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Gary Ray Bowles (January 25, 1962 – August 22, 2019)[1] was an American serial killer who was executed in 2019 for the murders of six men in 1994. He is sometimes referred to as the I-95 Killer since most of his victims lived close to the Interstate 95 highway.[2][3]

Gary Ray Bowles
Gary Ray Bowles.jpg
Born(1962-01-25)January 25, 1962
DiedAugust 22, 2019(2019-08-22) (aged 57)
Cause of deathExecution by lethal injection
Criminal statusExecuted
Conviction(s)
Criminal penaltyDeath
Details
Victims6+
Span of crimes
March 1994–October 1994
CountryUnited States
State(s)Florida, Georgia, Maryland
Date apprehended
October 22, 1995

Early lifeEdit

Bowles was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and was raised in Rupert, West Virginia.[4] His father Frank, who worked as a coal miner, had died from black lung disease six months before, and his mother Frances remarried several times. Bowles was abused by his second stepfather, a violent alcoholic who also abused Bowles' mother and older brother. The abuse continued until, at the age of 13, Bowles fought back and severely injured his stepfather. He left home soon after, angered by his mother's decision to remain in the marriage.[5]:2 He was homeless for the next few years, earning money as a prostitute to men.[5]:2

In 1982, he was arrested for beating and sexually assaulting his girlfriend, and was sentenced to six years in prison. In 1991, after his release from prison, he was convicted of unarmed robbery in the theft of an elderly woman's purse, a crime for which he was sentenced to four more years in prison; he was released in two.[6]

MurdersEdit

On March 15, 1994, in Daytona Beach, Florida, Bowles killed his first known victim, John Hardy Roberts, aged 59, who had offered him a temporary place to live. Bowles beat and strangled him to death, and then stole his credit card.[4] Police soon considered him a suspect after finding his fingerprints and probation records at the crime scene.[5]:4 Over the next six months, Bowles murdered four other men: David Jarman, aged 38, Milton Bradley, aged 72, Alverson Carter Jr., aged 47, and Albert Morris, aged 38,[7] in Nassau County, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland. His typical modus operandi was to prostitute himself to his victims before beating and strangling them, and stealing their credit cards.[6] While on the run, Bowles was put on the FBI's list of the country's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives for his four known victims.[8] On October 22, 1995, Bowles was arrested for the murder of Walter Jamelle "Jay" Hinton in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and confessed to all six murders.[5]

Following his arrest for the murders, Bowles told police that following his 1991 release from prison he had moved to Daytona Beach, and moved in with a girlfriend and resumed working as a prostitute. According to Bowles, his girlfriend became pregnant but then had an abortion after she learned that Bowles was a sex worker. Bowles told police officers that he blamed gay men for the abortion, and this led him to becoming a murderer.[7]

AftermathEdit

In May 1996, Bowles pleaded guilty to the killing of Walter Jamelle Hinton in Jacksonville on November 17, 1994. Hinton died after Bowles hit his head with a 40-pound steppingstone while Hinton was sleeping and stuffed a towel down his throat during the struggle. Bowles received the death penalty for Hinton's murder.[9] In August 1997, while sitting on death row for the slaying of Hinton, Bowles pleaded guilty to beating and strangling Roberts in 1994.[9]

Bowles was found guilty of three counts of murder and sentenced to death, but the sentence was reversed by the Florida Supreme Court, when they determined that the court erred by allowing the jury to hear that Bowles hated homosexuals and that the victim was gay.[10] He was given a new sentencing hearing, and in 1999 again received the death penalty.[11]

Bowles was executed by lethal injection on August 22, 2019, at Florida State Prison in Starke.[12][13] Bowles ate three cheeseburgers, french fries and bacon as a last meal.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Inmate Population Information Detail – Inmate 086158". Florida Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Execution set for US killer who preyed on gay men". BBC News. August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Thomas, Rachel L. (August 22, 2019). "'I-95 Killer' Gary Ray Bowles, serial killer who targeted gay men, to be executed Aug. 22". MSN News. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Gary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on gay men, executed in Florida". Retrieved August 25, 2019. New York Post
  5. ^ a b c d Bell, Rachel. "Gary Ray Bowles". truTV Crime Library. Archived from the original on May 29, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Gary Ray Bowles – murder suspect – VICAP Alert" Law Enforcement Bulletin December 1994.
  7. ^ a b Parsons, Vic (August 20, 2019). "Man who murdered six gay men in 1994 to be executed this week". PinkNews. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "Gary Bowles". Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Bowles Pleads Guilty, Gets Life For Murder Of Daytona Beach Man". orlandosentinel.com. August 7, 1997. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "GARY RAY BOWLES v. SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL". Findlaw.com. June 18, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "(Unofficial Transcript of oral argument before the Florida Supreme Court) Gary Ray Bowles vs State of Florida". WFSU. Archived from the original on February 28, 2001. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  12. ^ Press, Brendan Farrington, Associated. "Jacksonville serial killer Gary Ray Bowles executed by lethal injection". The Florida Times-Union.
  13. ^ "The Latest: Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed". News.yahoo.com.
  14. ^ Jolly, Bradley; Murphy, Neil (August 22, 2019). "Serial killer chooses calorific American classic for final meal before execution". Mirror.co.uk.