Murdered Students Found At the University of Florida - 8/28/1990

US History |

School is a place that people are supposed to feel totally safe. In light of events like Virginia Tech, Columbine and the terrifying and senseless violence of Sandy Hook Elementary, people have been shaken up in public places and at school. Mass shootings have been happening at a startling rate. The recent events in Orlando and many other places around the world show that we are in an increasingly violent climate. 

On this day in history the bodies of Tracy Paules and Manuel Taboda were discovered at the Gaterwood Apartments near the University of Florida. Three young female students were killed and mutilated in two other locations near the campus. A serial killer was held responsible for the horrific slayings. After extensive police investigation it was determined that all five of the murders were connected. Of course the Gainesville community of students panicked upon hearing this and feared for their lives.

The University of Florida ended up providing temporary housing on campus for people who were afraid. Santa Fe Community College allowed the students to return home for two weeks without anything effecting their grades. The terrifying events would definitely scare anyone into not wanting to finish the semester. Stores in the area ran out of self-defense weapons like mace, stun guns and concealed weapons permits.

A man named Ed Humphrey was arrested and this quelled the community who was desperate for some closure and peace of mind. Students started to return to campus even though there wasn’t any information that supported his arrest. They kept Humphrey in jail as a convicted felon on another crime that was unrelated to the killings.

Police finally made an impact when they found an abandoned campsite on the campus. The cassette found at the campsite was recorded by the actual killer Danny Rolling. He admitted to the murders on tape and the police arrested him. He was already in custody because of an armed robbery he committed days prior to the findings at the campsite. Rolling also had killed a Shreveport, Louisiana the November before the killings at U of F. 

He shot his father in the face before fleeing to Florida. Rolling was convicted of the murders in April of 1994 and was sentenced to death. Ed Humphrey had nothing to do with the killings, he was released. His family was devastated that he was associated with the horrible crimes in the first place and his reputation was slandered without conclusion. The evil Rolling was executed in Prison in October of 2006, 10 years ago to date.

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Mike Sexton

Chief Editor

I have always had a passion for writing since a young age and can still remember the first time a teacher assigned us to create our own newspaper it was my favorite project. In high school I wrote for the school newspaper and loved learning about new topics. I knew I found my new passion and as soon as I stepped foot on UCLA my mind was made up. Since getting my degree I have done all types of writing and love the freedom it gives me to work from anywhere. I hope you all love my writing as I am excited to produce quality articles each day for you!