Being from Kentucky, (we got lots of murder, y’all) I heard about this one a lot. During the week of Thanksgiving 1996, a group of teens calling themselves “The Vampire Clan” murdered a Florida couple, Naomi Queen and Richard Wendorf.
The leader of The Vampire Clan, Rod Ferrell claimed to be a 500 year-old vampire named Vesago. Sweet vampire name, by the way. Ferrell had become obsessed with vampires after playing the table top role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. The group, consisting of Dana Cooper, Charity Keese, and Howard Anderson believed they were actually vampires. Well, I did too briefly during the height of my True Blood binge, but I never killed anyone or drank blood.
Ferrell met Heather Wendorf, who was living with family in Kentucky and soon introduced her to the vampire clan. Heather supposedly had a rough home life which she described as “hell.” The group traveled from their home of Murray, Kentucky to Florida with plans to kill Heather’s parents in a ritualistic killing to honor their clan. Ferrell bludgeoned them to death with a crowbar. Originally, he had not planned on killing Heather’s mother Naomi. After she threw a hot cup of coffee at him, he changed his mind.
After the killings, the group traveled to Louisiana, where they were apprehended. Rod Ferrell confessed the three girls involved were innocent, but that Howard Anderson was not. Dana and Charity were both arrested for their involvement in the crimes and have since been released. Heather Wendorf was never tried as she was proven innocent. From 1998-2000, Ferrell was the youngest person in the United States on death row. His conviction was reduced to life in prison. Anderson was also convicted to life in prison.
There is also a local legend of sorts to go along with these murders. An abandoned house near Land Between The Lakes in Kentucky is the site of the Vampire Hotel. The stone structure is said to be haunted and that the vamp clan used to meet there and engage in Satanic rituals. From what I’ve read, there isn’t much proof the clan used to hang out there, although it does look like a perfect location for 90s Goth kids in Kentucky to get down.