Police showing photos of suspect in slaying

June 25, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers Ed Heard and Holly Selby contributed to this article.

Baltimore homicide detectives are fanning out in the city's gay community showing mug shots of a suspect charged with killing a Montgomery County man in April.

The suspect, Gary Ray Bowles, 32, is a transient believed to be from Alexandria, Va., authorities said.

The FBI is seeking a serial killer in the slaying of a 72-year-old Savannah, Ga., man May 5 and the killing of a 37-year-old Hilliard, Fla., man May 19.

Authorities said Mr. Bowles is wanted for questioning in two other cases: an April 11 slaying in Jacksonville, Fla., and a May 15 slaying in Daytona Beach, Fla., authorities said.

Police in Maryland and Florida say a clean-cut smooth-talking hustler who passes himself off as a construction worker or

prostitute meets victims in gay bars. Police say the victims usually are strangled at their homes or a motel and their wallets and cars are stolen.

Wednesday, Montgomery County police charged Mr. Bowles with first-degree murder in the slaying of a gay man, David A. Jarman of Silver Spring.

Mr. Jarman was found strangled in his apartment April 14. Mr. Jarman's killer stole his car and credit cards, drove to Baltimore and registered in a city motel. The victim's car was found April 20 outside a gay bar in the 800 block of Park Ave., police said.

Sgt. Harry Geehreng, a Montgomery County police spokesman, said Mr. Bowles has strong ties to the Baltimore-Washington area.

City police have been circulating pictures of Mr. Bowles to patrons of gay bars, said Officer Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a city police spokesman.

No slayings in Baltimore have been linked to the other killings, Officer Weinhold said.

"Our homicide unit has some photographs and we're trying to aid the other jurisdictions in the search," the spokesman said.

Authorities say four of the five victims were gay. The victims were strangled and their cars and credit cards were stolen.

The killings have created unease in Baltimore's gay community.

"For years gays and lesbians have had gay bars as the only place where they could escape the kinds of backlash you'd expect elsewhere," said Robert St. Genis, a spokesman for the Free State Justice Campaign, a gay rights group. "And now we have to be afraid even there."

Montgomery County and Howard County are jointly investigating the slaying of a gay man whose body was found in a motel room in Jessup on Thursday.

The state medical examiner's office said yesterday that the victim had been strangled. Police were unable to identify him.

While Howard County police decline to link the Jessup and Silver Spring slayings, Sergeant Geehreng noted similarities in the killings. Both victims were gay, they were strangled and their cars and credit cards were stolen, he said.

Howard County police described the unidentified victim as a white male in his 50s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 160 pounds. He had gray hair died auburn and scars on his back and right side of his neck.

Motel employees told police that the man spoke Spanish.

In the Montgomery County case, Sergeant Geehreng said Mr. Jarman's MasterCard was used at an undisclosed Baltimore motel the same day as the slaying.

Authorities said the man using the card told the clerk he was from Alexandria, Va., -- despite using the victim's Maryland driver's license for identification.

Baltimore police said they found Mr. Jarman's blue 1991 Toyota Tercel on April 20 parked in front of a neighborhood gay bar in the 800 block of Park Ave.

The car had a parking ticket on the windshield dated April 14, the day Mr. Jarman was killed.

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