Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gary Ray Bowles

Confessions of Murder

Garys confession yielded a wealth of information concerning the events related to Jays murder. Investigators learned that Gary met Jay in early November 1994 at Jacksonville Beach. The two likely engaged in homosexual activity sometime shortly after their meeting. After spending several days with Gary, Jay moved to a trailer on Coral Drive in Duval County. Gary assisted Jay with the move and was invited to live with him on a temporary basis.

Gary lived with Jay for about two weeks. During that time, Gary was asked to leave after a dispute concerning his behavior towards a female friend of Jays. However, the problem was eventually rectified and Gary moved back in to the trailer.

During the interrogation into Jays death, investigators learned that on the day of the murder, Gary had been partying with Jay and a friend named Rick. Gary alleged that he and Rick had been drinking beer and smoking pot on the afternoon of the murder while Jay was at work. The men continued to party, after Jay arrived home.

At approximately 8 p.m., Jay drove Rick to the train station with Gary in the backseat. While they waited for the train, the men drank more beer and smoked more pot. Rick later testified that at the time of his departure to the train, Gary was heavily inebriated from the alcohol, yet coherent.  

After Rick caught his train, Jay and Gary returned to the trailer. Gary continued to drink approximately a half a dozen more beers. At some point, Jay went to his bedroom to sleep, leaving Gary behind in the living area of the trailer. Gary testified that something inside him snapped sometime that evening.

Gary confessed to police that he went outside, got the stone, brought it into the house and put it down on the table. He claimed that he momentarily stopped to think, and then proceeded to carry the stone into the bedroom. As Jay lay asleep, Gary dropped the heavy stone on his head. Jay awoke, stunned by the blow. Shortly thereafter, a brief struggle ensued. An article by Vivian Wakefield stated that Gary then stuffed Jays mouth with a rag and toilette paper before strangling him to death.

Unofficial, real-time court transcripts made later during Garys trial stated that he then took Jays car and possibly his watch and drove from the trailer but later returned to the house. Gary stayed at the house for approximately two days. At one point, he brought a homeless female acquaintance to the house for a short while before returning her to the place he had found her. It is believed that she was not aware that the crime had taken place.

The car that was stolen from Jay following his death was abandoned several days before Gary was apprehended. Investigators learned that from that time up until his arrest he resided at a Jacksonville Beach motel. Shortly after Garys confession of the events surrounding Jays death, investigators learned that his murder was only one of several committed by Gary.

Gary Ray Bowles
Gary Ray Bowles

Gary admitted to the authorities that same day that he was also responsible for the murder of two other men in Florida, John Roberts and Albert Morris. The FBI had already been involved with both murder investigations, in which Gary was already a suspect. They were also involved with three other similar murder cases, in which Gary was also the leading suspect. It wasnt long before investigators were able to piece together the clues that eventually led to their realization of the atrocities committed by Gary Ray Bowles.

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