Last night’s execution of serial killer Danny Rolling in Florida “was like a night at a small, packed community theater with a pole blocking my view of the performance,” says reporter Jim Leusner of the Orlando Sentinel. Leusner, who covered the killing of 5 college students in 1990, recounted Rolling’s final moments. Rolling chose not to make a statement but to sing apparent Biblical verses.
After describing the execution, Leusner said that, “Like cops, reporters learn to stand back and detach themselves from the bloody crime scenes we observe or hear about. That helps insulate us from emotions.” He then wrote about his memories of the murders. “Rolling occupied much of my life for 3 1/2 years — like a journalistic doctoral thesis — from the time he became a suspect in early 1991 until he was sentenced to die in April 1994,” Leusner said.