These Were The Final Words Of Serial Killer Gary Ray Bowles

"Each of the murders was brutal. It was not an instant death, like somebody getting shot and dying from that gunshot ... It was a life-and-death struggle," prosecuting attorney Bernie de la Rionda told the press after the trial and conviction of serial killer Gary Ray Bowles. According to Newsweek, Bowles spent just over 20 years behind bars awaiting the dreaded day he'd finally be put to death for his crimes. It was on June 11, 2019, that the surnamed "I-95 Killer" was finally delivered his penance in the form of lethal injection

Like all prisoners who receive the death sentence, Gary Ray Bowles was given both a final meal of his choosing and a chance to speak any last words of resolve or repentance, but before we get into that, let's take a look at the brutal slew of murders that put him in jail in the first place (via Newsweek).  

The crimes of Gary Ray Bowles

It was between March and November of 1994 that Bowles brutally murdered at least six different men at various locations along the I-95 highway on the Eastern Coast of Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. According to The Florida Times Union, he would regularly approach gay men and strike up a conversation, smoothly easing his way into their comfort zones so they would invite him back to their houses or return home with him. Once he had them alone, he'd beat and/or strangle them to death before plugging their throats with various foreign objects (sex toys, toilet paper, soiled rags, dirt, and leaves). That move became his "signature" per The Florida Times Union.

Bowles was finally brought to justice in November of '94 after police apprehended him on suspicions of murdering 47-year-old florist Walter Hinton. It didn't take long to extract a confession from him, and within a few short years, he'd own up to killing five others as well. 

What were Bowles' final words?

As the 11th hour rolls around, convicted murderers and perpetrators of other horrific crimes likely can't help but reflect upon the decisions that brought them face to face with the Angel of Death. Some do experience remorse while others admit that they would do it all over again if they could. Take for instance John Wayne Gacy who, as People reports, had nothing more to say than, "Kiss my ass" before being put to death. Gary Ray Bowles, on the other hand, had far more to say on his death bed, and his words seemed to carry sincere empathy and regret. 

According to Newsweek, Bowles profusely apologized "for all the pain and suffering I have caused," and furthermore addressed his own mother in his final declaration to the world. "Having to deal with your son being called a monster is terrible. I'm so very sorry. I never wanted this to be my life. You don't wake up one day and decide to become a serial killer." Those standing by at the time of death told News 4 that Bowles seemed to be murmuring to himself in prayer up until his final moments.