Local News

Mistress: Mortician offered $50K to kill wife

Posted September 26, 2008

— The mistress of a Rocky Mount funeral-home owner accused of plotting to kill his wife two years ago told authorities she pulled the trigger because he asked her to do it.

Mark Bowling, the former owner of several Bowling Funeral Home operations in eastern North Carolina, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Dec. 8, 2006, shooting death of Julie Bowling.

The trial was moved to Pitt County because the intense publicity around the case in Nash County reduced the chance of finding impartial jurors.

Nash County sheriff's deputy Steve Saunders also told the eight-woman, four-man jury Friday that Bowling curiously waited eight hours into an interview with investigators after his wife's death to say the Rose Vincent, his mistress, had been stalking his wife and making threats against her.

"I will know in a few hours who took Julie's life. I just need to look her in the eyes," Saunders quoted Bowling as saying.

Vincent pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and has agreed to testify against Bowling.

She admitted that she gunned down Julie Bowling in the garage of the Bowling home, but said Mark Bowling provided her with a map and instructions on how to carry out the crime while he was away on a scuba-diving trip.

Vincent's statement to investigators was read in court Friday morning. She told them Bowling asked her several times to kill his wife and even threatened to kill himself if she didn't carry it out.

"I know I'm a big girl, but I wouldn't do it if it wasn't for him," she told investigators. "I was like his puppet."

Bowling offered to pay Vincent $50,000 to kill his wife, she told investigators. She said she responded that she didn't want any money, she only wanted to be with him.

Phone records showed Bowling called Vincent the morning of the slaying, and the two had swapped text messages in the preceding days.

Defense attorneys have said that Vincent killed Julie Bowling on her own because she had a "fatal attraction" for Mark Bowling and had to get his wife out of the way so she could be with him.

Vincent is serving at least 29 years in prison for the slaying.

In other testimony Friday, Carmi Guyette, a former Nash County crime-scene investigator, said he found various ammunition in a safe inside the Bowling home, including .32-caliber Smith & Wesson bullets. The gun that Vincent said she used in the crime was a .32-caliber Smith & Wesson, he said.

The trial is expected to continue Monday.


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  • teacher-mom Sep 26, 2008

    He wanted the insurance money. I love it when the cheaters get together. There is nothing like a relationship built on trust. I feel sorry for her family. My sympathy to Julie's family and loved ones. Someone probably cares about him. I feel sorry for whoever it is. Always follow the money. He was in financial distress. Not as much as he would have us believe. He was scuba diving in Florida. I hope he did not charge the trip.

  • nandud Sep 26, 2008

    "What is disgusting to me is we allowed him to do my sister's funeral not knowing at the time that he was planning his own wife's murder. It is really hurting me to know someone so sorry was even allowed to be close to my sister at all!! I wish we had only known who he really was. He was very deceiving with his fake care for my family. It makes me want to throw up!!!!"

    bluebird, I am sorry for your loss, especially now.

  • imanursebaby Sep 26, 2008

    Do we have a modern day Pinocchio on our hands?

  • 1cent+1cent Sep 26, 2008

    The pistol was a .32 caliber H&R. Not a Smith and Wesson. The .32 caliber Smith and Wesson brand ammunition was found on the top of the gun cabinet. Not inside it.

    Rose Parker Vincent was unknown to the Nash County Sheriffs Dept until Mark Bowling named her as having stalked his wife. Mark revealed her name after 7-8 hours of questioning by the Nash County Investigators. Shortly thereafter, Rose Parker Vincent was brought in for questioning. After asking her whereabouts for the previous 2 days, she was asked what type of vehicle she had. She replied, a Trailblazer. She was then asked if it was equipped with "OnStar". She replied it was however she didn't subscribe to the service. The interrogator tricked her by telling her that it didn't make any difference, they would still be able to determine where the vehicle had been. At that time, Rose must have thought she was going to be caught and confessed immediately.

    Court case observer......

  • threeps Sep 26, 2008

    Amen, Brogden. I happened to be in his presence one day when he got the call to pick up a body. As soon as he hung up the phone, he said "Cha-ching" and did his arm like he was pulling down the lever of a slot machine. I have not cared for him since. He is a crude, ruthless, uncaring man. I am sure he had moments where he was able to charm people into believing he was a decent person, but it was all an act. I am sure he knew Rose would tell all, but he is counting on the jury looking at her, her social status, her appearance and not believing a word she says.

  • SailbadTheSinner Sep 26, 2008

    He may have wanted her to be dead and he may have even smiled a bit when he found out that she was but that’s a long way from proof of a conspiracy to commit murder.

    It’s possible that this lady is providing the ‘he made me do it’ testimony because she agreed to do that in return for a lighter sentence.

    It’s going to take a lot more than the accusations of the murderer to convince me and probably a jury too. We haven’t heard too much about the real evidence.

    Telephone conversations and text-messages are to be expected in cases like this and prove nothing unless they have actual recordings and/or incriminating text. (Aside: Doesn’t ANYONE know how to conduct an affair these days? Is this just another skill we have lost in these Latter Days of electronics?)

    About the .32: Lots of us have ammunition for things like that in our gun safes – sometimes even after the gun itself has long since gone ....

    I’ll wait for the verdict before I condemn him to the block.

  • Brogden Sep 26, 2008

    You know what they say - the greatest actor in the world is a funeral director trying to act sad at a $10,000 funeral!
    This guy thought he had everyone fooled and the "mistress" would
    take the heat. He didn't expect her to sing like a canary!

  • sunshine1224 Sep 26, 2008


  • cgj1978o Sep 26, 2008

    my wife went to high school with him. of course a lot happens in that length of time, but she would have a hard time believing the mark bowling she knew in high school would do something like that.

  • news4u Sep 26, 2008

    I'm Your Puppet - James and Bobby Purify - CLASSIC