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The Case of the Gainesville Ripper

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by gatorchamps0607, Dec 28, 2021.

  1. gatorchamps0607

    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta Premium Member

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    I watch this channel on Youtube called "That Chapter" and he goes over cold cases, murders, mysteries, and anything along those lines. He posted today about the Gainesville Ripper and I figured I'd share it because he mentions the University. Oh and he does mention that Florida is "one of the best" so there's that lol.

    I dropped it here because Im not sure if this brings up any type of bad memories from the time and I apologize if so.

     
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  2. dadx4

    dadx4 GC Hall of Fame

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    I was a senior at UF when all of this was going on. We had 8 girls staying with us in our 4br in Spyglass and we all bought guns AFTER he killed the boyfriend of the one girls. It was nuts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
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  3. littlebluelw

    littlebluelw Premium Member

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    That was a weird time in G.
     
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  4. buckeyegator

    buckeyegator Premium Member

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    those of us who were in gainesville will never forget, and to this day the middle section of the 34th street graphic wall where the names are painted is sacred ground, no one dares mess with it.
     
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  5. BigCypressGator1981

    BigCypressGator1981 GC Hall of Fame

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    Holy $hit. I hate guns but yeah that’s a great reason to buy one. Did they catch this dude?
     
  6. BigCypressGator1981

    BigCypressGator1981 GC Hall of Fame

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    Wow didn’t know this either. Are there pics?
     
  7. gatorchamps0607

    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta Premium Member

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    Ya they caught him. He was in jail when they went looking for him (after they figured out who it was). He was in jail for trying to rob a supermarket at the time.
     
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  8. buckeyegator

    buckeyegator Premium Member

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    [QUOTEgooglegoogle gainesville 34th street wall-wikipedia, scroll down to memorials, picture on the right hand sde.="BigCypressGator1981, post: 13328895, member: 26647"]Wow didn’t know this either. Are there pics?[/QUOTE]
     
  9. gatorchamps0607

    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

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    Yep. He's dead now.
    Danny Rolling - Wikipedia
     
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  11. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    We're at least two crime documentaries
    on the tube detailing that sad crime by that unhinged individual.
     
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  12. gatorchamps960608

    gatorchamps960608 GC Hall of Fame

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    I could see one of the crime scenes from my bedroom window. They were scary times. Many people had their kids come home until it was resolved. As it turned out, before the first victim had been found, he was already in jail in Ocala for a robbery.
     
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  13. gatordavisl

    gatordavisl VIP Member

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    Since this is not a familiar story for you, I'll do my best to give the Cliff's notes version. 1990 and it was an exciting time to be a Gator, with Steve Spurrier coming in to coach the football team. We also had a new and savvy president named John Lombardi, who came from Johns Hopkins University. Just before classes began, reports emerged of two girls who were brutally murdered in their off-campus apartment (I think it was Williamsburg, near Shands). A couple days later, a Sheriff's dispatcher(?) who did not show up for work was found murdered in a similar fashion. Killed in her apartment and a sliding glass door had been pried open using a screw driver. At this time there was a bigger sense of hysteria coming on, esp. after reports that the killer had beheaded the victim and posed the head on a bookshelf to achieve shock value from those who would enter the crime scene.

    Things would get even worse. Soon after, a girl and a guy were found dead in their Gatorwood apartment. This was different, because a man was involved. Manny was not a small guy - he was over 6' and was an accomplished HS wrestler. While the murders stopped, the fear did not. There were news satellite vans all over Gainesville. Never seen anything like it. One night we were driving along SW 20th avenue, which is a vein from 34th ST to the mall and Tower Rd, etc. Well there were lines of patrol cars on both sides of the road - easily 40 cop cars. Again, never seen anything like it. This was the moment at which the police located Danny Rolling's camp. Among the items in the camp were the screw driver used to break into the apartments and a small radio containing a cassette tape. The tape included songs and maybe some poems, but also a proclamation from the killer that he had to move along now because he had something to do.

    The episode lasted a few months before the killer was found. Many students left Gainesville for their hometowns, withdrawing from school. A young man who had scars on his face had emerged as a suspect. He was troubled, had a violent past, and knew one of the victims. This was just another sad part of the story, as the young man was vilified, but innocent of these particular crimes.

    And since I mentioned the killer's name, I must include the victim's names:
    Sonia Larson
    Kristina Powell
    Christa Hoyta
    Manuel Taboada
    Tracy Paules

    I was a junior at UF in 1990. Like others, we had many people staying in our small 3bdrm apartment. Every night going to bed was frightening, with the feeling that a Jack-the-Ripper style killer was on the loose. I was back in Gville for grad school in 2006 when that son of a bitch was executed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
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  14. phatGator

    phatGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the summary. I lived in Williamsburg 12 years earlier.
     
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  15. G8trGr8t

    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    Cousin was a deputy in Clay County and it was my senior year. He would come to town and we would ride the roads looking for anything amiss. I was sure we were going to get arrested or shot but it was hard to sit and do nothing. I think I lived on about 3 hours of sleep during that time
     
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  16. ATLGATORFAN

    ATLGATORFAN Premium Member

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    I was there. Crazy time. I also went to the trial and pseudo met him( we were about 3 to 4 feet apart. Also his crazy GF/ wife in the elevator. My GF at the time was working her way through med school and sat down with him during a psych rotation in starke. Crazy times. Some of the quotes from The trial were crazy. How he almost got caught. How manny T almost overpowered him even though he stabbed him in his sleep. Many more memories and stories. Needless to say that was a Huge impact on my time in G ville
     
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  17. Spurffelbow833

    Spurffelbow833 GC Hall of Fame

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    I still remember getting a call at work from the father of a coworker I barely knew after all the bodies had turned up. He jumped all over me for letting her leave work without telling me where she was going after she left, as if the whereabouts of a strange young woman were any of my business. Everybody was freaking out. I was so glad I lived way out in the county away from town.
     
  18. flg8rfan

    flg8rfan Senior

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    It was definitely a crazy time. We had a bunch of people stay over because their roommates went back home and they didn’t want to stay in their apartments alone. Being the first person to get home after work took a lot of guts to go into the house and make sure it was empty.

    The whole town was on edge
     
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  19. citygator

    citygator VIP Member

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    Gainesville had a lot of high profile
    murders while I was in school.

    In 1989, 3 Steak & Shake employees were forced into a freezer and shot in the head and a few months later Tiffany Sessions went for a jog at 4pm and never returned home. Shortly after in 1990 Danny Rollins killed these 5 students. Then a few months later in 1991, in my apartment complex, 2 women were strangled to death by a carpet cleaner.

    Gainesville seemed too small for all that to happen. I pretty much only remember the good stuff though.
     
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  20. ursidman

    ursidman VIP Member

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    In the mid to late 90’s I knew the lead detective (I think he was lead) on the case(coached his kid and nephew a couple of seasons) and the things he saw and the murder scenes he spent so much time at, and the pressure he was under to find the killer still affected him. Quiet and good man.