24 October 2006 – Danny Rolling
But first to the serial killer, whose name was Danny Harold Rolling. He got a heart-stopping dose of toxins today in 2006 following a spate of macabre felons in Florida.
Although there was one male, his preferred prey was female students, and there were rich pickings in Gainesville, home to the alumni of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.
Sunshine State Florida may be, but Rolling tumbled in like a black cloud shrouding proceedings. For his methods were nothing short of evil. A consummate and sadistic slasher, he used his hunting knife to stab or slit his victims, even to decapitate one of them. Some were sexually abused.
In fact he was so grim that his actions prompted many to dub him the worst killer since Ted Bundy.
Head in a book
And the commentators weren’t wrong. With meticulous precision, Rolling would pose his victims ‘for maximum shock effect’, according to Trutv.com’s Fiona Steel, and in one case he even displayed the dead head on a bookshelf, while the headless corpse was sat on the bed next to her detached nipples, in a truly sick twist.
So what had sparked this killer instinct? He was to blame his dad, who was ironically a police officer based in Louisiana. It all kicked off when Rolling was born – indeed his conception had been a mistake. Naturally, the fact that he was an unwanted child meant that his dad beat him.
So Rolling was able to chart his depravity back to abuse when he was young, but ‘I am not a salivating ogre’ he told Associated Press after he’d been banged up.
For thankfully he had eventually been caught but not before he’d slaughtered five victims. And he was brought into custody for a completely different crime…
Of course, the authorities very nearly got it wrong. They hauled in a victim of circumstance; a man by the name of Edward Humphrey who fitted the mental bill perfectly – violent, with just the right splash of unpredictable and emotionally unhinged behaviour.
Spookily, in the meantime, Rolling had moved south to Ocala, robbing people as he travelled down and luckily leaving a destructive trail of DNA behind, which was to link him to the murders.
Luckily, there he was hauled in for armed robbery after he desperately tried to do over a supermarket on a busy Saturday afternoon. They had no reason to suspect the bloodthirsty monster at this juncture, but at least he was off the streets so the killing stopped.
As they started dredging up facts to uphold a robbery charge, more sinister happenings were unearthed. Three similarly grotesque murders had occurred in Louisiana and it turns out Rolling had even tried to bump off his dad. The evidence just came tumbling out, headed up by his pubic hair and bodily fluids found at scenes of his crimes.
Faced with such damning evidence, Rolling didn’t stand a chance. He played the abuse card and put his actions down to schizophrenia, but none of that cut it in a court of law.
He was sent down to ride out the rest of his short life on death row before the 52-year-old was hooked up to a gurney in 2006, apparently in exactly the same place as his predecessor Ted Bundy. When asked if Rolling had any last words, he rolled out a hymn as the toxins took hold.
This brings us neatly back to God and our next deadly candidate who was bumped off on the same day…