The Blood of Relatives
In 1980 James P. Riva shot his Grandmother multiple times with gold bullets. And drank her blood, before using fire to hide the evidence. He claimed he was a 700 year old vampire who needed her blood to maintain his good looks.
Born in 1957, he developed mental health problems by the time he was 16. And by 19 had hallucinations -he was seeing and hearing things. Claiming that those voices told him that certain people were vampires trying to suck his blood. He spent time in a mental facility between 1975 and 1978. And had spent time in at least four institutions in the five years before 1980.
He would drink the blood of animals to replenish the blood he believed was being taken from him.
Vampire or Victim of Vampires?
On the one hand he believed he was a 700 year old vampire who needed to drink his grandmother’s blood to gain strength. And on the other he claimed that his grandmother was the vampire, and that she came to drink his blood whilst he slept.
James believed a 200 year old vampire had told him to paint the bullets gold, and to drink the old ladies blood. But that, it seemed, turned out to be a problem. He blamed her age for his inability to suck her blood.
On April 10th 1980, in the town of Marshfield, the body of Carmen Lopez, James P. Riva’s grandmother, was found. She was 74 years old and confined to a wheelchair because of a tumour on her spine. Shot and dragged into the bedroom, Riva tried to drink her blood. He then set the body alight in an attempt to conceal the evidence.
Age 22, he stole the gun from a gun store to protect himself from vampires, several months before the murder of his grandmother. He painted the bullets and the gun gold, believing this was how you could kill vampires. He practised with the gun in the local woods and hid the weapon in his grandmother’s basement when he wasn’t using it. Magical items were also found in his car.
Riva was sentenced to life in prison and has been refused parole. The last denial for parole was in 2015 with a review in five years.