I was born and raised in St. Cloud. Every once-in-awhile I'd hear someone reference the 'vampire murder'. It sounded absolutely terrifying. As a child, I could only imagine what that even meant...but, no one would tell me. I was forced to use my imagination. Was there a real vampire running wild in central Minnesota, killing people--what was the story?

It all happened on March 21, 1988. According to UPI, four teenage boys who were really into vampires went camping with a homeless man named Donald Gall near Riverside Park in St. Cloud.

Multiple news outlets have reported the teenagers had discussed forming a vampire cult prior after they were inspired by the film, "The Lost Boys". They were partying that night with drugs and alcohol when a fight broke out. Gall was beaten and stabbed to death. His body was found in the Mississippi River.

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There have been conflicting rumors over the years of whether all of the teens "drank" their victim's blood. But, According to the Pioneer Press, 18-year-old Tim Erickson admitted to police he was the one who slit Gall's throat and licked the blood from his fingers.

According to Justia US Law, Erickson's defense was that he was so intoxicated, had mental illness and was coerced into a confession. He was sentenced to life in prison. He applied for an appeal but the court decision was upheld in 2006.

Were there real vampires running around in St. Cloud? No, that's just a rumor. But, the facts of the case are still extremely chilling and disturbing.

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