Words: Steve Brown
A man who murdered six gay men during a murder spree in 1994 is set to be executed on Thursday.
Back in 1994, Gary Ray Bowles beat and strangled John Roberts and after his fingerprints were found at the scene, police began suspecting Bowles was behind the murder and discovered he had previous convictions for robbery and domestic violence.
Police connected Bowles to three other murders and was put on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list before he was eventually arrested later that year.
Bowles confessed to the murders and admitted to killing two others and he was sentenced to death in 1996 for the murder of Walter Hinton – who died after he was hit over the head with a 40-pound stone while he slept.
During his trial, the jury heard that all of his victims had something crammed down their throats, like a towel or dirt.
The Florida Supreme Court overturned his death sentence after they claimed the jury was swayed after they revealed Hinton was gay and said that Bowles hated gay men.
In 1999, he was handed the death penalty again and this week, Bowles will be put to death.
He will become the 99th person put to death in Florida and the second person to be executed under Governor Ron DeSantis.