Since 1996, the Scream franchise has captivated many audiences with its horrific twists and gore. But, did you know the original story of Scream (1996) is based on a real case from Florida?
The Scream Script That Came From The News Story
Nerdist says Scream‘s head screenwriter Kevin Williamson came across the 1990 news story of a Florida man who killed 8 people after breaking into their homes. He realized just how easy it would be for an intruder to break into his own home, which inspired him to write a 15-page script of a teenage girl alone at home when an intruder calls and taunts her.
Biography.com says this Florida man was named Danny Rolling. He went on a killing rampage, first murdering 3 people in a home, then 5 college students in a span of 3 days. How did he become a killer?
Abusive Home Life
Rolling grew up in an abusive home in Louisiana, which led to several suicide attempts as he grew older. As an adult, he couldn’t hold a very steady job and found solace in the church. He married once to a woman named O’Mather Halko, with whom he had a daughter. But, that marriage ended after he abused his family in similar ways as his father had abused him and his brother.
After he destroyed his own marriage, he turned to violence and crime. He committed armed robbery on multiple occasions as well as violence against women.
Turning To Murder
His first murders occurred in 1989 after he was fired from a job at a restaurant. He broke into a home and killed three people including 24-year-old Julie Grissom, her 8-year-old nephew Sean, and her 55-year-old father, Tom.
After that, he confronted his abusive father and shot him, though not fatally. Rolling then fled to Gainesville where he murdered 5 victims in 3 days: Christina Powell, Sonja Larson, Christa Hoyt, Manuel Toboada, and Tracy Paules. All 5 victims were college students killed in their apartments.
Rolling left Gainesville and evaded arrest for the murders for almost 2 years. Eventually, he was arrested for another robbery, and his DNA linked him back to the murders. He was charged in June 1992.
But, Why Did He Do It?
Just before his trial, Rolling changed to a guilty plea. Biography.com says the reason why Rolling claimed he committed the crimes was because of notoriety and an alternate personality called Gemini. He was sentenced to death for the murders and was executed in 2006 via lethal injection.
Read more about this true crime case that inspired Scream on Biography.com.