Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult | Part two

As with part one, please be aware that this post may contain distressing details.

According to Rod's confession, he went over to Dana Cooper's apartment because he wanted to see his fiancee Shea (Charity Keesee) who was also a member of his vampire family. They'd been in a relationship for 11 months and she was pregnant.

Rod claims that he told Dana and his fiancee Shea that he was going on a road trip to Florida and he wanted to take Shea with him. Shea agreed to go and Dana said that she wanted to go especially so she could keep an eye on Shea. They packed some things together and picked up Howard Scott Anderson who agreed to come along too.

At this point, Rod says there was no premeditation. There was no plans of what was going to happen. He and his fellow members just wanted to escape and get out of Murray for a while. They drove to Florida and the plan was to visit some of Rod's friends and pick up Janine and her friend Heather.

[Heather wanted to run away from home which she'd previously described to friends as hell. She told friends that she was a former demon who had talked with spirits during blood drinking rituals]

At some point along the trip, Rod had taken some drugs. It's unknown if the others took anything.

When they finally got to Eustis in Florida they went to Heather's house first and she got in the car whilst Rod and Howard got out. Heather, Dana and Shea decided to drive to Heather's boyfriend's house whilst Rod and Howard walked to Heather's house. They decided for whatever reason to not wait for Janine.

It sounds like a bizarre timeline of events for the girls to drive off to Heather's boyfriend's house and leave Rod and Howard there. Rod later claimed that he and Howard were going to Heather's house because she'd told them that her parents left the doors unlocked and the plan was to steal the keys to her parents car.

[Heather later claimed to have no idea of what was about to happen and said she had no part in what happened. Her sister later revealed that Heather had previously asked her if she'd ever thought about killing her parents. Her sister said no, to which Heather replied that Rod Ferrell would be the best person to ask if she ever wanted their parents murdered]

When Rod and Howard got to Heather's house, they walked around and looked in the windows to see where the parents were located. They then went into the garage and found a crowbar. Rod later said that at that moment all he was thinking about was getting some weapons, food and cash.

Rod walked into the house, holding the crowbar in his hand. Howard was slowly following behind him. He noticed that Mr Wendorf (Heather's father) was asleep on the sofa so he took a little while to rummage through the house and grab a drink.

Rod then described going over to Mr Wendorf and hitting him with a crowbar until he stopped breathing. He said that Mr Wendorf took 20 minutes to die. He then picked his body up and looked for his wallet. At some point during this, a single V was burned into Mr Wendorf's chest (this was Rod's sign. He would mark his members with a V followed by a full stop).

Howard Scott Anderson was described by Rod as like a lost puppy who was just following him around and seemed to be in shock at the murder scene. He said that Howard didn't take part in the killings but he did go through the house looking for things to steal.

They were suddenly surprised by Mrs Wendorf coming out of the kitchen. She had just been in the shower and she had a cup of coffee in her hand. She asked Rod what he wanted and threw the coffee at him. She lunged towards him and scratched him. Rod began hitting her continuously with the crowbar. He later said that he had no plans to kill her but when she threw the coffee at him, that made him angry.

Once both of Heather's parents were dead they carried on looking through the house for money and the car keys. Rod later said that they didn't find much money in the house because Heather had already stolen it beforehand but they did find the car keys.

Rod thought about waiting for Heather's sister Jennifer to come home but he decided against it and seemed to like the idea of her coming home and finding the bodies of her parents. 

Howard wanted to stay at the house and put the bodies of the Wendorf's in the swimming pool but Rod said no. 

They both left the house with a few dollars, a set of pearls and a knife. They got into the car and drove over to Janine's house to see if the girls would turn up. They managed to meet up with the girls and at this point Heather realised Rod had killed her parents once she had seen the car. Rod said that she freaked out for a while but then insisted on keeping her father's knife as a souvenir. 

After Florida they drove to New Orleans where Rod told investigators that they had been pulled over and let go. They had been pulled over a total of five times during their road trip and never got caught till they checked into the motel. 

The group had no money and Shea really wanted to call her mother to see if she would help them out. Rod wanted everyone to leave but Shea got her way and contacted her mother who told them to go to a motel and have the clerk call her so she could pay for the room. 

They went to the motel where the police were waiting for them. Shea's mother had set them up. 

Once they were all arrested, the police noted that each of the teenagers had self harm marks on their bodies. 

Ron confessed to the killings that took place on the 26th of November 1996 and claimed that the others didn't have anything to do with it. He said that Howard Scott Anderson was just an accessory and that the most he did was move the bodies a little. 

During the trial, investigators managed to track down Rod's biological father who appeared in the court room for one day. He wouldn't even look at Rod and referred to him as ''that child''. Apparently Rod was devastated and broke down in tears at this. This was the only time that anyone had seen him show any emotion. 

Rod said to investigators during his confession: ''I'm sorry, this is just a big fucking joke. My life seems like a dream. My childhood was taken away at 5. I don't know whether I'm asleep or dreaming anymore, so whatever. For all I know I could wake up in 5 minutes.''

Roderick Justin Ferrell was sentenced to the death penalty at only 18 years old. He was the youngest inmate on Florida's death row till November 2000 when his sentence was changed to life imprisonment. He tried to appeal to have his sentence reduced again in 2013 but the court dismissed it. 

Howard Scott Anderson was sentenced to life imprisonment which was later reduced to 40 years. He also made an appeal in 2013 but the court dismissed it. 

Heather Wendorf was released with no charges. This was controversial at the time and some people still believe to this day that she had more involvement in the planning of her parents deaths. Her sister Jennifer no longer speaks to her. Heather changed her name to Xoey Hawk. 

Charity (Shea) Keesee was convicted of two counts of third degree murder and robbery. She was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison. She was released in March 2006 and is now married with two children. She volunteers helping people who have come out of prison to integrate back into the community. 

Dana Cooper was convicted of the same charges as Charity (Shea) Keesee, she was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison. Dana was released in 2011. 

In 1997, a year after the murders. Rod's mother who was 34 years old at the time, was arrested for sending sexually explicit messages to a 14 year old boy. One of her messages to the boy said ''I become a vampire. A part of the family, immortal and truly yours forever.''

Rod's mother still visits him in prison every week.

This case inspired books and films including the horror movie Vampire Clan 

Further reading & sources: 

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post x

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  1. Is it weird that I really enjoyed reading these? I always love gruesome things, especially out of the ordinary murders.

    - Nyxie

    1. Ha ha! Nope lol, I enjoy researching and writing about them : ) Thank you for taking the time to read and comment lovely : ) x