Cindy Juracich Wiki
Cindy Juracich Biography
A Louisiana woman on vacation in Florida helped bring a serial killer to justice after noticing similarities between a series of murders in her hometown and several that occurred in the Sunshine State.
Cindy Juracich, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was on vacation with her husband and her children in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1990, when she came across a news report on five local college students who had been murdered in the over the course of four days.
At the time, Juracich was still in shock from three gruesome murders that had taken place in Shreveport the previous year, in which a female victim was partially mutilated, cleaned, and left in a sexually provocative position.
The Florida television report mentioned that several of the victims there had also been mutilated, cleaned and posed, which piqued Jurarcich’s interest.
She appears on a new episode of 20/20, airing Friday on ABC, and reexamines the search for the Florida serial killer.
“I told my husband [at the time] that there is a connection between Shreveport and Florida,” Juracich says on the show.
Killer and Murder
The Sunshine State killings alarmed locals and puzzled law enforcement officials who were puzzled as to the identity of the killer.
All of the victims were young students from the Gainesville area. Four were students at the University of Florida and the other was a student at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Four of the five victims were women.
The first two murders occurred on August 24, when the attacker broke into an apartment shared by 17-year-old freshmen Sonja Larson and Christina Powell. The women were brutally stabbed and posed in sexually provocative positions.
The following night, August 25, 18-year-old Christina Hoyt was stabbed and beheaded inside her apartment. Her head was left on a shelf.
Then just two days later, Tracy Paules and her roommate Manny Taboada, both 23, were stabbed to death when the assailant broke into her home.
Paules was raped and her body was posed.
The murders rocked Gainesville, and news of the murders played continuously on television, attracting Juracich’s attention.
Who committed the killings in Shreveport was a local named Danny Rolling.
Three months later, after returning to Louisiana, Juracich still couldn’t stop thinking about the similarities between the murders in Shreveport and those in Florida.
He also had a feeling that the man who committed the murders in Shreveport was a local named Danny Rolling.
Rolling had spent time in prison for armed robbery and had reportedly told Juracich’s husband that he “liked to stick knives in people.”
Moved by that comment, Ella Juracich decided to take matters into her own hands and contacted Florida police.
“My mind wouldn’t let me rest,” she states on 20/20.
‘One day, I picked up the phone and called Crime Stoppers and said,’ I think there’s a guy they should look into: Danny Rolling.
‘My mind wouldn’t let me rest’ – Juracich decided to take matters into her own hands and contacted Florida police in November 1990
When he confronted the officers, Rolling confessed to the Gainesville murders.
Officers arrested him on an unrelated robbery charge in September 1990. He was put behind bars and he soon became the prime suspect.
A short time later, police discovered a tape recorder left in a wooded area near the site of one of the Gainesville murders. A cassette found in the tape recorder showed Rollin alluding to the crimes.
When he confronted the officers, he subsequently confessed to the murders.
Later, he also admitted that he had murdered the three people in Shreveport in 1989.
Rolling was finally found guilty in 1994 and sentenced to death. He was executed in 2006.
Now, 15 years later, Juracich says that she is still shocked by the murders in Shreveport and amazed that she linked them to the Florida murders.
“After the horrible murders, everyone was scared,” she says.
Cindy Juracich Quicks and Facts
- Over four days in August 1990, five students were brutally stabbed to death in Gainesville, Florida; one of them had her head decapitated
- Cindy Juracich, who hails from Shreveport, Louisiana, was on vacation in the area at the time and saw a news report about the slayings
- She believed there were eerily similarities between the Gainesville murders and three unsolved killings that occurred in Shreveport the previous year
- Juracich decided to contact police with her theory, and told them to look into a Shreveport man named Danny Rolling
- The tipster’s hunch turned out to be correct; Rolling was later confronted by police and confessed to both the Gainesville and Shreveport murders
- He was convicted in 1994 and executed in 2006