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The Making of a Serial Killer: The Real Story of the Gainesville Student Murders in the Killer's Own Words
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The Making of a Serial Killer: The Real Story of the Gainesville Student Murders in the Killer's Own Words

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The book you are holding tells its story from the vantage point of murderer Danny Rolling and his current love interest, Sondra London.

The five Gainesville, Florida, murders Rolling committed in 1990 caused hundreds of students to flee a college campus in terror. The author and killer admit committing horrendous crimes, but blames them on demonic entities possessing his b
Paperback, 201 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Feral House
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Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Arguably the sickest book I've ever read, and probably will ever read, in my lifetime. I've only myself to blame for letting my curiosity get the better of me, to see what lengths Sondra London and serial killer Danny Rolling would go to redefine the True Crime genre. There were a few moments when I thought the book might possibly have some value, if only to provide twisted insight on what motivates a homicidal maniac. By the end, though (thanks to Rolling referring to himself in the third perso ...more
Melanie Kirdasi
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
It is a difficult book to discuss because I was a co-worker with this person prior to his crimes. I was not able to bring myself to read it until after his execution. The content is an accurate account of a disorganized mind, including his grasp on time which is in linear disarray. The compulsive and repetitive focus of a narrow scope of thought is accurately demonstrated and is in keeping with what is know about criminal pathology. The misanthropic framing of reality and perception of self as a ...more

The Gainesville Ripper is the inspiration for Wes Craven's Scream films. His killing spree left 5 students dead and the way he stalked into their homes and brutally raped and murdered his victims was shocking and evil.
I am fascinated with true crime, horror, serial killers and things of that nature and I like to read different accounts. The fact that Rolling was so involved in the production of this version of events intrigued me.
It is not a pleasant read, obviously. There were times I was su
Jun 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: true-crime
Wow, this book was just awful. It didn't scare me, or give me nightmares, I just found it annoying. Rolling gleely writes about his murders in graphic detail that was just uneccesary. He writes of sexually violating women in the same manner as another author would write in some sick snuff novel. Then, he blames it all on some "demon" named Gemini inside of him. After all of that, he has the AUDACITY to try to save the reader's soul with some "repent now" junk at the end. Don't waste your time on ...more
May 19, 2013 added it
I corresponded with this man during his incarceration. While the book is disturbing, it really takes you into the mind of a serial killer, in his own words. This is account is written by him with a coauthor. I recommend this book for criminal justice majors, psychology majors, and those going into social services.
Holly Smith
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don’t generally elect to read true crime books for various reasons, number one being the writers often sympathize with the perpetrators. Obviously, this is true in The Making of a Serial Killer, as Sondra London and Danny Rolling express their love for one another.
Secondly, how many incidents can you read of sick-o’s brutally murdering and dismembering their victims? Yes, Danny was tortured as a child, as many inmates have been. He was physically and psychologically tortured. He had an unfort
Pat Mckay
Feb 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: true-crime
If I could give this piece of crap a zero, I would.
Nov 04, 2007 rated it liked it
This is probably one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. The subject has interested me because it all happened so close to home & there was a giant media circus. In addition, the killer was captured in the woods across from the apartment where I'd come to live soon after all this happened.

I have read the book, "The Gainesville Ripper," but Rolling discounts much of the book, calling it fabrication. This book is reportedly the only true account, but you have to decide for yourself wheth
Tommy Walker
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
My experience of this book came back to me when asked by the Bizarro group moderator what was the strangest book I had ever read, but really I thought it stranger for its sheer existence than for its content. Surely I would have seen more like it if I were permitted to. Drawing on the star-rating guidelines, I found it 'amazing' for its presence on a bookshelf and for Danny Rolling's childhood dream, "The Gargoyle of Heaven", which I tout at every turn as the most abjectly beautiful short piece ...more
Aug 26, 2008 rated it liked it
It's pretty hard to say you liked this book as it is so disturbing. I remember when these killings happended and the terror that spread in the Gainsville community. I saw this book at a garage sale, picked it up and devoured it over one weekend. It was a chilling read as the killer was so unabashedly sadistic to the victims and took such pleasure in their murders. I had trouble sleeping for months after reading this. Very disturbing story, yet fascinating in trying to understand the mind of a su ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Fascinating to see the workings of the mind that penned this. Still unsure on Sondra London's role in this, as it reads like a stream of consciousness by the author. No editing or taming the words in evidence.

This is not a book for feint of heart, or those looking for a quick escape. This is a book I will probably come back to over and again, as far too disorganised to read in one smooth sweep; but does give some insight into the disorganised killer's thought process. Fascinating!
Amanda Joubert
Dec 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was obviously written by an amateur writer, most likely the murderer it is about. I read it since I live in the area it happened and know people who went to school with him. He comes across as very uneducated and is great at coming up with reasons why he turned out crazy. He takes no responsibility himself, though, but blames the demons that possessed him and apparently have now left him and moved on (?)
Faith Taraskus
Jul 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I read this book 5 years ago and it still gives me nightmares. It's the reason I lock my doors and close my shades at night. Don't ever read it if you're even slightly prone to paranoia. If I believed in burning books, I'd set fire to every copy ever made.
Chelsea priest
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not put it down

I listen to the podcast sword and scale (download it now if you like true life crime) this story intrigued me.
You just never really know the true someone! From shitty childhood to finding God and then back to your demons. Speechless!
Dec 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Peeps who luv serial killer and true crime books
I give this 4 stars for it's level of terror. This book will make your skin crawl and will highten your levels of serial killer paranoia if you have that paranoia. I don't recommend this to peeps who are squeamish or those that have faith that all people are inherently "good".
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I just didn't think it was written well enough for me to finish it.
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Carissa Thrush
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Apr 07, 2017
Dana Wilson
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Jul 19, 2012
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Aug 17, 2016
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May 20, 2011
Jenna Hebbard
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Feb 28, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2016
Lisa Connor
rated it did not like it
Aug 19, 2015
Venisha Ready
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2010
rated it it was ok
Dec 23, 2013
Zeus Polak
rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2014
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American serial killer who murdered five students in Gainesville, Florida.

Rollings later confessed to raping several of his victims, committing an additional 1989 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attempting to murder his father in May 1990. In total, Rolling confessed to killing eight people.

He was executed by lethal injection in 2006.