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Vampire cult leader is sentenced to death

The teen-age leader of a vampire cult was sentenced to death for killing a couple with a crow-bar after traveling to Florida with cult members to help the couple's daughter run away.

Rod Ferrell, 17, showed little emotion as state Circuit Judge Jerry Lockett followed the jury's recommendation.

"I think you are a disturbed young man," Lockett said Friday.

Ferrell, of Murray, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to killing Richard Wendorf and Naoma Ruth Queen of Eustis, about 30 miles northwest of Orlando, on Nov. 25, 1996.

Ferrell and 3 members of his blood-sucking cult left Kentucky for Florida to help their daughter, Heather Wendirf, leave.

She was inducted into the cult, whose members took drugs, engagged in group sex and drank one another's blood, investigators said. Ferrell told a friend that he needed to kill people to open the "gates to hell," according to police.

Charges against Miss Wendorf were dropped when a grand jury failed to indict. Lockett urged the prosecution to try again.

"It is the strong suggestion of this court that the grand jury be reconvened," Lockett said. "There is genuine evil in the world. There is dark side and light side competing in each of us."

There are still some unanswered questions in Miss Wendrof's role in slaying, the judge said, adding that some witnesses who testified in Ferrell's sentencing hearing did not speak to the grand jury.

Ferrell's mother, Sondra Gibson, said her son didn't deserve the death penalty.