“I didn’t want to kill anyone,” says the serial killer after killing six men and pushing items into their mouths.
In 1994, serial killers terrorized the gay community along the east coast of the United States. Police were able to identify the suspect relatively early, but it can take months to catch the malicious murderer. On the morning of May 5, 1994, a worker was checking the grounds of a golf club in Savannah, Georgia. She was looking around the maintenance shed when she came across a horrifying scene. “She noticed something like a lump on the ground and noticed that she was looking at her body,” criminal journalist Pat Lalama told the oxygen series “Serial Killer Mark.” The victim’s older man showed signs of trauma to his body and his pants pockets were turned inside out, indicating a robbery. But the details stood out. “Leaves and dirt were sticking out of his mouth. What came to my mind was that they didn’t get there by accident. Captain John Best of the Savannah Police Station said on the show. He told the producer. The victim was identified as World War veteran Milton Bradley. Police showed Bradley had been hanged. He died and was brutally beaten — a terrible assault. “There was a lot of anger in this murder,” Best said. “All episodes fascinated by serial killers? Watching” Mark of Murderers “Now, investigators were finally seen leaving the bar with a man who seemed to be messing with Bradley. I learned that. Bar without Bradley after about 30 minutes to 1 hour. A few days later, just two hours from Savannah, Hilliard, Florida, the same murderer seems to have attacked again. The Hilliard couple noticed that their son did not appear at work. It’s a convenience store they owned, so I went check him out on his trailer for a moment. When they found blood on his door, they went inside. “There was their son lying on the floor, who seemed to be beaten and dead, and his mouth was packed with towels,” Larama told the producer. Investigators on the scene speculated that there was a fierce struggle. The victim was 37-year-old Albert Morris, who was shot, beaten, and strangled. His trouser pocket was turned inside out. And again, there was an item pushed into his throat. However, valuable clues have been recovered from the scene — the fingerprints of the TV entertainment center. After talking to Morris’s companions, they learned that he frequently went to gay bars in Jacksonville and recently brought a man named Joey Pearson home. He agreed to temporarily have Pearson live with him in exchange for doing strange work around the house, but Pearson did not hold his end to the negotiations. One night, they were involved in a fierce battle at the bar about Pearson’s refusal to help at home. Police searched for the man and soon revealed that “Joey Pearson” was another name. However, they had an explanation for the suspect and began working with the Savannah police after noticing the similarities between the two murders. They circulated the sketches and soon found witnesses who said he knew the man and recently spent time with him — including a visit to a convenience store. Investigators were able to get back the video of the day and taped the suspect. The video footage was shown to Morris’ friend Jackie Strickland. “There’s Joey! That’s him, he looked like that. He killed Al!” He remembered what he said, Strickland told the producer. Later, both departments joined the FBI, revealing that they were dealing with serial killers — and one was a drifter with multiple aliases. They determined that he was targeting gay men at the bar, taking money and using them before the murder. Authorities then sent newsletters to other departments to see if there were other similar murders. On March 15, 1994, a 59-year-old insurance salesman named John Roberts, who was openly gay, was found killed at Daytona Beach. A friend was asking for a medical examination after he hadn’t contacted him. His house was found looted. Roberts was dead with a bloody rag in his mouth. He was strangled and beaten. Roberts also recently met a man and took him home. The man disappeared immediately. Still, they found significant evidence in their dwellings — a probation paper belonging to a man named Gary Ray Bowles who had a series of assaults and robbers in his name. His booked photo looked like a suspect in the Bradley and Morris murder, allowing investigators to compare his fingerprints in the database with those found at Bradley and Morris’ crime scene. It was a match. They had their man — but where would they find him? Police gave the Bowles name and information to the media. He was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and a national magazine put him on the cover. The country was now looking for this serial killer. Investigators were immediately contacted by other departments in similar cases. On April 14, 39-year-old David Alan Jarman was found dead in Montgomery, Maryland. He was beaten, strangled, and found with a sex toy in his mouth. His car and credit card were stolen. On May 13, 47-year-old Alberton Carter was found dead in Atlanta. He stabbed a towel in his throat and was stabbed to death. “Gary Bowles has been identified as an I-95 killer,” Florida Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda told the producer. “Most of the murders were caused by the interstate highway.” But Bowles seemed to disappear. The killings stopped for months and media attention diminished — until he finally attacked again. On November 20, a 47-year-old man named Geoffrey Hinton was unable to attend a flower shop in Jacksonville, Florida. His sister went to investigate him and found him murdered. A huge concrete block was dropped onto him, he was strangled, and toilet paper and rags were pushed into his throat. However, at this point, police did not establish a relationship with Bowles, as the 1-95 killer had not been in the limelight for some time. Gary Ray Bowls Photo: AP Investigators, however, found a salary owned by a day laborer named Timothy Whitfield. They called Whitfield to keep an eye out, and he eventually appeared at the employment agency. He was arrested and taken for cross-examination. He initially denied the murder, but was unable to maintain his innocence for a long time. “He said, do you know who I really am? I’m a wanted guy!” Said Delarionda. Bowles eventually confessed to all six murders. Later when asked why he confessed, he said, “That would stop the murder,” as he heard in the voice obtained by “Mark the Serial Killer.” “I didn’t want to kill anyone, but I killed. I don’t know why,” he admitted. Bowles was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. He was executed by the state on August 22, 2019 by lethal injection. “It’s terrible that my son has to deal with being a monster,” Bowles wrote to his mother in a two-page statement given to the media after the execution. It was reported at that time. “I’m sorry.” For more information on this and other incidents, see Oxygen’s “Serial Killer Mark” or stream the episode here.