Today in our wrongful death serial series, we’re going to be covering a serial killer by the name of Danny Rolling, also known as the Gainesville Ripper. Like other serial killers we’ve covered in this series, Rolling grew up in an abusive household. He faced both verbal and physical abuse, likely influencing his criminal life later on.
In this blog, we’re going to cover Rolling’s crimes, which include his victim’s wrongful death cases, as well as how he was finally captured and what his sentence was. The team of wrongful death lawyers here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates hopes that this series will help bring wrongful death lawsuits to your attention. While it is something we all hope never happens, a law firm can help during a tragedy similar to the ones found in this series.
When he was a teenager, Rolling was arrested several times for robberies and once for spying on a woman. A more serious crime would occur in May of 1990 when he attempted to murder his father during a family argument; Rolling’s father lost an eye and an ear during the incident. That same year in August, Rolling would continue his crime spree, though this time, in a more cynical and serious manner. Rolling would go on to murder five students during a burglary and robbery spree in Gainesville, Florida. The “Gainesville Ripper” would use a knife to cut his victims’ clothes off and then go on to sexually assault the victim before killing them. Rolling would even go as far as to mutilate the bodies, sometimes even using mirrors to pose them a certain way.
A month after these murders, police arrested Rolling in Ocala on a burglary charge. Authorities matched his tools to the marks left on the Gainesville murder victims during an investigation, and in 1994, Rolling plead guilty to all charges before his trial even began. Rolling’s aimed to become a “superstar” similar to Ted Bundy, stating that was his primary motive. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection and eventually executed on October 25th, 2006.
Before his execution, Rolling’s also wrote a handwritten confession and apology for three murders he committed in 1989; a triple homicide which remained unsolved up until his confession.
To our knowledge, a wrongful death lawsuit was never filed against Rolling’s estate by any of the victims’ families.