Friday, June 27, 2014

Rod Ferrell's Vampire Clan

Turn to page 44 in your copy of Weird Kentucky and you may recall the sick sad story of a gang of teenage wannabe-vampires that formed a wannabe-cult in Murray, Kentucky, circa 1996.

The group's mastermind, such as it was, was named Rod Ferrell by his parents but preferred to be addressed by his fantasy role-playing name, "Vesago". If that sounds stupid already, consider it compounded by the fact that he apparently meant Vassago, a demon mentioned in an old occult grimoire called The Lesser Key of Solomon but he couldn't spell so good.

The group traveled from Murray, Kentucky to Eustis, Florida for the purpose of murdering the parents of fellow cultist Heather Wendorf. Ferrell and his accomplice, Howard Scott Anderson, entered the Wendorf residence through an unlocked garage door and bludgeoned the sleeping father to death with a crowbar. When the mother emerged from the shower, Ferrell killed her with the crowbar as well. Ferrell told police that his original plan had been to allow the mother to live, but she fought back and threw a hot cup of coffee on him. Before leaving the house, Ferrell burned his cult's symbol - the letter V with a dot - into the father's corpse.

One of the young girls in Ferrell's group, Charity Keesee, called home to ask for money on their way to New Orleans and ended up tricked by her mother into going to a Howard Johnson's, where law enforcement were waiting thanks to Mrs. Keeseee's tip-off. Ferrell was, for a time, the youngest prisoner on Death Row in the Florida system, but in November 2000 the Florida Supreme Court inexplicably reduced his sentence to life in prison. I say inexplicably because, Ottis Toole aside, Florida is notorious for its lack of leniency on felons.

Florida has enough of its own home-grown loonies running around with having some imported from Kentucky, and the entire incident was very bad PR for both states. Unfortunately, the mitigating factors - poorly raised children and America's infantile obsession with vampires and RPGs, remain.

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