Murder suspect in 1980 Norfolk cold case wants to plead guilty to killing Navy wife

Nation & World News

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The suspect in a cold case murder dating back to 1980 told a judge Monday morning he wants to plead guilty, but the judge wasn’t ready to accept the plea.

Dennis Bowman, 70, was extradited over the weekend on a second degree murder charge in the death of Kathleen Doyle. She was found strangled and stabbed twice in the chest at her home in the 9400 block of Granby Street on September 11, 1980.

In November 2019, officers arrested Bowman for Doyle’s murder, who was killed while her husband was deployed as a Navy pilot aboard the USS Eisenhower.

A photo of Dennis Bowman in 1980.

Bowman told Norfolk General District Judge Robert Rigney he wants to plead guilty and act as his own attorney. Rigney appointed backup counsel to advise Bowman before accepting any plea, citing the seriousness of the charge.

Investigators used forensic evidence to connect Bowman to the case. The arrest culminated nearly 40 years of investigation by Norfolk Police, NCIS, and state and local authorities in the Hamilton, Michigan, area where Bowman has lived for decades.

It’s unclear what connection Bowman had to Doyle or her Ocean View neighborhood in 1980.

WAVY’s sister station in Grand Rapids found Bowman has a criminal record dating back to 1980 that includes charges for assault, burglary and sexual assault.

Norfolk Chief Larry Boone said in a statement this years-long investigation shows the department’s commitment to getting justice for victims and their families.

“No victim is ever forgotten,” Boone said.

Dennis Bowman Courtesy – Norfolk City Jail

Last week, authorities in Michigan announced they are also investigating whether Bowman may have killed his adopted daughter.

Aundria Brown was 14 years old when she disappeared from her home in 1989. Police said they found human remains after they were told Aundria’s body may have been buried in a shallow grave.

Authorities have yet to identify the remains, and Bowman is not currently charged in Aundria’s death.


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