Rod Ferrell was known as the Vampire Killer or being part of the Vampire Clan which was a group of young teenagers who would end up murdering two people in Florida. Rod Ferrell who believed he was a vampire and convinced a number of teens to go with him to New Orleans. The teens included Charity Keesee, Dana Cooper and Howard Scott Anderson. On the way they decided to pick up another fiend Heather Wendorf. The group were having car trouble and decided to steal the Wendorf vehicle however it soon turned into a double murder as Heather parents were brutally murdered. Eventually the police would catch up with the Vampire Clan in Louisiana and Rod Ferrell, Charity Keesee, Dana Cooper and Howard Anderson were all arrested and charged with the double murders. Rod Ferrell who was seventeen at the time of the murders was convicted and sentenced to death however the Supreme Court would rule that executing people who committed their crimes as a juvenile was unconstitutional and he was resentenced to life in prison without parole. The other teen killers would receive lesser sentences. Dana Cooper and Charity Keesee have been released. Heather Wendorf was never charged
Rod Ferrell 2021 Information
|Name:||FERRELL, RODRICK J|
|Initial Receipt Date:||02/27/1998|
|Current Facility:||TOMOKA C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||SENTENCED TO LIFE|
Howard Anderson 2021 Information
|Name:||ANDERSON, HOWARD S|
|Initial Receipt Date:||04/02/1998|
|Current Facility:||CALHOUN C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||01/02/2031|
Charity Keesee 2021 Information
|Name:||KEESEE, CHARITY L|
Dana Cooper 2021 Information
|Name:||COOPER, DANA L|
Rod Ferrell More News
Rod Ferrell, known as a teen vampire cult leader convicted in the beating deaths of a Eustis couple, lost his bid to shorten the life sentences he is serving.
The 55-page decision, written by Circuit Judge G. Richard Singeltary in Lake County and posted online April 7, concluded Ferrell, now 40, was not entitled to relief granted to other teen killers in light of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment.Advertisement
The judge concluded Ferrell, now 40, is “irreparably corrupt.”
“Despite the recent changes in the law, life is still an appropriate sentence for a juvenile who committed murder if the facts and circumstances justify,” Singeltary wrote in his order. “In this case, the facts of the double homicide of Richard Wendorf and Naoma Ruth Queen, as well as the armed burglary and armed robbery, are among the most appalling.”
The order is not yet official because Ferrell has the right to be present in open court to hear its pronouncement, though he can waive that right. A hearing to conclude the re-sentencing process has not yet been scheduled because most court proceedings are suspended to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Wendorf and Queen were parents of Heather Wendorf, then 15, who ran away with Ferrell’s blood-drinking cult from Kentucky.
She was never charged in the killings. Ferrell said she never explicitly asked him to kill her parents.
Ferrell bludgeoned the couple to death with a crowbar inside their home Nov. 25, 1996, crimes which spawned books, a movie and an HBO documentary.
He became friends with Heather at school in Eustis before he moved with his mother to Murray, Kentucky.
Originally sentenced to death, Ferrell’s punishment was reduced to life without parole by an earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing death sentences for juveniles.
Miami-based defense lawyer Terence M. Lenamon, who also represents Markeith Lloyd, who is charged in the death of an Orlando police officer, had asked the judge to impose new sentences that could have made Ferrell eligible for release some day. The lawyer argued Ferrell was not “one of the rarest of children whose crime reflects permanent incorrigibility,” a character flaw for which the U.S. Supreme Court justices said a term of life in prison for a youthful offender could be a just and fair punishment.
The high-court’s reasoning was based on the notion that most but not all children have “diminished culpability and heightened capacity to change.”
In November, Singeltary listened to three days of testimony about the crimes and Ferrell, including from the once-boastful and now-apologetic vampire leader himself.
“He has adjusted to incarceration, and he has a good prison record,” the judge wrote, citing testimony from prison officials and mental-health experts. “However, the continuation of his pattern of fabrication and manipulation of the narratives of his crimes in order to serve his own interest demonstrates that he is neither changed nor rehabilitated.”
Singeltary rejected unsubstantiated claims by Ferrell that he was impaired by drugs when he killed the couple and motivated to protect Heather from sex abuse.
The judge said “all credible evidence” showed the couple to be hard-working, middle-class parents trying their best to provide a loving, safe home for their two daughters and that Ferrell killed and robbed Heather’s parents because he needed money and a bigger, more reliable vehicle to get his “vampire family” to New Orleans.
No factors have been overlooked or minimized,” Singeltary wrote.
But the judge also cited a plea made during Ferrell’s re-sentencing by the couple’s other daughter, Jennifer. She begged Singeltary to keep Ferrell in prison.
Seventeen at the time, she had come home from a part-time job at Publix and discovered the nightmarish scene when she flicked on the lights.
In his order, Singeltary recounted a callous statement Ferrell gave Baton Rouge police who arrested him and others at a Howard Johnson’s motel.
“Thought about waiting for [Heather’s] sister…but decided, nah, why bother? Let her come home, have a mental breakdown, call the police, which I was correct, she did.”