Gainesville Ripper Had 'Very Specific Victim Type,' Targeted Only Brunette Students
Killer raped college girls and posed them in sexually-explicit positions once dead.
“Sonja Larson, Christina Powell and Christa Hoyt all have one thing in common,” Murder Made Me Famous host, Steve Helling, starts off by saying in the teaser for REELZ’s new docuseries, Murder Made Me Famous: The Gainesville Ripper. As OKMagazine.com readers know, Danny Rolling, also known as The Gainesville Ripper, terrified the city of Gainesville, Florida when he tortured and killed five college students in 1990 — some who he raped and posed in sexually-explicit positions when dead.
When he was finally arrested a pled guilty to his crimes, Rolling said that he murdered his innocent victims because he wanted to be “a star” like 1970s serial killer Ted Bundy.
“Danny Rolling, much like Ted Bundy, had a very specific victim type,” forensic social worker Tricia Phelps says in the show promo.
“When you look at all of his victims, they all had brown hair and brown eyes. That’s most likely what he was sexually interested in.” adds Serial Killer Culture filmmaker John Borowski.
“I had a daughter who was right then a teenager, a small, brunette teenager at the time and so, like everybody else, I was scared to death,” recalls former state attorney Rod Smith.
“And to add to the hysteria, nobody had a clue who did it,” says Helling.
“Danny was able to get away with what he did because he was incredibly adapt at, at least outwardly, confirming to our norms and standards. He knew how to behave in a store, he knew how to observe and watch people without being caught,” continues Phelps, recalling the seemingly normal life the crazed killer led before his arrest.
He blended into the college campuses and became almost invisible while hunting for prey.
“You’d never notice him in a crowd. That’s the frightening thing about these guys. When people say ‘Well he lived here. I never noticed that about him,'” says Smith.
Murder Made Me Famous: The Gainesville Ripper airs Saturday, November 24 at 8 ET / PT.