SHREVEPORT, Louisiana – Shortly before he was executed in Florida this week, serial killer Danny Rolling handed his spiritual adviser a handwritten confession to a grisly triple murder 17 years ago in his hometown of Shreveport, police said Friday.
"I, and I alone am guilty," said the one-page note. "It was my hand that took those precious lights out of this ole dark world. With all my heart & soul would I could bring them back."
Rolling, the son of a Shreveport police officer, was executed Wednesday for killing five college students in Gainesville, Fla., in a ghastly string of slayings in 1990.
Police have long suspected that Rolling stabbed 55-year-old William T. Grissom, his 24-year-old daughter Julie and 8-year-old grandson Sean as they got ready for dinner on Nov. 4, 1989, in Grissom's home.
In 1997, Rolling sent a detailed confession, including a description of the crime scene, to the woman he had married in prison. She gave it to police, said retired police detectives Don Ashley and Danny Fogger, who had worked on the case.
Since Rolling had pleaded guilty in Florida and his execution was expected, Louisiana authorities saw little reason to try him.
Still, police said was a relief to have a signed, public confession.
The Rev. Mike Hudspeth said that during a two-hour visit Tuesday, Rolling told him that he had killed the Grissoms and would give the minister a written confession the following day.
The document was released at a news conference Friday. Most of the text is in cursive, with large, gothic-style capitals at the start of each paragraph.
"I witnessed his execution and it was nothing compared to what he put his victims through," Julie Grissom's mother, Joyce Burton, said in a written statement. "At least I can get up knowing he's not breathing the air that our children should still be breathing."