Lust for Blood: The Truth About Vampire Criminals

No one expected ex-con Roy Gutfinski to stay out of trouble once he got out into the world. Covered in facial tattoos and body modifications designed to make him look inhuman, Gutfinski, who had legally changed his name to Caius Veiovis, had little hope for entering mainstream society. So it shocked no one to find him in jail again, this time accused of participating in a vicious triple homicide intended to stop witnesses from testifying against a high-ranking Hells Angels member named Adam Lee Hall. Gutfinski was an easy pick for someone putting together a crew for a crime like this. He is a vampire and a Satanist.

Roy Gutfinski once did 7 1/2 years for an assault in which he and his underage girlfriend vampirized a 16-year-old girl:

Caius Veiovis, then known as Roy Gutfinski, served almost 7 1/2 years in prison in Maine for charges including elevated aggravated assault after he and his 16-year-old girlfriend cut a teenager's back with a razor and kissed as they licked the blood. The 1999 injury required 32 stitches to close.

The Kennebec Journal reported Gutfinski claimed to be a vampire and a Satan worshipper. His name was changed while in prison.

Contempt is at the root of our most horrid crimes -- contempt for society, morality, ourselves, and our own higher natures. We live in a society that teaches its children to be contemptuous of their fellow Americans, to despise our traditions, and to tear down the moral foundations on which our nation is built.

Author Colin Wilson once observed that cannibalism is the ultimate expression of contempt. It represents total victory and domination of the victim. A person is not just murdered, but consumed and excreted in the ultimate act of dehumanization. But cannibalism is only one expression of this scorn for life. Unfortunately much more common, but fortunately not always fatal, is blood fetishism and the “vampire lifestyle” which has played a central role in some of recent history’s most sensational crimes.

Blood fetishism is considered a paraphilia but in most cases it actually refers to “vampire lifestylers” – people who adopt alternate vampire personae with such gusto they attempt to live as vampires in all ways, including becoming nocturnal and drinking blood. Olga Hoyt’s near legendary Lust for Blood served as my introduction to the world of blood drinkers. Later, while pursuing my degree in comparative religion, I worked on a project about modern vampire mythology where I came across Jeff Guinn’s Something in the Blood, which was a kind of ethnography of blood drinkers. In both those books I saw a pattern develop that holds true of every crime involving vampirism I've seen since.

Male "vampires" tend to be sexual sadists who derive pleasure from dominating others. They seek out partners who are easy to manipulate or will play along with their sado-masochistic fantasy life. Females often claim to have a history of sexual abuse and use bloodletting as a punishment or payment for sexual activity. Both frequent forums, clubs, or groups where they can find others who share their interests, and, unsurprisingly, drug use is often involved.

In Something in the Blood a woman calling herself Cayne Presley was interviewed. She told Guinn that she often traded sex for blood, but never took money. At one point the young woman married a 67-year-old man who let her drink his blood.

He reportedly died less than a year later.

But Presley is mild compared to another "vampire hooker" who made the news recently. Josephine Smith was a 22 year old with a history of drug arrests and just happened to be hanging around an abandoned Hooters when she met 69-year-old, wheel-chair-bound Milton Ellis. They decided to "hang out" together and after "hanging out" for awhile Ellis made the mistake of falling asleep in front of her. He awoke to Smith straddling him and biting his face. She reportedly told Ellis that she was a vampire and was going to eat him. He fought her off and police found Smith half naked and covered in blood nearby. Milton Ellis required stitches to close his wounds.

Ellis was lucky that his encounter was with one "vampire" and not a group of them. Some of recent history's most notorious crimes have been committed by blood drinking "cults" formed when several of these individuals find each other. In 2007, 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson made Canadian legal history when she was convicted of helping her 23-year-old boyfriend -- a degenerate named Jeremy Allan Steinke -- murder her parents and 8-year-old brother. The motive was apparently to keep their sexual relationship a secret, but what was more disturbing was how the pair met. Both had profiles on the site  VampireFreaks.com and professed interests there and elsewhere in blood and "kink" that seemed to imply what the BDSM community calls blood play:

In her profile, Richardson described herself as "bisexual, Wiccan, nocturnal, awkward, loud, a deep thinker and insane." She listed her interests as "unnatural hair colors, dark poetry, criminal psychology, blood, human anatomy and kinky <redacted>"

More telling were the profiles maintained by Steinke.

[...]

Like Richardson, Steinke also had a profile at VampireFreaks.com. He listed his interests as "freestyle BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, gothic beings, my '81 Firebird, mosh pits, loud Music, peircings [sic], tattoos, scarification, pain, kinky fetishes, heavy metal, blood, razorblades, the dark, the moon, Mindfreaks Criss Angel, The Stars, eyeliner, gothic individuals, poetry, dark clothing, aggressiveness, biting, nails, Lycan's and My Girlfriend!"

Their profiles were like coded messages designed to attract blood fetishists. While we will probably never know how a 12-year-old girl developed such morbid sexual proclivities, what we do know is that by that time in her life she was as dangerous and depraved as her pedophile accomplice. Not only was the murder of her parents her idea, but it was she who decided that her little brother had to die. Hours after the murders the pair were seen kissing and laughing at a restaurant; later they showed up at a friend's house and after describing (and laughing about) the carnage, they had sex.

Jasmine Richardson will be set free this November.

The 2009 Travis White murder is even more repulsive. Fourteen-year-old Amber Goerler was a "vampire" who had two lovers -- 27-year-old Brian Golsby and 21-year-old Kasey Dodson. All three belonged to a group alternately described by police as a gang and a cult. Goerler claimed that a 16 year old named Travis White had raped her, though there is no evidence this ever happened. There is in fact evidence it didn't since White was lured to Goerler's house with the pretext of the two "hanging out" together. What happened next was a brutal, hours-long torture session that involved as many as six people. White was bludgeoned, stabbed, and had symbols carved into his body. Some reports circulated that the three main participants had "acted as vampires" during the killing but police have been tight-lipped about exact details. People who claimed to not take part in the actual murder admitted to rolling up the boy's body in a red carpet and throwing it in the trash.

I used to call this case the Anita Blake murder because the "unconventional" relationships Goerler had formed mirrored the fictional character created by Laurell K. Hamilton. The character is a vampire hunter who keeps several vampire and werewolf lovers around. Over the course of the series Hamilton used the popular character as a platform to paint positive pictures of both polyamory and sado-masichism while treating traditional morality and conservatism with contempt. The majority of the books boil down to Blake having her growing cadre of sex partners violently dispose of people who threaten her.

One could surmise that Goerler was a fan.

But Goerler is not unique. Eighteen-year-old Stephanie Pistey accused 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot of rape. Hendershot was lured into the clutches of her group and murdered in much the same way White was, though reportedly with slightly less brutality. The five people involved ranged in ages from 17 to 30 and Pistey is believed to be the babysitter for 30-year-old Tammy Morris' two children. Pistey has denied drinking Hendershot's blood after the murder, however on her Facebook page she made this comment about the killing:

yea were merryied and hes going to die hes the one that killed jacob hendershot well i let him i wanted the blood

There's a video of Pistey being interviewed in jail where she tells reporters that since she was 12 she "knew" she was half vampire and half werewolf. She admits to drinking Jason Chase's blood on a regular basis.

You don't have to read Joseph Campbell to understand that our heroes and myths have dramatic influence on society. Today our heroes are the monsters of the past, lionized for their contempt of American morality and decency. The vampire has been transformed from Bram Stoker's symbol of continental European decadence and degeneracy into a symbol of freedom from the constraints of society. The sado-masochism inherent in the vampire/victim relationship is no longer meant to disturb or shock, but is instead used to normalize the unhealthy sexual dysfunction of a valueless culture.

There are consequences to accepting depravity and there are costs to exposing our youth to the idea that parasitically feeding off others is romantic, that pain is sexy, and that darkness is the real light. Those consequences walk among us and those costs are reflected in the dozens of police reports filed away never to see the light of day. The price of teaching our children this contempt for morality is paid for with the blood they consume.