February 28, 1998 in Nation/World

Vampire Leader Sentenced To Die

Associated Press
 

The teenage leader of a vampire cult was sentenced to death Friday for killing a couple with a crow-bar after traveling to Florida with cult members to help the couple’s daughter run away.

Rod Ferrell, 17, showed little emotion as state Circuit Judge Jerry Lockett followed the jury’s recommendation.

“I think you are a disturbed young man,” Lockett said.

Ferrell pleaded guilty to killing Richard Wendorf and Naoma Ruth Queen of Eustis, about 30 miles northwest of Orlando, on Nov. 25, 1996.

Ferrell and three members of his blood-sucking cult left Kentucky for Florida to help Heather Wendorf leave home.

She was then inducted into the cult, whose members took drugs, engaged in group sex and drank one another’s blood, investigators said. Ferrell told a friend that he needed to kill people to open the “gates to hell,” according to police.

Charges against Wendorf were dropped when a grand jury failed to indict. Lockett urged the prosecution to try again.

“It is the strong suggestion of this court that the grand jury be reconvened,” Lockett said. “There is genuine evil in the world. There is dark side and light side competing in each of us.”

There are still some unanswered questions in Wendorf’s role in the slayings, the judge said, adding that some witnesses who testified in Ferrell’s sentencing hearing did not speak to the grand jury.

Ferrell’s mother, Sondra Gibson, said her son didn’t deserve the death penalty and she endorsed the idea of pursuing charges against Wendorf.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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