If you are not familiar with Rod Ferrell, he is a convicted killer who was once a member of a group of teenagers calling themselves the “Vampire Clan”. The man, who was born in 1980, was obsessed with a roleplaying game called “Vampire: The Masquerade”—and he told people that he was a vampire; he also said that he was 500 years old.
In short, he was a cult leader, occultist, goth, and killer. Here are additional facts that you might want to know.
1. He Called Himself Vesago
The man was born Rodderick Justin Ferrell, but he called himself a different name when speaking with his fellow cult members and friends. That name was Vesago, which is probably based on a demon found in occult literature named Vassago—a Goetic demon. That demon appeared in the occult work known as “The Lesser Key of Solomon”. That work, which dealt with demonology, was also a spell book.
Vassago, according to the work, was the third-in-command of the rebellious spirits comprising Satan’s army. He also had the ability to predict the future.
2. He Was A Troublesome Outcast
Rob was an outcast and a loner who earnestly believed that he was a vampire and a demon. He ended up getting expelled from his high school while in the ninth grade; by the time he was only 14 years old, he was using both marijuana and LSD. Rod, like the demon he claimed possessed him, would often fly into fits of rage; he would also intravenously inject heroin and cocaine simultaneously. The drug problem and emotional issues made him a bit of a wreck. At one moment, he could be deep and thoughtful; in the next moment, he could be completely and totally enraged.
Rod obviously had personal demons. But why? It could have been because of his family. Back in 1997, the year after Rod was tried for the killings, his mother was tried for writing lecherous, sexually charged letters to Rod when he was only 14 years old.
She was 34 at the time. Her writing style was similar to Rod’s—the tone was creepy, romantic, and dramatic.
In one letter, she allegedly wrote that she longed to be near Rod—for his embrace. She actually expressed a desire to become a vampire. She wanted to be immortal, part of the family, and “truly” his forever. She wrote that she wanted to be his “bride for eternity”, and she wanted her son to be her “sire”.
3. Rod Was Obsessed With Death
In addition to being obsessed with darkness in general, Rod was also obsessed with death; in fact, Rod stated in an interview that he had been obsessed with his own death since childhood. He actually said that going to the electric chair was a fantasy of his, and it had been since the time he was roughly nine years old.
He purportedly dreamed about his own death, a subject that Rod found “intriguing”. He stated that it was like he was “romantic” with death as a subject. In an interview, he said that he did not care how he died—just that he did so—because there was nothing left for him on Earth.
In 1996, his mother discovered that Rod carved an upside-down cross onto his chest using a razor. Rod, as has been pointed out, was obsessed with Satan.
4. The Vampire Clan
Dressed all in black, on drugs, and society’s outcasts, Rod’s “Vampire Clan” was the epitome of teenage cults back in the 1990’s. Rodderick was the cult’s leader. In order to join his clan, one needed to have consumed blood.
Rod’s right hand man was named Howard Scott Anderson.
Authorities did not really know exactly how large “the clan” was; however, the murders for which the clan was implicated consisted of at least five people. At one point, there may have been as many as 30 members.
Joining the clan meant that Rod would cut his arm, and new recruits would drink his blood.
Rod would explain that his bedroom was a display of the dark side of the occult. There were upside down crosses, the Satanic Bible, and the Necronomicon. There were shards of glass in a corner of the room.
5. His Vampire Hotel
There is an abandoned building where the cult carried out its parties and activities—including the drinking of blood and other rituals—back in the 1990’s. It can be found in the state of Kentucky, in Land Between the Lakes.
That’s where his group was from; however, the infamous murders occurred in the US state of Florida.
Interestingly enough, the abandoned stone and concrete structure had a reputation for occult activity long before Rod’s group used it for its rituals and parties.
6. Rod Really Did Believe That He Was A Vampire
It seems as if Rod really and truly believed that he was a vampire, although it isn’t particularly clear if the other kids who were part of his cult also believed they were vampires.
He really did believe that he was 500 years old and had powers, including the power of fortune telling. It has been speculated that the whole matter was just a case of a roleplaying game gone horribly wrong; however, Rod said that he really tried to embrace the vampire lifestyle. He was quite young, he said, so his mind latched onto the idea deeply and tenaciously.
Rod’s mother allegedly arrived at home one night to find Rod and Rod’s then-girlfriend drinking one another’s blood.
7. Rod’s Victims
Two victims of Rod’s cult were Richard Wendorf and Naomi Ruth Queen. Richard was 49 at the time of his death.
Richard was asleep at home in November of 1996. That’s when Rod and Howard Scott Anderson—also known simply as Scott—entered their home.
Their daughter Heather Wendorf was brought up on murder charges at first—along with the rest of Rod’s gang; it was determined by a grand jury, however, that she did not know the intentions of Rod and his cult.
Heather had run away from home in search of adventure, and she ended up involved with the cult and its twisted intentions. On the night of the unfortunate murders, she purportedly stared at the victims, allegedly unaware of what would later transpire.
Rod was 16 when the murders occurred. He would later state that it was all just a teenager’s rush—just knowing that Richard was asleep and his fate was in the group’s hands.
8. The Court Spectacle
The court spectacle ended up capturing the attention of the United States. The members of the cult—a group of goth teens—looked like they had come straight from Hell. They went from Kentucky to Florida, and then ended up hiding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Police in Baton Rouge found items that linked the teenagers to the murders. The group stole a shotgun from the Wendorf home and kept it with them.
It was eventually found in the water after Howard Scott Anderson led law enforcement to it.
All four members of the vampire group would end up being charged and tried as adults, even though they were only 16 years old at the time of the murders. At first, they were set to be executed via the electric chair; later, however, those sentences were commuted to life in prison.
9. The Crowbar Murders
Rod had a crowbar he found—one that he intended to use in case Richard Wendorf attacked him. Rod stared at Richard Wendorf for several moments while Richard was asleep. In what has been described as a spur-of-the-moment decision, Rod decided to take Richard’s life using that crowbar.
During interviews that occurred after the murders, Rod calmly and casually spoke about the killings. He seemed to relish what he did and apparently enjoyed reliving his crimes as he retold the events of that horrific night.
Rod said that he stood over Richard Wendorf and struck the man over the head repeatedly with the aforementioned crowbar until he was dead. The attack happened when Rod was high on psychedelic drugs, and it occurred after an initiation rite was carried out on Heather Wendorf earlier that day.
The beating resulted in Richard’s skull and ribs being fractured. He was also found with burn marks in the shape of a “V”.
10. The Dance of Death
Just before Rod and Howard Scott Anderson killed the late Richard Wendorf, they stood over him and glanced at one another. That, apparently, is when the decision to kill Richard was made.
In an interview, during which Rod was unapologetic, he said that he did not really know where the notion came from.
He and “Scott” just decided to kill, so that is what they did. They danced around Richard’s body before he was dead.
There is actually a French phrase that translates to “Dance of the Death”—danse macabre—and it is actually done in many cultures at the funerals of friends and loved ones. It is supposed to recognize just how fragile life is and the idea that death—being a universal thing—can’t be all bad.
As mentioned, Rod was apparently a big fan of a roleplaying game called “Vampire: The Masquerade”. The tabletop game was first released in 1991. A second edition came out in 1992, and a revised edition came out in 1998. It is considered one of the most popular role-playing games of all time.
The game is set in what has been described as a “gothic punk” version of the world; players take on the roles of vampires, and they’re referred to as “Kindred”.
Several products associated with “Vampire: The Masquerade” have been released, including live-action role-playing games, video games, and novels. Back in 1996, there was even a short-lived television show about the game. It was aired on FOX.
On the 12th of February, 1998, Rod pleaded guilty to the murders he committed. His attorneys had tried to argue that he was insane; he has been diagnosed with mental conditions, including Asperger’s and schizotypal personality disorder.
Currently 38 years old, Rod will likely never see a life outside of prison walls. At one point, he was the youngest person in the US on death row.