The True Story Behind the Movie Scream

The slasher story Scream is back again after its last release in 2011. In Scream which hits theaters on January 14th, the story of a killer with Ghostface is back to spread terror.
Although Scream is fiction, the story of the killer described by Ghostface is actually derived from a true story, namely the serial murders in Florida in August 1990.

The murder in 1990 was carried out by Danny Rolling, also known as the Gainesville Ripper. He killed five female students in four days. The serial murder case created fear in the community and caused chaos in Florida.
Rolling’s murder has a pattern. He not only killed his victims who were students, but also raped them, mutilated, and even positioned the bodies of his victims in provocative positions.

In carrying out the killings, Rolling always tore off the clothes of his victims, covered their mouths so they wouldn’t scream, locked their hands with handcuffs or tape, raped them, and stabbed them with a knife from behind. Rolling is fairly targeted at random victims. The trick was simple, just prying open the window of the house he observed was inhabited by female students. It was autumn which was the start of a new semester.


Danny Rolling is known to have a bleak childhood history. He was born in Shreveport in 1954 as the son of a father who indulged in indiscriminate domestic violence. Danny’s father, James Rolling, who is known to be a police officer, often abuses his wife or Danny’s mother, Danny, Danny’s younger brother Kevin, and even their dog.

Growing up, Rolling was already dealing with delinquency and legal trouble. He was caught by the police several times for stealing, and peeking at women who were changing clothes. His troubled behavior also made it difficult for him to get a job. Until one day, he moved to Gainesville. In August 1990, on the sidelines of his job of burglary in the city, he committed murder and became addicted to it.

Danny Rolling was arrested on September 7, 1990, thanks to a report from a Shreveport woman who claimed to have gruesome testimony from Danny’s own mouth. The woman named Cindy Juracich got a story from her husband at the time, Steven Dobbin, that they had a conversation with a man known to locals as Danny Rolling. Danny confesses to Dobbin that he has a problem: he likes to stick a knife into someone. This testimony made Juracich even more chills when he recalled the similar pattern in the Gainesville murders with the Grissom family murders in Shreveport.

In November 1989, Shreveport was shocked by the murder of the Grissom family. The entire family was slaughtered while they were preparing dinner. One of the victims, 24-year-old Julie Grissom, was mutilated, cleaned and styled. Just like the serial murders of five college girls in Gainesville. Police later found a series of pieces of evidence suggesting similarities between the perpetrators of the Gainesville and Shreveport murders. All the clues point to Danny Rolling.


In November 1991, Rolling was charged with a number of murder charges. The case ran for four years. Rolling said he had no motive to kill other than wanting to be famous like serial killer Ted Bundy. In 1994, Rolling suddenly admitted to all charges and was sentenced to death. Shortly before his execution by lethal injection, Rolling also admitted to the Grissom family murders in 1989. Danny Rolling was later executed on April 20, 1994. He was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and paraphilia.

When he saw the murder case by the Gainesville Ripper, director and screenwriter Kevin Williamson saw that one of the windows of his house was open. He immediately felt afraid and thought how easy it was for a murderer to break into the house. But that fear was used by Williamson as the inspiration to write the script for Scream.

As reported by ScreenRant, Williamson used the Gainesville Ripper as inspiration to create a story of a killer who enters through a window and terrorizes a city. Although it tells the story of a masked killer known as Ghostface and is set in California, Scream has a number of similarities to the Gainesville Ripper case.


Some of the similarities include the way the killer broke into the victim’s house, the way he killed them by stabbing them, and claimed to have no motive. Scream was released in 1966 and stars Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, the main target of the masked assassin Ghostface.

After the success of Scream in 1996, the sequel to the film was released in 1997, 2000, and 2011. The four Scream film series were released by Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films and managed to gain revenues of US $ 608 million.


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