Highlights of 2001:

The Vampire Research Society Worldwide Organization is founded.

July: Colorado, USA – Kirk Palmer, 28, kills Antonia Vierira with a shotgun because he believes that Vierira had turned his girlfriend into a vampire. He is charged with murder, but testimony at his trial supports the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He had told a psychologist that four days before the shooting, he had removed a splinter from his girlfriend’s thumb and “saw” Vierira come out of her body to tell him that she had been bitten and was now a member of his vampire gang. Enraged, he had tried to combat Vierira the only way he could—by killing him. Directly after the homicide, he had gone to Canada to “cleanse his spirit.” On March 10, 2004, he is found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental hospital in Pueblo.

September 15: Canada – “Vampire High” a Canadian TV series starts its 2001 – 2002 run. The show centers on a group of young vampires subjected to a daring experiment by the “Elders”: taken in by a boarding school that also housed mortal teenagers, with the intent of civilizing the vampires. Many problems faced the students on both the day and night curriculum, including typical teen issues of love, friends and enemies. Professor Murdoch was on hand to help them along with their school work, but he too had problems that could put the lives of the teens in mortal danger. (Article)

October: Transylvania, Romania – the Romanian government, searching for new sources of revenue, contemplates capitalizing on the region’s most infamous son: Dracula. Officials intent on drawing a million tourists a year to Transylvania, propose a Dracula Land theme park, with anticipated completion at the town of Sighisoara within two years. Dracula Land is part of a larger tourism project, which includes renovation of the old castle, infrastructure improvements, and construction of a golf course and a hotel school. There is talk of opening an “International Dracula Center” with an archive of everything written on the legendary figure.  Sighisoara’s actual connection to Dracula, as the medieval Romanian count Vlad Tepes was called, is rather thin, however. Local historians are skeptical. The theme park is never realized. 

December 3: Vallam, Tamil Nadu, India – An alleged double murderer is nicknamed “India’s Dracula” for drinking the blood of his victims. Police say Arulraj Subbiah killed one man, then celebrated with a cocktail of blood and alcohol. He has reportedly said the smell of human blood gives him pleasure, and the taste energises his body. He is facing two murder charges. Locals in his home town of Vallam, Tamil Nadu, have nicknamed the 24-year-old “Dracula”. Subbiah is currently in prison awaiting trial on charges of double murder. Police have lodged an appeal with the court to have him examined by a psychiatrist. When he was arrested for stabbing his brother-in-law, police say he admitted licking the blood-stained knife. He is also accused of killing a man with a boulder and then mixing his blood with alcohol, and knifing a witness to death before drinking his blood. His mother says he has a “vengeful attitude and uncontrollable temper”, The Week newspaper reports. She says he doesn’t drink blood and only confessed to doing so under duress. (Article)

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