I'm a University of Florida Graduate. After many long years, Danny Rolling will likely die today.
Daniel Harold Rolling is the convicted murderer and mutilator of five students in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1990. He was also suspected of—but never tried on—a triple homicide on November 4, 1989, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the attempted murder of his father in May 1990.
Here is a posting from a Florida graduate on what happened sixteen years ago. This world will be better with Rolling dead:
"It was the summer of 1990. I had transferred in to begin the accelerated first year architectural design sequence at the University of Florida. The first few years in this program is where I met most of my lifelong friends. Friends that I can relate to, trust and respect… Manual Taboada was one of these friends. We worked together into the late hours/ early morning countless times and when time permitted, we had fun. Manny was a free spirit, intellectual, creative athletic type, if there is such a thing. I recall seeing his long pony tail and wondering what the hell a 6’-3” 225 lbs. guy had to do with 2 feet long hair… but then again, maybe it was just hair envy, as mine began receding that year. Manny was a jokester. He was a guy that could make me laugh just be being himself. One night at a party that featured one of the architectural bands, Manny and I began a chant to get the group to play a request. “Step by Step”; it was some cheesie boy band song, and the chant was in jest. The guys on stage didn’t seem to think it was funny, but to all around, to see two big guys cheering on as such, it was hysterical. Later in the semester, Manny and I got together a fair amount of talent to organize our first flag football team. We saw the chance of participating in a sport, and reliving our high school football years as a means of breaking the monotony of studio. We looked forward to playing that fall. On Sunday, August 26th, I visited Manny at his apartment. I got a chance to meet his roommate, Tracy Paules… She was a hottie, but that’s all I got to know about her. We went outside to throw the football around and shoot the #badword#. The following day, Manny was missing at the studio.
Gainesville was already in turmoil over the deaths of some local coeds, and a rumor had started that a guy was killed also. For the life of me, I never thought there was a chance that a serial killer could go unnoticed against someone of Manny’s stature. I wondered where he was, but wasn’t really considering anything could have happened to him. When the news hit that Manny was one of the victims, that’s when, in my opinion, all hell broke lose in Gainesville. Prior to that, I could comfort my girlfriend with reassurance… after that point, we, as a couple, found others who where experiencing the same fears as us. I recall relocating to another architecture student’s apartment. We slept on the floor, huddled with about 12 guys and girls. Someone stood up to stand watch. Under each pillow was a weapon. I had a long blade. Others had guns. We were indeed scared.
Once the dust settled (if it ever really did), and Rollings was caught, my pain was eased slightly, but Gainesville was different. It lost a little bit of charm. It lost a little bit of security. It lost a great guy. I never really got a chance to be great, lifelong friends with Manny, but to me, he’s still a friend to this date. And as his friend, I suggest that the State of Florida re-thinks the death penalty. It is far too humane. I do not think that I would have a problem rounding up a posse and settling the score as it should be settled. Limb from limb, eye for an eye… that dirtbag needs to die painfully.
With respect to Manny; I love you man.
I’m 37 years old now and I still play flag football and draw pretty pictures of buildings.
Manny may have been doing the same thing today.
October 25th, 2006 – It’s about #badword# time."