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The Horrific True Story Behind Scream: How the Gainesville Ripper Haunted a College Town

The scene was chillingly similar, but Hoyt had been decapitated as well as stabbed, sexually assaulted, mutilated and posed lying on the bed with her feet on the floor. The first deputies at the scene were also friends from work.

“These police officers knew Christa,” her stepmother Dianna Hoyt told ABC News. “They told [her dad] Gary she died right away from the first stab, which was the truth…but there were many hours before that.”

Tracy Paules and Manuel R. Taboada, both 23 and friends since high school, were found dead in a ground-floor unit at the Gatorwood Apartments, another student-friendly complex, on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 28. Defensive wounds indicated that Taboada, who was transferring to UF and planned to study architecture, had tried to fight the killer off before he was stabbed to death. Paules, a pre-law senior at University of Florida, was posed on the living room floor. She had been raped and there were traces of tape of her wrists and mouth, as well as soap on her lower body. 

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