Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Little History - Danny Rolling

Daniel Harold Rolling (born 26 May 1954),

known as the "Gainesville Ripper", is the convicted murderer and mutilator of five students in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1990.

He was also suspected of—but never tried on—a triple homicide on November 24, 1989, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the attempted murder of his father in May 1990.

As a result of his murder convictions, Rolling is scheduled to die by lethal injection on October 25, 2006, at 6 p.m. EST.

Danny Rolling was born to James and Claudia Rolling. His father was abusive to both him and his mother, and later his brother, Kevin. Claudia Rolling made repeated attempts to leave her husband, but always returned. Rolling's father was a police officer.

After several incarcerations as a teen and young adult for a string of robberies in Georgia, Rolling had trouble trying to assimilate into society and hold down a steady job. Finally, after years of abuse, Rolling attempted to kill his father during an argument with the elder Rolling.

He later fled to the state of Florida where he began his burglary and robbery spree, which culminated in the murders of five people in Gainesville. His signature was to arrange the bodies in such a way as to highlight the carnage in the rooms — this even included setting up several mirrors.

Although law enforcement authorities initially had very few leads and the investigation dragged on for years, Rolling was eventually charged with several counts of murder, and Alachua County State Attorney Rod Smith oversaw the prosecution.

Rolling was convicted nearly four years after the murders occurred, and sentenced to the death penalty in each case.

A second man, Edward Humphrey of Indialantic, Florida, was considered an initial suspect in the Gainesville murders; authorities cleared him of all charges after Rolling's arrest.

Rolling aided the writing career of Sondra London, who met him in prison while working with Gerard John Schaefer and other serial killers.

Rolling and the Gainesville murders are the subject of the book Beyond Murder by John Philpin and John Donnelly. The murders have been suggested to have been the inspiration for the original screenplay for Scream, though the similarities may merely be circumstantial.

Rolling was the subject of an episode of "Body of Evidence: From the Case Files of Dayle Hinman", a Court TV show. During Rolling's trial, Court TV ran an interview with his mother from her home, during which someone shouting and complaining (presumably Rolling's father) off-camera can be heard.

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