How to cover the craziest crime story without going crazy yourself (allegedly).
The slaying of the parents of a vampire cultist in Eustis in 1996 sparked international headlines, especially when the couple’s 15- year-old daughter left with the group. Was she a victim or a participant? The debate continues to this day.
Based on Frank Stanfield’s “Cold Blooded,” this lecture details Constitutional battles over free press vs. a defendant’s right to a fair trial, mental illness, the treatment of juveniles in the justice system, fascination with the occult, comparisons to Charles Manson, spiritual warfare, sex abuse and the influence of pop culture on vulnerable teens.
It also deals with the struggles journalists must overcome to get the story — and get it right without further sensationalizing the already sensational.
Frank Stanfield has been a newspaper editor and reporter for 40 years, including for the Orlando Sentinel and the Daily Commercial. He has written three true crime books, including his latest, “Cold Blooded,” A True Crime Story of a Murderous Teenage Vampire Cult.” Frank has appeared on several true crime documentaries, including Discovery ID, Oxygen, Court TV and the Hallmark Movie Channel.