“You can kill somebody pretty easy if you have the mindset for it.” Gary Ray Bowles
Gary Ray Bowles fits the outward ideal of – “He doesn’t look like a serial killer.” With his rather unassuming ways and almost demure manner, his mild outside appearance doesn’t accurately portray the vicious serial killer lurking within.
The year was 1994 and over the course of that calendar year, Bowles would murder a known total of six men. Bowles’ modus operandi was to prostitute himself to his victims who he would later beat, strangle to death and rob. His use of their stolen credit cards helped the police and FBI track him down. Throughout his period of committing murders, Bowles didn’t exactly work hard to conceal his activities or identity. Unlike some serial killers who take great pains to hide and remain concealed, Bowles for example would carelessly use his victim’s credit cards in full view of store security cameras.
Bowles has stated he had a very abusive childhood that included beatings and later abandonment. His mother married consecutive abusive men who routinely beat Gary, his brother and mother. When the abuse didn’t stop, Gary and his brother severely beat their second stepfather. When their mother chose to stay with the abuser, Gary and his brother decided to leave home for a life on the streets. His upbringing no doubt helped create the rage that would later manifest itself in a series of killings along the I-95 highway corridor from Florida to Maryland.
The sheer brutality of the murders and smart police work early on in the investigation combined to lead investigators towards the idea of a serial killer on the loose. They were so sure that Bowles would kill again he landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and appeared on the television show America’s Most Wanted.
“I just wanted to kill as many people as possible before they caught me.”
While Bowles never admitted to being gay, he did engage in sexual activities with men for financial gain. This was to be Bowles’ main source of income for many years. Though during the height of killings he was working through a staffing agency in Jacksonville Beach, Florida via an assumed name - Timothy Whitfield.
Bowles did have relationships with women, including one relationship that ended with Bowles going to prison for six years for beating and sexually assaulting her. He would also serve another prison sentence for unarmed robbery of an elderly lady.
Gary Ray Bowles was sentenced to death after having his first case reversed by the Florida Supreme Court. He was convicted for the murders of three people and is now awaiting his fate on death row.
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Article by Roy Whyte. Visit his Google+ page for more.