Florida executes serial killer who targeted gay men

Gary Ray Bowles (57) murdered six people over eight months in the 1990s

Serial killer Gary Ray Bowles  targeted older gay men. Photograph: EPA/FLORIDA DEPT. CORRECTIONS

Serial killer Gary Ray Bowles targeted older gay men. Photograph: EPA/FLORIDA DEPT. CORRECTIONS

 

A serial killer who preyed on older gay men 25 years ago on the east coast of the United States has been executed.

Gary Ray Bowles (57) was pronounced dead on Thursday evening after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.

He was condemned to die for the 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach.

Mr Hinton was Bowles’s sixth victim in the eight-month killing spree that began in Daytona Beach with the slaying of John Hardy Roberts. In between, there were victims in Maryland, Georgia and Florida.

In each case, Bowles stuffed the victims’ throats with objects: towels, rags, toilet paper, dirt, leaves and even a sex toy.

“He probably enjoyed it after a while,” said Thomas Youngman, a Daytona Beach detective assigned to the Roberts murder.

“Why do you kill people after the first one? The first one could be a mistake, maybe. But then the second, all right, I’ll maybe give you that. But the third, fourth fifth and sixth? When do you stop?”

It was not difficult for Daytona Beach police to figure out who killed Roberts, the first victim in March 1994.

Bowles left a probation document at the scene and was caught on a cash machine camera trying to withdraw money from Roberts’s account.

However, he evaded capture until five other men in three states had been murdered. – PA