Gary Ray Bowles died by lethal injection at 10:58 pm on Thursday in front of 29 witnesses for an eight-month killing spree that took the lives of six gay men.
The execution was delayed by five hours while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed two applications for stays that were ultimately denied. The attorneys argued that Bowles “was too intellectually disabled to die.”
Jacksonville.com reports: “Bowles gave no statement, but referred to a two-page written statement that was later distributed to the media. ‘I want to start by saying that I am so very sorry to all of the family and friends of Mr. Hinton,’ Bowles wrote. ‘I never wanted to kill him and I’m sorry for all of the pain and suffering I have caused. I hope my death erases your pain.'”
Bowles received the death penalty for the 1994 murder of Walter Hinton, but later confessed to the murder of five additional gay men whom he said he killed because of their sexual orientation.
The Gainesville Sun reports: ‘He would say to the world during a television interview years later how remarkably easy it was to kill someone. Yet every killing he carried out was a bloodbath. “Each of the murders was brutal,” said Bernie de la Rionda, a long-time Jacksonville-area homicide prosecutor who sought and attained a conviction and death sentence for Bowles. De la Riona said in every case the victims fought vigorously while suffering from “unexplainable pain” at the hands of their killer.’
FOX 13 reported: “In November 1994, Bowles helped Hinton move from Georgia to his mobile home in Jacksonville. In exchange, Hinton let Bowles live with him. One night, while Hinton slept, Bowles dropped a concrete block on his head, causing a fracture from Hinton’s right cheek to his jaw. Hinton woke up, but Bowles then strangled him to death. After Bowles’s arrest, police say he confessed to killing Hinton, as well as the other men. Bowles reportedly confessed to beating and strangling another roommate, John Hardy Roberts, in Daytona Beach; strangling David Jarman and then stealing his car in Wheaton Maryland; strangling 72-year-old Milton Bradley and dumping his body on a golf course near his home in Savannah, Georgia; and strangling and shooting Albert Morris in Hillard Florida.”
Jacksonville.com adds, of Bowles’ execution: “The first injection, a sedative, was administered at 10:44 p.m. After a series of ensuing injections, including a paralyzing agent and potassium acetate, Bowles was declared dead 14 minutes later.”