Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Trenton Chase

The Intruder

On January 11, 1978, Dawn Larson had a strange encounter with Chase. During the six months that they had been neighbors in the same East Sacramento apartment complex on Watt Avenue, she had seen him carry three animals into his apartment-against the rules-but had never seen those animals again. She thought him odd, but worried that he was lonely. He asked her for a cigarette. She gave him one, but he stopped her from walking away. When she gave him the rest of the pack, he let her go.

Nearly two weeks later, on the 23rd, at 2909 Burnece Street, Jeanne Layton spotted an unkempt young man with longish hair strolling toward her. She watched as he tried her patio door, found it locked, and went to the windows. They, too, were locked, so he came back to the door. Mrs. Layton met him there, face-to-face. He showed no emotion whatsoever as he scrutinized her. Then he turned, paused to light a cigarette, and walked away through her backyard.

Down the street, Robert and Barbara Edwards were bringing their groceries into the house when they heard a noise inside. Whoever was in there apparently heard them and started to run. They heard a window slam at the back of the house and then, oddly, a disheveled young man came around the corner toward them. Though Edwards tried to stop him, he sprinted past and got out to the street. Edwards gave chase, but lost him when he jumped a fence.

The police arrived to find the house in a shambles, with theft of valuables the obvious motive. However, he had also urinated into a drawer of freshly-laundered babys clothing and had defecated on a childs bed.

The intruder kept going, veering off his path here and there to walk across the front porches of random houses. Then he came to a tract house at 2360 Tioga Way.



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