Dennis Lee Bowman was identified as the lead suspect in the September 11, 1980, rape and murder of 25-year-old Kathleen O’Brien Doyle. Doyle was the wife of a Navy pilot. She had been raped, strangled, and stabbed to death in her home. Bowman was himself in the Navy Reserves at the time of the murder.
The FGG investigation in this case was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs.
On June 10, 2020, Bowden pled guilty to first degree murder and sexual assault in the death of Doyle. At age 71, he was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment.
As a result of his arrest for Doyle’s murder, he was charged in connection with the 1989 murder of his adopted daughter, Aundria Michelle Bowman. Aundria’s remains were found in a shallow grave on Bowman’s property in February of 2020. He is charged with homicide, child abuse, and mutilation for the disposal of her remains. It is suspected that he killed her after she accused him of sexually abusing her.
Bowman had earlier been convicted of a sexual assault in Ottawa Co, Michigan, in 1981, but this conviction was later struck down by the appellate court. This case had been pending before the courts when Doyle was killed.
Two serial killers were wrongfully charged with the murder of Doyle: Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole, both of whom made several confessions to unsolved murders that they later recanted. Further inquiries led investigators to drop the charges against Lucas and Toole. For further information on Lucas, see also Debra Jackson, below.
On December 22, 2021, Bowman pled no contest in Allegan County Circuit Court to second-degree murder for the killing of Aundrea Bowman. In February of 2022, he was sentenced to 30 to 50 years for second-degree murder.
Associated Press. “Virginia Inmate Sentenced in Michigan for Daughter’s Killing.” Yahoo News, February 7, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://news.yahoo.com/virginia-inmate-sentenced-michigan-daughters-162617275.html.
Denean, Austin, and Angeline McCall. “Mom: Man Confessed to Killing Adopted Daughter in 1989.” Fox 17 News, February 5, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.fox17online.com/news/local-news/lakeshore/allegan/mom-man-confessed-to-killing-stepdaughter-in-1989.
Geiger, Dorian. “‘I Think He’s a Serial Killer’: Michigan Man Arrested for ‘80s Murder, Now Accused in Adopted Daughter’s Killing.” Oxygen, May 18, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.oxygen.com/crime-news/dennis-bowman-allegedly-killed-missing-adopted-daughter.
Matray, Margaret. “Decades-Old Norfolk Cold Case Closed as Man, Now 71 and Tied to Another Killing, Pleads Guilty.” The Virginian-Pilot, June 10, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.pilotonline.com/news/crime/vp-nw-dennis-bowman-plea-20200610-jvavv4igznbsfl344espqekmee-story.html.
May, Samantha. “Dennis Bowman Charged with Murder After Remains of Missing Adopted Daughter Found.” WWMT News West Michigan, May 15, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://wwmt.com/news/local/dennis-bowman-charged-with-murder-after-remains-of-missing-adopted-daughter-found.
Pelisek, Christine. “Mom Searched for Daughter She Placed for Adoption and Uncovered a Killer: ‘I Had a Gut Feeling’.” People, September 30, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://people.com/crime/mom-searched-daughter-adoption-gut-feeling/.
Shatara, Jay. “‘I Did it Out of Love for My Daughter’: Mom of Victim Reacts to Dennis Bowman Sentencing.” WWMT News 3, February 7, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://wwmt.com/news/local/mom-wants-daughters-remains-after-dennis-bowman-sentenced-in-her-death.
Tunison, John. “West Michigan Man Tied to Two Killings, Including Daughter, Pleads in Virginia Case.” Michigan Live, June 10, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2020/06/west-michigan-man-tied-to-two-killings-including-daughter-pleads-in-virginia-case.html.