Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult | Part One

(Photo cred: TopsiImages

I like to write about true crime cases that are not as well known or they took place during the 80s and 90s and some people may not remember or know about them. I remember reading a little bit about Rod Ferrell and the so-called vampire cults of Kentucky in the 1990's. I forgot all about Rod Ferrell until last week when I stumbled on an old documentary about his case on YouTube. 

I decided that I would cover the case on here. I have to warn you (as with other cases I've written about), there may be some details included in my post that may be distressing. I know with this case I will be mentioning things like animal cruelty and self harm which are upsetting. 

Let's begin...

Murray in Kentucky is often referred to as one of the friendliest small towns in America. Home to The Murray State University and The National Scouting Museum and part of the bible belt which runs across America's southern states. This part of the bible belt is known as ''The Buckle''. 

The residents of Murray often attend church and refrain from drinking alcohol. The town sounds like it's never seen any trouble but in the 1990's there was a disturbing trend known as ''Vampire Cults'' that seemed to be popping up around the town. People of the town started to notice some of the young people would be dressing in black, wearing white face paint and rumours around the town began to grow that these Goths were into satanic rituals, drinking blood, taking drugs etc.

In a small town like this, older or straight laced people would often panic if they saw someone all dressed in black and automatically assumed that the person must be a devil worshipper and up to evil deeds. I remember myself living in a small town and being a Goth with rumours around high school that I drank blood and worshipped the devil. I thought it was funny at the time and I actually enjoyed people being freaked out by my appearance but I wasn't a blood drinker or a devil worshipper. People's attitudes back then were a bit over the top when it came to Goths, for example, the West Memphis Three case, where the boys were wrongly convicted of murder (with one of the boys given a death sentence) all because the police and certain members of their town suspected them because of the way they dressed and the music they listened too. People who researched the case and knew they were innocent, campaigned for their release and they were finally let out of prison. 

A lot of the ''Cults'' in Murray were harmless, just groups of bored teenagers who liked playing vampire role plays, dressing in black, hanging out and listening to music. Some went a bit too far with drugs, alcohol and cutting their arms with razor blades so that members of their ''family'' could drink their blood. They called the drinking of the blood ''Embracing''. 

As I mentioned before, Murray was known for being a nice, quiet town with some interesting characters but nothing that really stood out until Rod Ferrell and his ''Vampire Clan'' drew unwanted attention to the town for all the wrong reasons. 

To say that Rod Ferrell had a difficult upbringing is an understatement. There was no proper father figure in his life and his mother seemed to go from one unsavoury character to another. His mother was obsessed with vampires and introduced the young Rod to her dark interests. She was involved with a group who were self proclaimed vampires but she claimed that she never got as far as drinking blood. 

Rod was born on the 28th of March, 1980 in Murray, Kentucky and later said to investigators that one of his earliest childhood memories was being raped when he was five years old during a satanic ritual. He said that his Grandfather was a member of a cult called The Black Mask. Rod said that they had chosen him as the Guardian Of The Black Mask and that the guardian had to become one with everyone in the cult so they molested him and then sacrificed a human in front of him. 

Rod met a boy called Jaden at high school when they were both 15 years old, they both had similar interests in music, style of dress and everything vampire related. Rod would wear a long black trench coat to school and Jaden would wear a long black cloak. Jaden was already the leader of a small group of Goths that he called his family. This group of teenagers would often play Vampire - The Masquerade (a tabletop role playing game) and drink each others blood.  

Rod and Jaden both left school at 16 and they both were unemployed with no career prospects or plans for the future. 

In January 1996, Jaden decided it was time for Rod to crossover (become a vampire by the act of drinking each others blood) and took him to a cemetery where they stood underneath a tree which was where all the previous initiations took place and Jaden considered it sacred. He said all of the chosen ones had been made by their sires. Jaden made a small cut to his arm and instructed Rod to do the same. They then drank each others blood and afterwards they meditated for a few hours before they left. Rod was now a vampire and fully fledged member of Jaden's family. Rod would later say that he saw Jaden as a father figure.

The rules of Jaden's family were that everyone must put the family before anything else and remain completely loyal. Rod said that he hated his life and fantasised about death, he felt like he belonged when he was with the group and he opened up to Jaden about a lot of things. 

As time went on, Jaden said that he began to worry about Rod and that he seemed to be going down a darker path. He would challenge Jaden in role plays and acted like he was the leader of the family. One day Rod and Jaden were taking a walk and Rod had found a kitten wandering about on the street. Rod picked up the kitten and killed it. Jaden said that he was shocked by this and he was already concerned with Rod's obsessive behaviour and drug taking that he began to distance himself from him. The pair ended up having a fight shortly after this and Jaden banished Rod from the family.

On the 30th of May 1996, Rod's mother claims that she came home to find him with an inverted cross carved into his chest. She also found him on another occassion drinking his girlfriend's blood. 

Rod later told the police that he was tired of being a ''Blood Doll'' and wanted to lead his own family. He managed to recruit some members which included Howard Scott Anderson (who would often be described as Rod's right hand man).

Rod began to believe that he was a 500 year old vampire called Vassago and felt that he was a fortune teller who had special powers. His bedroom was full of occult material which included The Satanic Bible, inverted crosses, hooks and broken glass. 

A few months after Rod had been banished from Jaden's family, Rod, Howard Scott Anderson and some other members broke into an animal shelter where they tortured animals and killed two puppies. The police said that they were using the blood from the puppies for some sort of satanic ritual to initiate new members. 

The police suspected Rod Ferrell and Howard Scott Anderson right away and they were being questioned over the incident. The police believed that the vampire clan that Rod and Howard had been connected to had at least 30 members, all of whom had to drink Rod's blood as part of the initiation (crossover) from human to vampire. 

Just six weeks after the animal shelter break-in, Rod decided that he was fed up of the police always getting on his back and suspecting him of being up to no good. He wanted to leave Murray and the members of his Vampire family felt the same way. Rod's family members included, Howard Scott Anderson (16, the same age as Rod), Dana Cooper (19) and Charity Keesee (16).

Rod wanted to go on a road trip and stop off at Florida to see some friends, including Janine, who was his ex girlfriend and according to Rod, her friend Heather wanted to come too so he told them beforehand over the phone to pack some stuff and be ready. 

Continued in part two...

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  1. Just want to say I love these posts! You do a great job of retelling the story. I remember reading about these years ago, but for some reason they are even more shocking to me now!

    - Nyxie