Whitley Strieber published his novel "The Last Vampire" last year and has just completed the sequel, "Lilith's Dream," which will be published in October. Despite all this vampire writing, we never thought that vampires might be real, but recent news reports tell a different story. Police say up to 50 groups of human vampires are operating in Bogota, Columbia.
They dress in black and drink brandy mixed with human blood, which they obtain from transfusion centers or by purchasing animal blood from butchers.
But police are worried that their activities have escalated: they have recently begun stopping people at gunpoint and mugging them for their blood. They force them to bare their necks, then pierce their veins with a razor and take turns drinking the blood.
A police spokesperson said it's difficult to prosecute the vampires because witnesses are afraid to testify against them. Victims are also worried that people will think they're crazy if they report the attacks.
The authorities say they can't do anything about the vampires without hard evidence and Colombia's freedom of religion laws mean the police can't stop people and search them just because they're dressed like vampires.
Interpol official Juan Prieto says he's worried that vampire numbers are increasing. He believes they could be responsible for several unsolved murders in Bogota, "But we have a problem proving it."
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Here in the U.S., a Kansas pharmacist has been charged with taking blood samples for a nonexistent study. It has been discovered that he has been drawing blood unnecessarily for 11 years, according to police.
Investigators say they don't know why he wanted the blood or what he did with it. He paid up to $20 per sample.
Corey Penner has been charged with 31 counts of battery, and twenty more people have come forward with complaints about him. "We're being inundated," says Detective Walton. "We kind of figured this was going to happen."
Police say the 29-year-old pharmacist took the samples from people in their cars, at his home, in the back room of the supermarket where he worked, and in a church. Penner told the volunteers he was researching high blood pressure with a doctor. A volunteer eventually got suspicious and contacted the police.
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