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A serial rapist and killer who terrorized Gainesville, Florida in the fall of 1990 with the murders of five young college students, has been assigned an execution date by Gov. Jeb Bush. Danny Harold Rolling, who plead guilty to the murders in 1994, is scheduled to be executed Oct. 25 after having exhausted all of his appeals.

"Signing death warrants is one of the governor's most solemn duties," Bush spokeswoman Alia Faraj said. "Danny Rolling exhausted his appeals and this is the next step in the process."

The bodies of five college students, some of whom were mutilated and posed, were discovered over a three-day period in August 1990 as students were returning to the University of Florida campus after summer break.

Rolling, the son of a Louisiana policeman, wore black clothes, a ski mask and glove, and camped out in the woods during his Gainesville crime spree. When he was arrested for the robbery of a grocery store in nearby Ocala, the Gainesville killings stopped, but investigators did not connect him to the murder until five months later.

Authorities in Shreveport, Louisiana, where Rolling is suspected in three murders, contacted Florida investigators and suggested they look at Rolling for the Gainesville murders. It was then that they matched Rolling's DNA to samples taken at the crime Gainesville scenes.

The Victims

The reign of terror began in Gainesville on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 26, 1990, when roommates Sonja Larson, 18, and Christina Powell, 17, were found dead in their townhouse apartment near the University of Florida campus. Both had been stabbed and Powell was raped and mutilated.

The following day, Christa Hoyt, 18, a records clerk at the Alachua County Sheriff's Office who planned to attend the university after community college, was found in her duplex where she lived alone. She had been decapitated and raped.

The next day, roommates Manuel R. Toboada, 23, and Tracy Inez Paules, 23, who shared an Gatorwood Apartments unit, were found dead in their apartment. Police believe Toboada was stabbed in his sleep. Paules had been sexually assaulted.

"We don't much care if they burn him, stick him or hang him, as long as they kill him," said George Paules, Tracy's father told the Associated Press.

See Also:
Gov. Jeb Bush Signs Death Warrant for Danny Harold Rolling

More Information:
Serial Killers and Mass Murderers

More Crime News:
Top Stories
Current Investigations and Trials


September 1, 2008 at 4:11 am
(1) name says:

Good day!,

September 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm
(2) Gainesville Apartments and Condominiums says:

This is so disturbing. It makes me want to be more careful. Women should realize the danger they are in when they go out alone. Everyone should always be on their guard.

December 2, 2010 at 10:05 am
(3) Ted Trotter says:

The passing of the 20 year anniversary this August, should send a cold reminder to everyone that this situation (controlling the crazy) hasn’t gotten any better. There are MORE people than ever on meds, and in nearly all cases that person who NEEDS them is in complete control of whether or not they take them. Also, Police has lost the ability to enforce laws, and keep citizens safe, because certain forces out there would rather keep privacy and issue, orver safety…so, you’re pretty much on your own girls (and guys). Take a moment to make sure you know this.

April 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm
(4) Jason | Article Rewriter says:

These kind of people disgust me. Makes my blood boil. So wrong in every way.

I agree–”We don’t much care if they burn him, stick him or hang him, as long as they kill him,” said George Paules, Tracy’s father told the Associated Press.

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