Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers

Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers

Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers

Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers


How do seemingly "normal" or "ordinary" citizens suddenly find themselves committed to a group whose leader promotes criminal activities and isolation from families and friends? What should you do if a loved one becomes indoctrinated by a potentially dangerous cult? By providing specific accounts of dangerous cults and their destructive acts, Snow illustrates how seemingly innocent groups can turn pernicious when under the sway of a charismatic leader with an agenda, or when members take things too far. He offers advice on how to identify cults, how to protect yourself and your family, and what to do if a loved one is ensnared by such a group.


According to reports in several Florida newspapers, on November 25, 1996, a teenage couple drove to a secluded graveyard in Eustis, Florida. After finding a quiet spot among the tombstones, the young man and woman sliced their arms and then drank each other's blood. This ceremony, part of Heather Wendorf's crossover ritual, initiated her into a vampire cult, a group where drinking each other's blood and engaging in group sex were common activities.

Six hours following Heather's initiation, the leader of the vampire cult, Rod Ferrell, surrounded by fellow cult members, savagely beat Heather's parents to death with a crowbar. Ferrell then branded the battered body of Heather's father with a V to symbolize his cult, which authorities say numbered approximately 30 members. The authorities believe the idea for committing these murders may have come about because Heather had reportedly told Ferrell that her home life was hell and she wanted to escape.

Following the murders, Ferrell, Heather, and three other members of the vampire cult fled from Eustis, driving a Ford Explorer belonging to the murder victims. Several days later, the cult members ended up, broke and hungry, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The police, alerted to the cult members' location when one of the young women belonging to the cult telephoned her mother in South Dakota to ask for money, arrested the five murder suspects in the parking lot of a Howard Johnson's motel in Baton Rouge. A judge eventually sent the five cult members back to Florida to stand trial.

The authorities in Murray, Kentucky, a town of 13,000 in the southwest part of the state, where the cult originated, first became aware of the existence of this vampire cult through the investigation of a break-in at a local . . .

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