When it comes to the horrifying things humans are capable of doing to one another, we often think of murder as one of the most heinous, the most unpleasant - and the most unforgivable.
When cults and vampires are involved, though, murder can still sometimes find a way to become even more horrific.
Particularly in the case of...
The Murder of Naomi Ruth Queen and Richard Wendoff
On November 25, 1996, in Eustis, Florida, a young woman named Jennifer Wendoff came home to find that her parents, Naomi Ruth Queen and Richard Wendoff had been brutally murdered.
The couple had both been beaten to death with a crowbar, Queen while in the shower, Wendoff while lying on the couch.
The Vampire Clan
Their murderers, though, were no ordinary killers. Instead, the victims were killed by a group known as 'The Vampire Clan,' and, in particular, a young man named Rod Ferrell.
Based in Murray, Kentucky, the Vampire Clan were a group of teenagers who believed that they were, in fact, vampires. Ferrell in particular had embraced both the lifestyle and the identity of a vampire - claiming to in fact be a 500-year old creature named Vesago.
The Vampire Clan reportedly took part in many of the traditional activities of vampires - including drinking the blood of others. As the man who first initiated Ferrell into vampirism put it:
“Bloodletting can be a sexual act, vampires are very sensual. The embrace, whether it be male on male, female on female, is sexual. It’s the taking of one’s fluid into your body, the joining of souls and spirits that have walked the earth for thousands of years.”
The Cause for Murder
The prompt for the murder of Queen and Wendoff, though, was somewhat less macabre.
One of the group, Heather Wendoff, had run away from a home that she dubbed "hell" - and in November 1996, her complaints were seemingly taken up by Ferrell.
Ferrell and an accomplice, Howard Scott Anderson, traveled to Florida, and entered the victims' home through their unlocked garage. Then, Ferrell beat them to death with a crowbar that they found there.
He was sixteen years old.
The pair fled the scene, and along with Heather and two other Vampire Clan members, Charity Keesee and Dana Lynn Cooper made their way towards New Orleans.
By the time they had made their way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, though, they were intercepted by police, and eventually extradited to Florida for trial.
Ferrell plead guilty to charges of felony murder in February 1998, and was sentenced to death. His accomplices were given lesser sentences, though Anderson was sentenced to live in prison.
You can watch an interview with Ferrell, from prison, in the video below:
At the time, Ferrell was actually the youngest prisoner on Death Row in the US - before, in November 2000, the Florida Supreme Court decided to reduce his sentence to life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.
Within a few years, the infamous case had become increasingly famous - even, in 2002, leading to a movie adaptation, Vampire Clan, starring Drew Fuller as Ferrell.
Which you can see more of, in trailer form, right here:
In the end, though, Ferrell remains in prison - despite recent attempts to get a new sentencing hearing - with the chilling judgement of the man who first initiated him into the Vampire Clan presumably ringing in his ears: He breached the vampiric code:
"There was no bloodletting. He did not take from them.”
For more on the Vampire Clan, and the deaths of Naomi Ruth Queen and Richard Wendoff, it's well worth checking out the documentary below: