Danny Rolling: Wikis


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Danny Rolling

Danny Rolling
Background information
Birth name: Danny Harold Rolling
Also known as: The Gainesville Ripper
Born: May 26, 1954
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died: October 25, 2006 (aged 52)
Cause of death: Lethal injection
Number of victims: 8
Span of killings: November 4, 1989–August, 1990
Country: United States
State(s): Florida, Louisiana
Date apprehended: November, 1991

Danny Harold Rolling (May 26, 1954 – October 25, 2006), also known as The Gainesville Ripper, was an American convicted killer. After confessing to the murder and mutilation of five students in Gainesville, Florida in August 1990, he was ultimately executed. He also confessed to raping several of his victims, committing an additional 1989 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana,[1] and attempting to murder his father in May 1990. In all, Rolling confessed to killing eight people.


Early years

Danny Rolling was born to James and Claudia Rolling in Shreveport, Louisiana. His father, a police officer, 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.

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. At one point, he worked as a waiter at Pancho's restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1990, Rolling attempted to kill his father during an argument.

The Gainesville Ripper

He later fled to 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 and decapitating and/or posing his victims.

Although law enforcement authorities initially had very few leads, in November 1991 Rolling was charged with several counts of murder, and Alachua County State Attorney Rod Smith oversaw the prosecution. Rolling pleaded guilty in court, nearly four years after the murders occurred. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to the death penalty on each count.

Two other men, one from Indialantic, Florida, were considered initial suspects in the Gainesville murders; authorities cleared both of all suspicion and charges after Rolling's arrest.

Rolling was known for hiding in Ocala, Florida in a wooded area that is now a Home Depot.

Subsequently, Rolling confessed via letter from his spiritual advisor to the Shreveport, Louisiana police, to the killings of 55-year-old William T. Grissom, his 24-year-old daughter Julie and eight-year-old grandson Sean as they got ready for dinner on November 4, 1989, in Grissom's home. Shreveport police alerted Gainesville police to the similarity of the murder scenes, which is what prompted Gainesville Police's interest in Rolling. Shreveport police, though holding an open warrant for his arrest, never pursued extradition, supposing Florida would sentence him to death more easily than Louisiana.


Memorial to the five students on the 34th Street Wall in Gainesville, first painted in 1990.

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.

Rolling was the subject of an episode of Body of Evidence: From the Case Files of Dayle Hinman, a Court TV show (transmitted as Crime Scene USA: Body of Evidence on Discovery Channel in the UK). 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.

A feature film entitled The Gainesville Ripper is currently in production in the Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida areas, based on the accounts of the killings. In the film, Rolling is portrayed by Zachary Memos.

During his incarceration, Rolling wrote and illustrated a horror fiction novel, Sicarius, [2] as well as several songs and poems. His paintings and various musings are now collected as "Murderabilia".


As a result of his murder convictions, Rolling was executed by lethal injection on October 25, 2006, and pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. EDT at Florida State Prison in Starke, approximately 30 miles northeast of Gainesville, Florida, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Rolling's last-ditch appeal.[3] He showed no remorse and refused to make any comments or offer any apology to the relatives of his victims, several of whom were present at his execution as witnesses. His last meal consisted of lobster tail, butterfly shrimp, baked potato, strawberry cheesecake, and sweet tea. Shortly before his execution, Rolling confessed to three other murders, those of the Grissom family in Shreveport.[4]


External links

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