Suspect Arrested in 1980s Homicide Leads to Other Questions
November 30, 2019
On September 11th 1980, 25 year old Kathleen Doyle was alone at her home on Granby road in Norfolk, Virginia, while her husband Lt. Stephen Doyle, a Navy pilot, was deployed. The couple had been married less than a year but were happy living together along with their pet cat in a safe and low crime neighborhood in the Ocean View area. The young woman, who was the daughter of a naval officer, spent her days writing and felt safe in the knowledge that there was other navy families residing in the neighborhood. After not hearing from her for 24 hours, Kathleen’s friends dropped by to check up on the lone young woman only to stumble upon a grisly scene.
Kathleen had been violently raped and murdered in her bedroom. She was found bound and gagged and had been stabbed multiple times and choked to death with a length of cord.
Police had no suspect, but carefully collected and preserved evidence from the scene and continued with the investigation. Later Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Elwood Toole would be considered suspects after confessing to the slaying during an interview, but the charges were later dropped when their confessions didn’t match up.
The case went unsolved for almost 40 years until the recent arrest of a 70 year old man named Dennis Bowman. Bowman, a resident of Allegan County, Michigan, who lives in a rural area on the 3200 block of 136th Avenue was arrested as a suspect in the murder after what investigators on the case refer to as ”decades of hard investigative work and forensic evidence”. When interviewed about the man’s character, those living in the neighborhood descried him as strange and isolated and said that police had been searching the property and surrounding land.
Dennis Bowman had a long history of violence against women. He was jailed in the early-eighties for attempting to kidnap a teenage girl and forcing her into woods at gunpoint with the intent of sexually assaulting her, an offence for which he served several years in prison. Luckily the teenager managed to escape. Time behind bars wouldn’t curb his deviant behavior, however, as he later went on to break into women’s properties, armed, in order to steal their underwear.
Bowman had an adopted teenage daughter named Alexis Miranda Badger, or Aundria Michelle Bowman, who lived with him and his partner in Hamilton, Michigan. The family adopted Aundria when she was around 2 years old, however the girl went missing at 14 years old soon after accusing her adoptive father of sexually abusing her. The accusations came not long after Dennis Bowman was released on parole for the attempted kidnap. Aundria reached out for help at school, she was questioned about her family life after her reluctance to return home from school on multiple occasions and she eventually she stopped going for around a year and revealed that she was being abused by Dennis Bowman. The police made a visit to the residence but Bowman denied everything and claimed Alexis was “acting out” because it had been recently revealed to her that she was adopted. Despite his criminal history it seemed the authorities were satisfied with the explanation as the child remained in Bowmans care. Soon after the investigation the family relocated to another trailer in an even more isolated area. This was around the time the teen went missing. Bowman claimed that the last time he saw the 14 year old she stole his money and ran away. He cooperated with the police initially but soon declined to talk further on the matter.
Aundria Bowman has not been seen since March 11th 1989 and although she is classified as a runaway across several missing peoples databases those following the case can’t help but be concerned that she may have fell victim to foul play at the hands of Dennis Bowman.
Aundria’s Charley Project page lists her as a 5”5 female weighing around 115lbs. Distinguishing marks include a birthmark on her right hip and pierced ears. Age progression pictures showing what present day Miss Bowman may look like can be viewed here.