‘You Don’t Wake Up One Day And Decide To Become A Serial Killer’: Murderer Who Targeted Older Gay Men Executed In Florida

Gary Ray Bowles killed six men during an eight-month stretch in 1994, often stuffing objects down the throats of his victims.

By Jill Sederstrom
Gary Ray Bowles Ap

A Florida serial killer who targeted older gay men and became known for stuffing objects down the throats of his victims stuffed himself Thursday with a mega meal before his execution.

Gary Ray Bowles, 57, died by lethal injection just before 11 p.m. Thursday night—hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last appeal from Bowles' attorneys who had argued that the murderer was too intellectually disabled to be put to death, according to The Daytona Beach News Journal.

For his final meal, Bowles—who was known as the “I-95 killer”—ate three cheeseburgers, fries and bacon.

The convicted killer did not have any last words before the execution but provided the press with a handwritten statement that described his remorse.

“I’m sorry for all the pain and suffering I have caused,” he wrote, according to The Associated Press. “I hope my death eases your pain.”

Bowles also apologized to his mother.

“I want to tell my mother that I am also sorry for my actions,” he said. “Having to deal with your son being called a monster is terrible.”

Bowles ended the message by expressing regret that his life had turned out the way it had.

“I never wanted this to be my life,” he wrote. “You don’t wake up one day and decide to become a serial killer.”

Bowles was given the death penalty for the November 1994 slaying of Walter Hinton—the final of the six known victims he killed along the I-95 corridor during an eight-month stretch in 1994.

His first known victim was John Hardy Roberts, 59, with whom Bowles had been living in Daytona Beach. Bowles struck Roberts in the back of the head with a lamp, choked him, then shoved a towel down his throat to suffocate him.

Roberts had reportedly been paying Bowles for sex before he was killed. Bowles left behind a probation document at the scene and was caught on ATM camera footage trying to withdraw money from Roberts' account, but he had fled by the time officers discovered the body.

During his killing spree, Bowles targeted gay men who paid for his sexual services, stuffing items including dirt, rags and even a sex toy down their throats.

Other victims include David Jarman, 39, of Wheaton, Maryland; Milton Bradley, 72, of Savannah, Georgia, Alverson Carter Jr., 47 of Atlanta, and Albert Alcie Morris, 37 of Hillard, Florida.

Although Bowles admitted engaging in sexual activity with his victims—many of whom he also lived with briefly before the murders—he told investigators he wasn’t gay and only let his victims perform sexual acts on him, not the the other way around, according to the Associated Press.

Bowles said be began working as a male prostitute at the age of 14 after leaving behind a troubled family life, including abusive stepfathers.

His biological father, a coal miner, died of black lung before he was ever born and by 11 he had begun using drugs and huffing glue, his family said.

Bowles also had a violent history with women and was convicted in 1982 for beating and raping his girlfriend.

On Thursday, 29 people were present in the viewing room to watch the serial killer die.  

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