Serial Killer Of Florida College Students To Be Executed

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Governor Jeb Bush has signed a warrant for the execution of Danny Rolling, the man convicted of murdering five college students in 1990.

Rolling, 52, is considered one of Florida’s most notorious serial killers, along with Ted Bundy and Aileen Wuiornos. He killed five students at the Gainesville campus of University of Florida (UF) in 1990. Four of his victims were young women with dark hair. His fifth victim was the roommate of one of the other victims. Three of his female victims were raped, stabbed and mutilated. Rolling decapitated one of them and placed the head so it faced the front door for police to see when they entered.

All of his victims – Christi Powell, 17; Sonja Larson, 18; Christa Hoyt, 18; Tracy Paules, 23; and Manny Taboada, 23 –  were students attending UF or Santa Fe Community College. Because of the hysteria that ensued as a result of the attacks, several hundred students left that semester and did not return.

Although police conducted a massive investigation into the murders, Rolling was originally apprehended for an unrelated robbery in September of 1990. He pleaded guilty to that crime. Only later was he determined to be the perpetrator of the Gainesville killings when blood tests linked him to those cases. Rolling pleaded guilty to the attacks in 1994.

Authorities also suspect Rolling of committing three other murders in Shreveport, La., although he was never prosecuted for those crimes.

Rolling exhausted all of his appeals in June and is scheduled to be executed Oct. 25.

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