The bugbear that has had many an American town quivering with fear and hysteria is that of the Satanic Cult. There was one such "Cult" at large in Eustis, a town in Florida. This was when a self-professed "Vampire" named Rod Ferrell and some of his "Coven" friends were involved in a brutal double murder. Roderrick Justin Ferrell, the leader of a little band so-called "Vampires" , born on 28th March 1980, went into the home of Naomi Ruth Queen & Richard Wendorf, through the garage, picking up a crowbar and attacking the unsuspecting Wendorf. He smashed in his skull and ribs, then when Queen walked in, he bludgeoned her to death. With him was fellow cult member Howard Scott Anderson.
Ferrell was later to claim that he intended to let Naomi Queen live but said that she threw hot coffee over him. This enraged him so he bludgeoned her to death. Ferrell then burned marks into Wendorf in the shape of a "V", Ferrell`s sign, with dots inside it. Each dot represented a member of his cult. The slaughter took place on 25th November 1996 and was discovered by their daughter Jennifer. But she did not realise that the murders had been carried out by Ferrell, a friend of her sister Heather. It was claimed that Ferrell was helping Heather escape from an abusive home. Friends that were involved in the murders were Charity Keesee and Dana Cooper.
The group then set off on a four day drive, eventually stopping in Baton Rouge. With a lack of funds, Keesee made a call to her mother requesting some money. Her mother contacted the Police. She persuaded the group to book in at a Howard Johnson Hotel, but ran straight into the Baton Rouge Police, who held them in a jail until they were extradited back to Florida. Initially held at the Lake County Jail, the quartet were later transferred to a Juvenile Facility in Ocala. They appeared in court on 12th February 1998. Ferrell said that the girls were totally innocent, and whilst he committed the murders, Anderson was merely an accessory. Ferrell pled guilty to two charges of Felony Murder and sentenced to death. Anderson was charged with two counts of Felony Murder and sentenced to life without parole. Charity Keesee was convicted on 3rd degree murder, robbery with a firearm and burglary with a deadly weapon. She received ten and a half years. Dana Cooper faced the same charges and received seventeen and a half years.
Ferrell was the youngest person on Death Row, and on appeal, the Florida Supreme Court reduced his sentence from death to life without parole. He initially revelled in the notoriety he was causing, frequenting pulling tongues at TV cameras as if it was no big deal. People clambering to see this self-styled vampire or satanist, basically got to see what they wanted to see. Today, Ferrell has renounced his vampire beliefs and when he receives "Fan Mail", he says he tries to persuade the writers not to go down the path he chose. Many sick and twisted killers seem to get masses of mail from equally sick and deluded people, and this is a phenomenon that I do not understand. Could it be that sick breeds sick?