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A.K.A.: "Ginger"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 10, 1980
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: 1956
Victim profile: Donald Ryan, 49 (park-keeper)
Method of murder: Mutilated while he was still alive using a handsaw, electric carving knife and a machete
Location: Cambervell, London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in 1982

Hunt Is On For Convicted Killer

Saturday May 17, 2008

Police are still hunting a convicted killer who has gone on the run from an open prison - and the public have been warned not to tackle him

John Bowden, 51, failed to return to Noranside jail in Angus on Thursday.

Police said Bowden, who was last seen in the nearby town of Forfar, was being tested in "open conditions" when he absconded.

Bowden, originally from south London, was given a life sentence in 1982 at the Old Bailey after being convicted of murdering park-keeper Donald Ryan.

Tayside Police are examining CCTV footage and working with British Transport Police and other forces in an attempt to trace him.

He was last seen near the Tesco store in Castle Street, Forfar.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said the public should not approach Bowden.

He added: "John Bowden is unlawfully at large. If anyone is aware of his whereabouts, they should contact the police."

Bowden, who was due to be considered for parole later this month, was originally jailed in England, after being ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison for the murder of Mr Ryan.

With two accomplices, Bowden lured Mr Ryan to a flat to rob him and then mutilated him while he was still alive using a handsaw, electric carving knife and a machete.

In 1992, while being held at Maidstone jail in Kent, Bowden went on the run during a compassionate visit to his sick father.

He was later recaptured and transferred to Scotland in 1995, where he was held at a number of jails before being transferred to Noranside in October 2007.

During Bowden's court case, the judge, Mr Justice Mars-Jones, said: "There was never a more terrible case of murder than this one."


Saw killer John Bowden goes on run from prison

By Brian McCartney -

May 17, 2008

A SADISTIC killer who cut up a man with a saw while he was alive is on the run after being allowed to go shopping.

John "Ginger" Bowden, 51, was allowed the trip as part of his training for freedom - despite showing traces of cocaine in a prison drugs test.

And the decision by the killer - who was given a life sentence in 1982 - to go on the run has puzzled prison insiders, as he was due to go before a parole hearing which could have won him freedom in just a few days.

Ian McGregor, governor of Noranside Prison, near Brechin, Angus, is understood to have allowed the shopping trip as the drugs test was not totally conclusive.

A prison source said: "Bowden had asked for a second test. Even if that proved positive it wouldn't necessarily have affected his parole hearing, but absconding will. "

Bowden's suitability for parole was reviewed a year ago because of his contact with the group Anarchist Black Cross - who campaign for the abolition of the prison system.

Bowden, who has written for the group's website, blames the brutalising effect of the penal system for the "senseless" murder of park-keeper Donald Ryan, 49.

Mr Ryan was lured to a flat in London by Bowden and two other men and knocked unconscious. He was put in a bath and dismembered with a saw and a machete while alive.

Bowden spent 18 months on the run after escaping while on compassionate home leave in 1992.

But he was sent back to jail after being caught for dole fraud and identified by his fingerprints as a prisoner on the run.

He went on to marry secretary Alice Still, then 42, who he met during his escape.

But the prison source said they had separated some time ago.

Bowden was moved to open prison conditions last year and has been on regular home leaves.


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