Shocking true story of Scream films serial killer who raped & murdered 5 teens

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The Scream franchise has been delighting horror fans for the past 25 years and the trailer of the latest installment has got them excited once again.

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But the hits – which have grossed over £520 million at the box office – were inspired by a real-life killing spree, which saw five students murdered and mutilated over the course of three days.

Serial killer Danny Rowling was raped, murdered and five students were hackedCredits: Wikipedia
The latest film in the Scream franchise is set to end in January

The latest film in the Scream franchise is set to end in Januarycredits: PA

Danny Rowling – known as The Gainesville Ripper – broke into student housing in the University of Florida City in August 1990.


There the Twisted Killer raped four women before stabbing them, crushing their bodies and leaving them in a sexually provocative pose.

One victim was beheaded and her head was placed on a shelf in front of her mutilated body.

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Rowling also stabbed a male student who woke up when the criminal was breaking in.

She was finally caught a few months later, after former neighbor Cindy Jurasich linked the attacks to three brutal murders in her hometown of Louisiana.

the Scream Writer Kevin Williamson got the idea for teen slasher films after watching a documentary on Rowling in 1994, when he was sentenced to death that year.

Rollings claimed that he intended to be a “superstar” like American serial killer Ted Bundy.

As fans eagerly await the fifth film to be released in January 2022, we take a look at the actual Ghostface and the shocking true story behind the movies.

Triple murder and rape in hometown

Rowling’s killing spree began in November 1989, when she lost her job at a restaurant in Shreveport.

That same night, he broke into a house in the city and killed three members of the same family – William Grissom, 55, daughter Julie, 24, and his eight-year-old nephew Sean.

Julie was raped before being stabbed. Rolling then washed her and turned her body into a pose on the bed with her legs apart. Bite marks were found all over his body.

Rowling’s next victim was her abusive father, James, a police officer whom she shot during a family argument in May 1990.

James survived but lost one ear and one eye. Rowling later fled the city, moving to Florida, where she had always dreamed of a better life.

Neighbor Cindy previously told ABC: “She always told us, ‘One day, I’m going to leave this town and I’m going to go to a place where girls are beautiful and I can go and see beautiful women all day’ Am’. “.

Upon arriving in Gainesville, Rowling set up camp in a woodwork behind the university campus, and on August 24, 1990, she used a screwdriver to break into the homes of freshers Christina Powell, 17, and Sonja Larson, 18.

He passed by Christina, who was sleeping on the couch, and made his way into the bedroom, where he attacked Sona, tapped her mouth and stabbed her to death.

He then returned to the living room where he grabbed Christina, tied her wrist, cut off her clothes and raped her before putting her to death.

Rolling then removed the duct tape, washed both carcasses and arranged them in the stirrer state.

Two days later, after not listening to their daughter, Christina’s parents came to the flat and, with no response, asked the building’s manager, Betty Curnett, to open the flat.

Betty enters the apartment with a caretaker and comes face to face with the horrifying scene.

“I saw that girl on the bed. you can see [she was] In a bad situation, and I just turned around and walked out,” she recalled.

“My maintenance guy, unfortunately, ran down the stairs shouting ‘oh my god’ and came out and threw up. And the sad, sad thing about it was that our parents were behind us on the stairs.”

Christina’s mutilated body was found on the floor, while Sonia, who had been stabbed in her arms and torso, lay naked on the bed with her feet on the floor and her hair out.

dead victim’s head cut off

Rowling strikes again the night after the double murder, breaking into 18-year-old student Krista Hoyt’s flat using a knife and screwdriver.

Not finding anyone in the house, he lay waiting for the girl, caught her in the chokehold as soon as she returned.

He then taped her mouth and wrists before raping her in bed and stabbing her in the back.

Amazingly, the killer later returned to the scene believing that he had left his wallet behind, and decided to further mutilate it, beheading it before placing it on a shelf.

Christa’s heartbroken mother Diana said of the murder: “My husband would just sit and say, ‘Just tell me she died instantly. Tell me she didn’t mind.’

“These police officers told Gary that she died immediately from the first stab, which was true, but it was several hours before that.”

Two days later, on August 27, Manuel Taboda and Tracy Pauls, both of Rolling Florida University students, broke into the flat of 23.

Rowling fatally stabs Manuel before heading to Tracy’s room, where he tapes her wrist before stripping, raping and stabbing her three times.

Tracy was found lying on the bed and police found soap on her lower body, where once again, Rowling had washed her victim.

Sonja was the first of the students attacked by Rowling.

Sonja was the first of the students attacked by
Krista dies of multiple stab wounds at the hands of Rowling

Krista dies of multiple stab wounds at the hands of Rowlingcredit:
Manuel Taboda and Tracy Pauls were Rowling's final victims

Manuel Taboda and Tracy Pauls were Rowling’s final victimscredit: AP

Frightening Tape and Tip Off

As the body count rose, parents panicked and many took their children out of town.

Two weeks after the attacks, Rowling was arrested for an armed robbery in the nearby town of Ocala, and her woodland hideaway was searched.

Police found a bag full of money that a quick-thinking bank assistant had tipped off during the robbery, as well as a screwdriver, knife and a gun.

Since none of his murders involved a firearm, they failed to link Rowling to the murders.

Police also found a cassette player, but importantly did not hear the tapes inside until months later.

Instead they focused on another suspect, 18-year-old Edward Humphrey, who was arrested for assaulting his grandmother and known to have a fascination with knives and a history of mental health problems.

Cindy Jurasich, who had read about the Florida murders, was convinced that the Grissom family murders were linked to Florida and called the police to suggest they look at Rowling.

Investigators then listened to the tapes—and called Rolling “Mystery Rider, what’s your name? You’re a murderer, a drifter, gone mad.”

He also apologized to his family for going down the “wrong path” and described the best way to kill a deer.

Convinced that they had their man, police examined the screwdriver, which matched the model used for the prize, unlocked the victims’ doors, and found his blood type – B – matching semen at the scene. .

A dead body was pulled out after the first double murder

A dead body was pulled out after the first double murdercredit: Image Content Services
Painted money, a screwdriver, a knife and a gun were found at Rowling's camp

Painted money, a screwdriver, a knife and a gun were found at Rowling’s campcredit: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

‘Evil Driven Ego Replacement’

Rowling eventually confessed to the crimes, claiming that she had multiple personalities that inspired her.

One, named Yanad—”Danny” written backwards—was described as a bad person, but not evil.

The second, more sinister personality was named “Gemini” and Rowling claimed that he was the killer.

At trial, prosecutors rejected several personality claims, saying that Rowling had borrowed ideas from Exorcist III, whom she had witnessed shortly before the murders.

Rowling was convicted of the rape and murders of the students in 1994, and was sentenced to death – although she was never charged with the Shreveport murders.

He died of lethal injection at Florida State Prison in 2006.

Before dying he handed a note to a pastor confessing to the murders of William, Julie and Sean Grissom.

A memorial painted on the wall in Gainesville ensures the names of the five tragic students are never forgotten.

Krista’s mother Diana Hoyt told ABC, “It’s the place to go for all of us families … and the names of our kids are still living there.”

“They are gone, but their memory will endure forever,” said Manuel’s sister Mario Taboda.

“In a way, talking [Manny], as I sometimes do with people who knew him … they are alive for that moment, and so, it’s comforting.”

The door of Christina Powell and Sonja Larsen's flat was priceless open

The door of Christina Powell and Sonja Larsen’s flat was priceless opencredit: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

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Rolling's tape recorder provided one final clue

Rolling’s tape recorder provided one final cluecredit: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
Rowling confesses to killing student

Rowling confesses to killing studentcredit: AP
Supporters of the death penalty outside Florida prison over Rowling's execution

Supporters of the death penalty outside Florida prison over Rowling’s executioncredit: AP
Drew Barrymore starred in the original Scream movie

Drew Barrymore starred in the original Scream moviecredit: Buena Vista International

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