Daughter of Slain Virginia Trooper Seeks Clues in Unsolved Case

Nikki Bowman, daughter of Virginia State Police Trooper Johnny Bowman, who was killed in 1984, is asking the public for information that might help solve her father's murder.

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I’ve never heard a bad word about my dad. Gentle guy. Would do anything for anybody. He’d give you the shirt off of his back. Very quiet, laid back, hardworking. Mostly a homebody. He was just a genuinely good guy. I’ve never heard anything bad, which is another part that makes the whole thing baffling and mind-blowing is: Why?

My name is Nikki Bowman. And I work for the Manassas City Police Department. And my father was Trooper Johnny Bowman.

The story that I know is August 19, 1984, my dad I guess had worked some type of off-duty detail at the Prince William County Fair. Came home after the detail, I guess had a few hours to get some rest before having to go back to work the following day.

At some point around 3:30, 4:00, it was either a knock at the door or the doorbell rang. He came downstairs, my mom said something to the nature of, “Something’s going on, the doorbell keeps ringing, don't answer.”

He answers the door and then is immediately ambushed. The whole event, from what I am understanding of, took place in the foyer. He was stabbed somewhere between 40 and 45 times throughout his entire body.

I’ve always wondered, especially now being in the field myself. I would either answer the door with some type of protection, or I’m not going to answer the door at all. It’s one of two things. Or I’ll call it in: “Hey, there’s some guy, some girl, whatever, on my front doorstep. I don't know them. It’s 4:00 in the morning. Can you send somebody by?”

It’s just off. There’s just something off. Which is why I feel like maybe the story that’s out there is not actually what happened.

And that’s why I need people who have overheard, have been told something, or who were there, I need them to come forward. Somebody knows specifically what happened that day. And if I had to lay money on it, it’s not what’s been told.

Obviously, something this traumatic hits people differently. For me, it’s caused a lot of trust issues, being that the person who did this is still an unknown. Is it somebody I’m talking to on a regular basis? Is this somebody who knows who I am? Do they still live in the area? Should I be fearful? You always have to kind of watch your back is the way I look at it.

There are people that were here that are either still here or maybe have moved somewhere else. But word travels fast in small communities like this. And I would find it very hard to believe that there’s not someone or multiple people that know what happened that day. Whether it was by word of mouth, they were there, someone that was there told them. But somebody knows something. To me, there’s no way that that’s not possible. And I would just hope that they could find it in their hearts and do the right thing.

Thirty-four years is a long time of waiting. My life is a constant struggle. Every day is hard. And I think it’s time for the roles to be reversed. Their life should be hard. You need to own up to what you’ve done. I should be able to live happily after this. But I can't do that without answers.

Bruce Lee once said, “Mistakes can be forgiven if one person has the courage to admit them.” I’ve tried to live my life by that. If I make a mistake, it’s okay. Come forward and admit what you did. You can't be forgiven unless you admit what you’ve done wrong.

I’m thankful to everybody that’s still pursuing the case and taking time to continue investigating, continue following leads, trying to find more leads. At the same time, 34 years is a long time. And each year that passes it gets a little bit more difficult. I just want answers.

As much as I would love for it to be done and over with, I’m still willing to let it go forward and still kind of advocate the case and be here for my dad. Not only do I deserve answers, but so does he. He may not be here to get it. But I know when it comes out, he’ll hear it. And he deserves that.

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