Arthur Gary Bishop

Roger Downs

Confirmed Kills
5
Suspected Kills
5
Total Possible Kills
10
Years Active
1979–1983
DOB
September 29, 1952
Zodiac
Libra
Gender
Male
Race
White
Identified
Yes
Status
Executed 1988
Alive or Dead?
Executed
US States Operated
Utah
Country
US
Synopsis
Info Box

Serial killer and child molester Arthur Gary Bishop was born September 29, 1952, in Hinckley, Utah. A police investigation in 1983 led to him confessing to the murders of five boys aged 4-13 between 1979 and 1983.

Early life

Arthur Gary Bishop, a person who was raised as a devout Latter-day Saint and an Eagle Scout, later turned to the career of embezzlement. On February the 17th 1978, he was punished by receiving a 5 year suspended sentence after being charged with embezzlement. Then, he went on to skip parole and fled to Salt Lake City under the alias “Roger Downs.” In October 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had excommunicated him for his actions. Volunteering in Big Brother in Salt Lake City did not initially expose him as a child molester until he was arrested for murder in 1982 when 4 victims who were molested by him spoke up about his acts after growing up. 

Murders

Alonzo Daniels (October 14, 1979) 

On October 14, 1979, Arthur Gary Bishop lured a four-year-old boy named Alonzo Daniels into his apartment. The boy was lured by the promise of free candy and later taken to Arthur’s home where he attempted to sexually assault the child and then drowned him in a bathtub. Bishop buried the boy’s body in a desert outside of Cedar Fort in an attempt to cover up his crimes. 

Kim Peterson (November 1980) 

In November 1980 at a skating rink, Arthur Bishop encountered an 11-year-old boy named Kim Peterson who he tried to entice over to his apartment on the pretense of buying a pair of roller skates that he was trying to sell. Witnesses reported seeing someone with similar physical characteristics to that of Bishop speaking with Peterson earlier at the local skating park. Bishop lured the little boy back to his apartment where it is believed that he bludgeoned him to death and buried his body near those of Alonzo Daniels – both victims of his crimes. Arthur Bishop would be questioned about Peterson’s disappearance but no further suspicion was made against him.

Danny Davis  (October 20, 1981) 

On October 20, 1981, 4-year-old Danny Davis disappeared after he was lured away from the supermarket to a home just half a block down the street. Several people saw a smiling man standing near the boy at one point, but they were unable to describe him in enough detail to identify him. Police launched one of their biggest hunts ever in Salt Lake County history, searching through every house and business for days on end. Fliers were printed offering a $20,000 reward and they questioned witnesses under hypnosis to find out more about the individual who had abducted Davis. The FBI was contacted but was unable to find any trace of the missing boy. 

Troy Ward (June 22, 1983) 

On June 22, 1983, Arthur Gary Bishop abducted 6-year-old Troy Ward. Troy was seen leaving the park just before 4 pm on foot with someone. As with the other victims of this serial child abductor and murderer, Bishop had assaulted and drowned Troy in his bathtub. 

Graeme Cunningham (July 14, 1983)

One fateful day in July of 1983, Bishop finally decided to kill again. This time his victim was a 13-year-old boy named Graeme Cunningham. However, this time around he wasn’t just some random victim: Cunningham was going on a camping trip with a friend, and his adult chaperone: Arthur Bishop when vanished from his neighborhood a day before the trip. His disappearance was statewide news. 

Arrest 

Local police looked into progress reports they’ve already made recently and took notice that four of the five children had lived within several miles of Bishop (“Roger Downs”) and that Bishop knew the parents of the fifth victim. The police were convinced they chose their suspect wisely by bringing in “Downs” for questioning on the pretext of having him assist with looking into Cunningham’s case. At the station, police managed to obtain Roger’s real name and eventually got him to confess to all five murders. The next day, Bishop led them to three skeletons near Cedar Fort and two more recent corpses near Big Cottonwood Creek.

Trial and execution

On February 27, 1984, Arthur Gary Bishop was brought to trial. During his trial, he claimed that child pornography addiction made him a homosexual pedophile. Three weeks later, on March 19, 1984, a jury sentenced Arthur Gary Bishop to death after being found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated kidnapping, and one count of sexually abusing a minor.

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