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Making Of A Serial Killer, The (1996)
Fiction Review by The Drug Stuffed Corpse

Making Of A Serial Killer, The (1996) The Real Story Of The Gainesville Murders In The Killer's Own Words

By Danny Rolling & Sondra London

Feral House

Danny Rolling was a serial murderer whose killing spree created a panicked mass exodus of university students from Gainesville, Florida in 1990. This account of his crimes was written by Rolling with the assistance of serial killer groupie Sondra London. In the book Rolling details his unhappy childhood, his many sojourns in a variety of penitentiaries, the murders he committed in Gainesville and up to his present incarceration. Please disregard the introduction by Colin Wilson whose preposterous postulation that Danny Rolling was merely a vessel consumed by a malevolent spirit (and not to forget his pathetic prose: "But I came to accept that spirits could wander in and out of a human being as easily as a tramp can wander in and out of an empty house whose doors have all been left open"?!?) and Sondra London's assertions that Wilson's hypothesis is accurate; sift through the subterfuge and liberal leanings that it is the victim not the perpetrator who are at fault, and you are left with a perplexing look into the mind of a killer. In the preface Rolling attempts to evoke sympathy from the reader through various arcane notions of demonic possession first perpetuated by Wilson and London. He apologizes to everyone for all of the harm he has caused. He is sorry that he killed all of those people. This apology rings hollow. If his other personality/spirit/ demon/ooga-booga named Gemini is the real murderer and is a sentient individual residing symbiotically within him I ask this: 'why is he apologizing for a crime he himself did not commit?' Hypocrisy such as this is riddled throughout the text, but the mood is set early on by London in her author's notes:

"Family members and friends on both sides have pressured us to cease and desist (writing/publishing this book)...Victims' families who have sold the rights to their stories publicly threatened to kill me if I sold our story."

London is outraged that people who have lost family members to Danny Rolling do not want to him to be writing (in graphic detail) about the last horrifying moments of their loved-ones lives. Her attempt to vilify the innocent only further stymies her validity and any subsequent text cannot be read without bias. The Making Of A Serial Killer is a confession told by an apathetic man who absolves all responsibility via a conduit into the spirit world. Rolling's stilted, yet intriguing, prose sits comfortably between factual account and childish embellishment; he is a man unable to take responsibilities for his actions. His vivid descriptions and detailed retelling of his deeds only further propagates the notion that he found pleasure in killing. This is not someone dwelling sadly and regretfully upon his past, but a caged beast waxing sexual in moribund reverie. Danny Rolling knew what the loss of life could do to a family (before his unrealistic job choice of serial killer he had caused an accident that killed a woman while her husband watched on helplessly. Danny has seen the collateral damage that death brings and claimed to feel remorse and that her death haunted his dreams for months) and yet he still went on to kill. While reading this text it is important to not only listen to what he says, but also how he says it. You must read between the lies as there are many lies told. If Rolling's purpose was to allow us a peek at the inner workings of a killer, he was successful for all the wrong reasons. The Making Of A Serial Killer is not an exercise in catharsis so much as a depraved way for Rolling to further torture the families of his victims: and for that I applaud him.

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