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James P. Riva - 8X11 Artwork


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In April of 1980, James P. Riva shot his handicapped grandmother twice as she sat in her wheelchair. The gun was loaded with golden bullets. He drank the warm blood gushing from the wounds before trying to cover his tracks by burning her body and her home.

Jimmy Riva was a troubled youngster who developed a bloodlust in his kindergarden days. He became obsessed with the notion that his infirm grandmother was a vampire predator, who was robbing him of his blood as he slept. He believed that his only hope lay in shooting her with golden bullets. Not only did he shoot her, but he also stabbed her repeatedly because a "vampire told him that was what he had to do."

Riva had a history of mental illness dating back to 1975 - 78, when he spent time in a mental institution. The diabolical plot to slaughter his grandmother was the culmination of a whole series of bizzare incidents in the life of James Riva. He began by drawing horrific pictures and slowly moved to killing and drinking the blood of animals, until finally, he snapped completely. He gave two separate stories when confronted about his crime. He told his mother that he was a vampire who would gain strength from drinking his grandmother's blood.

He also told psychiatrists he thought his grandmother was a vampire who came to feed on him as he slept. He believed he was satisfying his masters or superiors in the netherworld of vampires by making a human kill. He thought that if he killed "everybody who was bad to him, he would come back as a handsome man and have a car and girls and his life would be fine."

At the conclusion of his lengthy trial, the jury deliberated for 3 hours and found him guilty of second degree murder. He was also found guilty of arson, and assult and battery on one of the arresting officers. He showed no emotion at the reading of the verdict. Judge Brady sentanced James Riva to life imprisonment in Walpole State Prison on the murder charge, and concurrently to ten to twenty years on the arson charge.

Original 8.5" X 11" color pencil / crayon on cardstock. Signed in full and dated by year on the front with a verse from the Quran on back.

Product Code: JRIVA20213E


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