A notorious US serial killer who targeted gay men in the 1990s is set to be executed in Florida on Thursday, August 22.
Gary Ray Bowles, 57, killed six gay men in 1994.
He was known as the “I-95” killer and evaded police for nine months by using stolen identification documents, before finally being caught.
Bowles was given the death penalty following a 1996 trial, but the sentence was reversed by the Florida Supreme Court. He was sentenced to death again in 1999.
Bowles has been on death row for 20 years.
“I-95” serial killer.
Between March and November 1994, Bowles killed six gay men – attacking them because of their sexuality.
Bowles confessed to all six murders after police caught him in 1994, saying that he was tired of running.
The first was a 59-year-old gay man, Walter Hinton, who Bowles had been living with in Florida, having met him at a bar. Bowles beat and choked the man until he bled to death, and then fled to Washington DC having stolen his victims credit cards and car.
He killed again, and in the following eight months continued to murder gay men and evade police using their stolen ID documents.
Bowles’ victims included John Hardy Roberts, 59, David Harman, 38, Milton Bradley, 72, Alverson Carter Jr, 47, and Albert Morris, 38. All of those he killed were gay men.
Police eventually caught him at an office for day labourers, at that time only suspecting him of the first murder. But Bowles confessed to the rest.
Bowles had a difficult childhood.
In interviews with police, Bowles described a violent upbringing that led to him leaving home at 14 and working as a sex worker to support himself.
He was first arrested in 1982, at the age of 20, for brutally attacking his then-girlfriend. He was sentenced to six years in prison and released after serving three.
Bowles told police that after leaving prison, he moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he moved in with a girlfriend and resumed sex work. According to Bowles, his girlfriend became pregnant but had an abortion after she learned that he was a sex worker.
Bowles’ told police this meant he blamed gay men for the abortion, and this led him to his murderous rampage.
His moved in with his first victim, Hinton, after the breakup of his relationship following the abortion.
Unless there is a last-minute appeal in his case, he will be executed on Thursday.
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