*This case intrigues me like none other. I was born in Kentucky, but moved to Southwest Florida when I was three. All of my family still lives in the Bluegrass State, my brother passed away in Louisville back in August of 2020, and the state is still very dear to my heart. This killer is from Kentucky, and he lived in Florida for a while as well, and he is exactly three days older than me. The crimes which this sociopath and his so-called vampire cult committed are horrific, and the crime scene photos are some of the most ghastly I’ve ever posted here. As I know that a small minority of my readers will not wish to see these, I’ve added them at the very bottom of the article, and you will be warned when to stop scrolling if you do not wish to see them. Please let me know what you think! ❤️❤️❤️
16 year old Rod Ferrell lived in a make believe world. All of his buddies were into vampirism, and they participated in rituals in which they drank one another’s blood. Rod believed himself to be a 500 year old vampire named Vesago; he claimed to be invincible, immortal.
Rod and his friends hung out at a “Vampire Hotel” where they partied constantly while abusing hard drugs. As Rod’s actions grew more erratic, many of his vampy pals decided to distance themselves from him; the last straw was when Rod killed a cat. But he only saw this as a new beginning; Rod put together his own vampire group and this time he was the leader. This cult included teenagers Scott Anderson, Charity Keesee, and Dana Cooper. Rod’s own mother was a member as well, but we’ll touch on that momentarily.
Rod and his group absolutely terrorized the sleepy town of Murray, Kentucky. On October the 13th of 1996 Rod and at least one of his followers broke into a local animal shelter. The place was vandalized, 40 dogs were abused, and 2 Labrador retriever pups were mutilated to death.
Rod had once lived in Eustis, Florida and this is how he’d met 15 year old Heather Wendorf; they’d attended highschool together. Both teens had been social outcasts, goths who hadn’t really fit in with their peers; they had kept in contact via telephone after Rod moved to Kentucky. At one point, Heather told Rod about the problems which she’d been having with her parents; it’s important to note that there had been no abuse to speak of, just your typical teenaged girl issues.
In November of 1996 Rod asked Heather if she’d like him to step in; he could come to Florida, pick her up, and they would run away. They’d have a blood drinking initiation ceremony and Heather would finally be a full fledged member of his vampire clan. Heather agreed to this; Rod gathered up his little vampire cult and they were on their way to Florida.
Things did not go the way which Heather had envisioned. After they had Heather with the group, Rod and his right hand man, Scott, decided to go back to Heather’s. He wanted to burglarize the house, steal the Wendorf vehicle, and murder her parents.
Rod and Scott entered the home through the garage, they were armed with a crowbar which they’d discovered on the property (I believe it was in the garage, but don’t quote me on that!). Once inside they found father Richard asleep on the sofa; Rod would later recount that he did a joyful little dance around his unconscious victim before beating the man to death.
Mother Naomi has been in the shower during her husband’s murder; when she walked in and found the teens, she threw her hot cup of coffee at them. This enraged the already homicidal Rod, and he took pleasure in stealing the middle aged woman’s life. A couple of hours later Heather’s big sister, Jennifer, would stumble across the gory scene. She knew right away that her younger sister had been involved in her parent’s demise.
After the murders Rod and Scott met back up with the rest of the group; they all piled into Heather’s parent’s stolen Ford Explorer, and headed off towards Louisiana where they believed all of the other vampires to be. I mean, Anne Rice lives there, right? So, for a few days they were on the run, but the teens were dead broke and hungry. On Thanksgiving day Charity broke down, and she phoned her mama to plead for money. Mom informed the police, and investigators were waiting at the Baton Rouge Western Union when the gang arrived to pick up the cash.
The teens were quickly extradited back to Florida. They didn’t take any of this too seriously, they cracked jokes and made silly faces at one another. While she didn’t seem too upset at first, once separated from the others, Heather finally broke down. She sobbed over he parents; the girl swore she had never wanted anything bad to happen to her mom and dad, and she hadn’t been aware that they were in danger until it was too late. Afterwords she had to stay on Rod’s good side, the girl had claimed that she’d been terrified that he would kill her as well.
Rod quickly plead guilty, and was given the death penalty. He seemed to have been thrilled with this; the vampire stood by his story that he was immortal, and besides, he’d always wondered what the electric chair would feel like. Scott was sentenced to life, but that was later commuted to 40 years. Dana Cooper and Charity Keesee were sentenced to 10 & 17 years; both have since been released from prison and have moved on with their lives. As for Heather, she was the only one who did not serve time for the murders. She has married, has a couple of kids, and is living in North Carolina where she works as an artist. Heather is easy to find, on Facebook she goes by the name Heather Xoey Kelly.
Rod’s mother has always been an enormous part of her son’s problem. Sondra “Star” Gibson had little business raising a child; she’d been a mentally and financially unstable drug abusing sex worker accused of possessing the mentality of a 13 year old. Sondra had not only accepted her son’s lifestyle, but she encouraged it; this woman even allowed her son to consume hard drugs around her, though Sondra did complain that Rod often became violent when high. When the future killer started his little vampire cult, Sondra joined in; she even had sexual relations with Rod’s underaged friend(s) as part of an initiation ceremony! After the murders, Sondra began to auction off just about everything she could which had belonged to her son: childhood artwork, his ashtray, photos, just anything.
Sondra and her sister had both been sexually abused by their father, Harrell Gibson, growing up. Tragic, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but for whatever reason Sondra allowed this man access to her own little boy. Not only had this man molested Rod, but in 1985 Harrell allowed his buddies to “gang rape” his 5 year old grandson! When Sondra heard what had happened, she took Rod to go confront Grandpa. The confrontation was just as traumatizing for the boy as the abuse had been.
As of November 2019 Rod was back in court attempting to have his sentence reduced again, even though it’s already been commuted to life. He claims to have grown up, and that he now sees the error of his ways. Rod has been married and divorced while in prison, and he wants a life now. The killer is full of apologies these days; he now claims that Heather had confided that she’d been sexually abused by her parents, and since that’s a sensitive subject for him, that’s what had set him off. I do not remember ever hearing of this accusation before now, so it’s doubtful that there’s any truth to it. Sondra has been begging for her son’s freedom as well, and she says that they’ve both changed! Today Rod’s mom is busy caring for her own elderly mother, she has her very own jewellery business, and she’s looking for a good church to join! That said, it’s also been reported that she told a reporter something along the lines of “we live forever” . Who knows?
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