Gary Ray BowlesImage copyright
Florida Department of Corrections

A serial killer who preyed on gay men along the US east coast is set to be put to death in Florida on Thursday, barring a stay by the US Supreme Court.

Gary Ray Bowles admitted to killing six men in 1994 from Florida to Maryland but was only convicted of three deaths.

Sometimes dubbed the “I-95 killer”, most of his victims were found nearby to the interstate corridor that spans the entire eastern seaboard of the US.

The Florida Supreme Court rejected his appeal earlier this month.

Investigators say the 57-year-old West Virginia native left an abusive household as a child and worked as a prostitute to gay men for a number of years before beginning his killing spree.

After two jail sentences for grand theft, robbery, assault and rape, he moved to Daytona Beach in 1993.

During this time he continued to work as a prostitute, and was living with a girlfriend who left him after discovering his sex work.

He later told authorities that he blamed gay men for their break-up, and was angered to learn that his girlfriend had had an abortion, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

After a manhunt, Bowles was arrested in Jacksonville while living under a false identify.

He was convicted of killing Walter Hinton, 47, and given a death penalty.

He also pleaded guilty and was given life sentences for the murders of John Hardy Roberts, 59, and Albert Alcie Morris, 37.

Bowles will be the 99th inmate to be put to death in Florida since 1976 when the death penalty was restored by the Supreme Court, according to the Daytona Beach New journal.