1980, Riva shot and killed his wheelchair-bound grandmother and then allegedly drank her blood. In 1998, Joshua Rudiger, a self-professed vampire residing in Oakland, California, became the “Vampire Slasher” by preying upon the homeless, attacking them and slashing their throats with a knife. He wounded three men and killed one woman in San Francisco. According to news accounts, he said of the killings that “prey is prey.” Rudiger believed he was a vampire who was two millennia old, and that he needed the blood to “obtain vitality.”
Hungarian soldier Bela Kiss had a nasty habit during the early 1900s, but it wasn't until after his alleged death during World War I that his evil deeds were discovered. Within nineteen or more metal drums, army officers found the bodies of missing persons, two of whom were Kiss's wife and her lover. Each of the victims had been strangled, had puncture wounds on their necks, and were drained of their blood.