For a few weeks in 1990 there was a real-live boogey man in my life. He had a name, but at the time no one knew it. For a while everyone thought it was a mentally ill young man named Ed Humphrey, but a while later we learned his real name: Daniel Rolling.

I remember a partially deserted campus as school stared that fall. I remember ID checkpoints and off-campus housing security meetings. I remember the creepy guy my apartment complex hired to patrol the woods around my school year home. I remember my (then) girlfriend’s mother (now mother-in-law) hesitantly “allowing” a visit several months later.

The occasion for this entry is Danny Rolling’s death. He was scheduled to die by lethal injection twenty-five minutes ago. According to the St. Pete Times, he was pronouced dead about eleven minutes ago (at 6:13 p.m. EDST). Although it doesn’t take the memories away – faded and partly forgotten though they may be – I hope this gives the families of his victims some relief.

Give the gift of words.