A serial killer who targeted older gay men across the US east coast and bludgeoned and suffocated his victims has been executed.

Gary Bowles was given a lethal injection on Thursday at Florida State Prison in Starke.

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Officials said his last meal included three cheeseburgers, fries and bacon.

The Supreme Court denied a last-ditch appeal after the 57-year-old’s lawyers claimed he was too intellectually disabled to be executed.

Bowles was convicted of three murders, but police believe he was responsible for three other deaths over an eight month period.

He admitted killing Walter Hinton, who had given him a place to stay in his mobile home in Jacksonville Beach in 1994.

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On the evening of 16 November that year, the pair had been drinking and smoking cannabis before Bowles dropped a concrete block on his victim’s head while he slept, fracturing his face and jaw.

He then put a rag in his mouth and smothered him to death.

Some inmates wait years on Death Row as appeals take place
Image:
Some inmates wait years on death row as appeals take place

Days later, Bowles was arrested and told police he had been a prostitute since he was a teenager and began “hustling gays” – although he told investigators he hated having sex with the men.

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Hinton’s murder was one of six known killings across the Interstate 95 corridor, which earned Bowles the nickname the “I-95 killer”.

He also killed John Roberts, 59, who also let him live in his home, in March 1994.

Bowles approached him from behind and hit him with a lamp in Daytona Beach, Florida, and again, stuffed a rag into his victim’s mouth, suffocating him.

According to court records, he then stole his credit cards and wallet.

Two months later he murdered Albert Morris, 38, who also befriended him and let him stay in his Nassau County house in New York.

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Bowles got into a fight with Morris outside a bar, hit him over the head with a sweet dish and suffocated him with a towel.

He received life sentences for the murders of Mr Morris and Mr Roberts.

Police also suspect him of killing Milton Bradley, 72, in Savannah, Georgia, as well as Alverson Carter Jr, 47, in Atlanta and David Jarman, 38 in Maryland.

Detectives believe if he had not been caught, he would have continued his rampage.

He became the 13th inmate to be executed in the US and the second in Florida this year.

On Wednesday, Texas executed Larry Swearingen, 48, who was convicted of the 1998 rape and murder of a college student.

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