In San Francisco in 1998, Joshua Rudiger (22 years old) claimed to be a 2000 year old vampire. He went about town slashing the necks of homeless with a knife.
He hurt three men and killed a woman who was sleeping in a doorway. When the investigation of one of the murders led to the arrest, Rudiger insisted that he was driven by the need to drink human blood. The woman that he killed actually died from blood loss.
Rudiger reportedly told investigators, “Prey is prey.” He also said that he was being punished for a crime that he committed in another life and he didn’t have a choice in what he was doing. It was his destiny.
Rudiger had a history of mental illness, and throughout his past claimed to be a vampire and a ninja warrior.
A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Good, described Rudiger’s background as being strewn with disadvantages. When he was four years old, Rudiger was diagnosed as a psychotic. Rudiger had been in several foster homes and psychiatric facilities where he was caught licking the chests of other patients.
Rudiger told a therapist that he wanted to suck the blood from everyone around him.
He was released at 18, which is when his attacks started.
In 1997, he shot, but did not kill, a friend with a bow and arrow. At that time, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
In 1998, he turned to murder.
In court, Rudiger was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison.