Serial killer who preyed on older gay men executed by lethal injection in Florida

Serial killer Gary Bowles, who preyed on older gay men, was executed in Florida (Picture: Florida Department of Corrections via REUTERS)

A serial killer who preyed on older gay men has been executed by lethal injection in Florida.

Gary Ray Bowles, 57, went on an eight-month killing spree around the east coast of the US 25 years ago, killing six men across three states.

Bowles’ first victim was John Hardy Roberts, who was killed in Daytona Beach in March 1994.

Bowles left a probation document at the scene and was caught on a cash machine camera trying to withdraw money from Roberts' account, but police were unable to catch him until five more men in three states had been killed, with victims in Maryland, Georgia and Florida.

Bowles was executed at Florida State Prison (Picture: Florida Department of Corrections)

Bowles was condemned to die for the murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach - his sixth victim.

In each case, Bowles stuffed the victims' throats with objects: towels, rags, toilet paper, dirt, leaves and even a sex toy.

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Thomas Youngman, a Daytona Beach detective who investigated the case, said: “He probably enjoyed it after a while. Why do you kill people after the first one? The first one could be a mistake, maybe.

“But then the second, all right, I'll maybe give you that. But the third, fourth, fifth and sixth? When do you stop?”

Bowles was pronounced dead on Thursday evening after receiving a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.

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