The True Story That Inspired ‘Scream’ Is Scarier Than You’d Expect
Published on May 12, 2018
Making over $604 million worldwide, Scream has become one of the biggest horror movie franchises ever. The series, which stars Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, cemented the Ghostface mask into pop culture forever. While it shines with satirical writing, the story behind Scream stems from a true tale of horror.
A Vile Situation
Danny Harold Rolling’s upbringing wasn’t pleasant. Years of neglect from his parents forced him down a dark path. In the summer of 1990, the Louisiana native did the unthinkable and murdered five college students in a Gainesville, Florida robbery spree. His crimes earned him the nickname Gainesville Ripper.
Brought To Justice
Weeks after his final murder, Rolling was captured by police in Ocala. 1994, he was brought to trial where he pleaded not guilty. The murderer wanted to gain fame like Ted Bundy. Rolling got his wish and much more. Just like Bundy, he was given the death sentence. By the time of his death in 2006, he was able to see his murder influence the Scream franchise.
A New Face Of Fear
One parallel between Scream and the Gainesville murders revolve around the murderer. In the past, murderers in horror films had a distinct evil look. Rolling looked like your everyday person from down the street. Scream producers capitalized on that by really giving the film a realistic feel. They wanted you to believe that an unexpected person can be capable of such evil.
A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Before Rolling was arrested, the police mistakenly took the wrong person into custody. Edward Humphrey, who was mistaken for Rolling, served a year behind bars before being let go. In the first Scream film, Sidney’s boyfriend Billy was originally accused of being the killer. Unlike Edward, Billy was released the next day.
Gone So Young
Another way that Scream and the Gainesville Ripper are somewhat identical involves the victims. Rolling’s victims were college students, so the film had to emulate this tragedy of the loss of young life. This time, the victims were from Woodsboro High School. Throughout the franchise, 13 students and two staff members were murdered.