COLD BLOODED: A True Crime Story of a Murderous Teenage Vampire Cult

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Investigators and Central Florida residents were horrified when 16-year-old vampire cult leader Rod Ferrell was arrested and charged with bludgeoning a cult member’s parents. When they realized the slain couple’s 15-year-old daughter was missing, they feared she was a victim, too.

Detectives and journalists swarming over three states soon uncovered a web of blood-drinking occult rituals, illicit sex, wildly dysfunctional families and spiritual warfare. Then, when police officers captured the teens, they discovered that the murdered couple’s daughter was among them. But was she a victim or a participant?

Ferrell faced the death penalty, sparking Constitutional battles over the ultimate punishment, juveniles in the court system, free press versus a defendant’s right to a fair trial, and psychologists who worked to save him and prosecutors who wanted him dead.  

More than 20 years later, the battles continue with new court rulings. Is he a changed man deserving freedom? Or is he still gaming the system, as prosecutors and his victims’ family members believe? 

Decide for yourself after reading COLD BLOODED by veteran newspaper reporter Frank Stanfield, who has covered the case from the beginning in November 1996, and sheds new light on one of the darkest killers in modern history.

Frank Stanfield is one of my favorite writers. His combination of wit and investigative chops combined with an in-depth understanding of Florida lore makes him a potent creative force.” – Art Ayris, CEO Kingstone Studios

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From The Book:

Lake County
Rod Ferrell, 17, mocks photgraphers as he is lead inside the Lake County Jail in Tavares, Fla., Friday, Dec. 6, 1996, for booking. Ferell and four other teen-agers, believed to be part of a self-described “vampire cult,” were extradited back from Louisiana for the slayings of Ruth and Richard Wendorf. (AP Photo/The Daily Commercial, Vasha Hunt)

*WARNING: The following excerpt contains details of violence and may not be suitable for younger or sensitive audiences

Rod Ferrell’s confession to Baton Rouge police

“What did you hit him with?”

“A crowbar. I was going to use a machete or chain saw but that was too messy, just nasty.”

“Crowbar’s pretty messy, too, you know.”

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“No, it only got a little blood spot on me surprisingly. But anyway, so after that I basically picked his body up, screwed him around and looked for his wallet and stuff, and that’s where we found his Discover card.”

“All right.”

“And about two minutes after I flipped him back over the way he was, the mother came out of the shower with a nice hot cup of coffee that she spilled all over me. She asked me what did I want, ’cause she thought I was just robbing them.”

“She hadn’t seen her husband yet?”

“No, I made sure that he was hidden.”


“Didn’t want her to freak. Like I said, she just basically looked straight at me and said, ‘What do you want?’ By that time, you know, it was pretty obvious. I had blood on me and a crowbar in my hand.

Author Frank E. Stanfield

“I was fixing to say, ‘Yeah, I want to have coffee with you, you son-of-a-bitching smart ass,’ but anyway, that’s when she lunged at me. I was actually going to let her live but after she lunged at me I just took the bottom of the crowbar and kept stabbing it through her skull and whenever she fell down, I just continually beat her until I saw her brains falling on the floor ’cause that pissed me off. That’s how I got these,” he said, pointing to scratches on his face.    

He said after making sure she was dead, he rummaged through the house looking for car keys, money and other useful items. He said he found the Explorer keys in the master bedroom. Another set was in the ignition.

“Thought about waiting for Zoey’s sister, but decided, nah, why bother? Let her come home, have a mental breakdown, call the police, which I was correct, she did.”    

Ferrell claimed that Anderson wanted to dump the bodies in the swimming pool.  “And I was like… that’s just sick, and for another, no.”

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