Inside real-life Scream killers crimes – teen decapitated to chilling tape

A retired cop who helped to capture the killer who inspired the film Scream said the "heinous" events still haunt him 30 years later.

Don Maines, 70, was a special agent in August 1990 when five students were brutally murdered near the University of Florida campus by Danny Rolling.

The first victims of the so-called Gainesville Ripper were Christina Powell, 17, and Sonja Larson, 18.

The murderer broke into the teens' apartment, where he raped and stabbed them both to death.

Two days later, Larson's body was found nude and lying on her back on her bed. Her legs were draped over the side of the bed, with her hands above her head and her hair fanned out.

Powell's body was found in a similar position downstairs.

Both of the victims' bodies had also been mutilated. Powell's nipples had been cut off with a knife.

When police investigated the murder scene, they found a paper towel in the corner of the kitchen with the murderer's semen in it. They made a similar discovery in the woods behind the apartment.

Don Maines told The Sun: "The murder of students at the University of Florida was unique enough, but then we had someone who had gone into an apartment, killed two girls, and mutilated and raped them.

"That was the striking part of it all – and that's what sent out the initial shock among the local community."

Just eight hours later – two miles away – investigators found 18-year-old Christa Leigh Hoyt decapitated and disemboweled inside her bedroom.

  • 'Dracula' killer who violently mutilated neighbour dies in prison after heart attack

Her severed head had been placed on a shelf, positioned to face her body, which had been propped up on her bed in a sexual pose.

48 hours later, 23-year-old students, Manuel Taboada and Tracy Paules were found butchered inside of the apartment they shared.

Like the other women before her, Paules was tragically bound, raped, stabbed to death, and later posed seductively.

The women's bodies had all been wiped down with a cleaning agent after they had been killed.

Paules was the Gainesville Ripper's fifth and final victim, before the monster seemed to completely vanish.

In the months after the killings, police investigated over 6,000 leads and investigated 657 potential suspects.

Maines said it wasn't until months later that a break in the case arrived, when police were alerted to an unsolved triple murder in Shreveport, Louisiana, which had a striking resemblance to the Gainesville killings.

Julie Grissom, 24, her nephew Sean, 8, and her father Tom, 55, were all murdered at their home in November 1989.

When Maines went to Shreveport to investigate, he discovered that Julie's body had been posed in a similar position to the Gainesville victims.

Shortly afterwards, a woman named Cindy Juracich called Crimestoppers and urged cops to look into a man called Danny Rolling in connection to the murders.

She had grown up with Rolling and believed him to be responsible for the brutal slayings.

Investigators soon learned that Rolling had multiple previous convictions for armed robbery.

On the same day of Christa Hoyt's murder, police also responded to a bank robbery half a mile from her home.

During the robbery, the bank teller had placed a red dye pack into a bag of money.

That night, an officer spotted a suspicious man lurking near a woods, who he tracked to a campsite.

While the man had vanished, the officer found a screwdriver at the campsite, along with a bag of money stained with red dye and a cassette player with a tape inside.

At this time, Danny Rolling was already imprisoned for a robbery he'd committed 10 days after the bodies of Paules and Taboada were found.

Maines visited Rolling in prison and asked him to provide a blood sample for their investigation, to which he "calmly" obliged.

The three blood samples were found to be a match to all three crime scenes in Gainesville.

Maines said he was "elated" when the results came back, knowing investigations finally had "the monster we've been looking for."

When police listened to the tape they found at the campsite, they heard a man talking and singing lyrics like: "You’re a killer, a drifter gone insane… You’re a rebel no one can tame."

He identified himself as Danny Harold Rolling.

Rolling was sentenced to death on April 20, 1994. He was executed 12 years later via lethal injection.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

Source: Read Full Article