• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

People shocked to discover horrifying true story that inspired Scream

The LADbible Team

Published 
| Last updated 

People shocked to discover horrifying true story that inspired Scream

Everyone's heard of the 1996 movie Scream, but not everyone's aware that the iconic horror movie is actually based on a true story.

Loading…

Scream has well and truly established itself as a classic movie to watch at this time of year, when there are Halloween decorations everywhere you turn and the dark evenings practically demand cosy movie nights.

The film not only sparked a long-lasting series consisting of five sequels, the last of which hasn't even been released yet, but it also provided inspiration for the 2000 parody Scary Movie.

So it's safe to say most horror fans are very familiar with Sidney and the creepy killer terrorising her, but Sidney's story actually has its roots in those of University of Florida students Sonja Larson, Christine Powell, Christa Hoyt, Tracy Paules and Manny Toboada.

These five students lost their lives in 1990 to a killer who became known as 'The Gainesville Ripper' after he stabbed his victims and positioned them in a very specific way.

The five victims were killed over the space of four days. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
The five victims were killed over the space of four days. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

The crimes took place over the course of just four days, beginning on 24 August, 1990, when Danny Rolling followed Larson and Powell back to their house, broke in and killed them.

He assaulted and killed Hoyt the very next day, cutting off her head and placing it on a bookshelf, and on 27 August, 1990, he finished his spree by attacking and killing Paules and Taboada.

Police couldn't identify the killer using DNA from the scenes, but detectives noticed the similarities between the killings and the deaths of three family members in Rolling's home town of Shreveport which had taken place before Rolling moved to Florida.

The killer had relocated under a new identity in 1990, after he shot his own father twice, but he had previously spent time behind bars for theft.

Investigators looking into the Gainesville murders sought DNA of prisoners from Shreveport and came across that of Rolling, which was found to be similar enough to DNA left at the Gainesville murder scenes to charge him with murder.

Film fans have been surprised to learn about the true events behind Scream. Credit: @dramatiq00/Twitter
Film fans have been surprised to learn about the true events behind Scream. Credit: @dramatiq00/Twitter

Following his arrest, Rolling pleaded guilty to the killings and was sentenced to death before being executed in 2006.

Internet users have been left baffled to learn about the true events behind Scream, describing it as 'crazy' and relaying their shock with the mind-blown emoji.

It was when he was watching television at home one night that Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson saw a special about the Gainesville Murders. Most true crime fans will know that's a recipe for disaster, and Williams admitted that he began to get scared that there was a murderer waiting for him outside.

Recalling the events, Williamson explained: "I was house-sitting for a friend of mine and I walk into the family room and I see that the window’s open, and I’m freaked out. So I go, and I get a butcher knife and I start walking around the house and I call up my friend on the phone and [say] ‘I think someone’s in the house'."

Rather than hiding under the covers and waiting for the comfort of daylight, however, Williamson was inspired to write the screenplay for Scream, resulting in the series fans know and love today.

Featured Image Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy / Gainesville Police

Topics: TV and Film, Crime, True Crime

The LADbible Team
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Boy hides in container during game of hide and seek only to be found six days later in another country

2 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Matt Lucas confirms he's working on Little Britain follow up series with David Walliams

4 hours ago