For a decade, Ohio serial killer Shawn Grate preyed upon vulnerable women before his explosive temper led him to murder. But before he killed his first known victim in 2005, Grate had established a pattern of violence toward the women that he was involved with. He was first arrested for assault at age 18 in 1994 when he grabbed a girlfriend by the throat (via the Mansfield News Journal). Five years later, Grate was arrested again for assaulting a different woman, this time a pregnant girlfriend, whom he beat and choked. Within a year, Grate broke into the home of the same woman and threatened to kill her with a knife.


These offenses, among some minor drug and alcohol charges along the way, kept Grate going in and out of prisons and jails. Despite the severity of his assaults, he only spent about four years total behind bars until he was finally arrested in 2016 on a kidnapping charge that eventually led to him being charged with multiple counts of murder. Notably, Grate is one of many killers sitting on death row who became a father when he was still roaming the world as a free man. What happened to the three children he sired?

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.



Shawn Grate looking to side

Though multiple outlets reference Shawn Grate’s first child, not much is publicly known about them. The daughter he fathered with the unnamed woman would still be young, and her identity is unknown. Until the day her mother speaks out publicly about Grate, the world may never know what transpired within their union together.

Grate fathered his second child with his 17-year-old girlfriend (via the Mansfield News Journal). All That’s Interesting reports that this relationship was wrought with Grate’s violence toward her, who was five years his junior. Though he was arrested for assaulting her, she sought and received the court’s permission to allow Grate to see their child shortly after he was born in September 1999 (via the Mansfield News Journal). As far as the public knows, the son he produced with his young girlfriend has not been identified by name.

Grate didn’t stop after two children. His last child was the product of a brief marriage to Amber Bowman he had a decade ago. Like the many other women who found themselves involved romantically with Grate, his ex-wife recalled horrific abuse and threats of death from a man who would soon be living out the rest of his days on death row. A member of Bowman’s family called him a “deadbeat dad” in addition to being a brutal rapist, serial abuser, and murderer (per the Daily Mail).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.



Shawn Grate

Shawn Grate first met Amber Bowman at a church they attended together in 2011. Investigation Discovery reports that Grate’s “loving and kind” demeanor allowed him to sweep Bowman off her feet. They married shortly after meeting, beginning a life of what Bowman thought was to be wedded bliss in early 2011. But things took a dark turn rather quickly after the two wed. Bowman maintains that Grate began to keep her from her close friends and family. His behavior changed, and she found him becoming a scary guy to live with. 

Bowman soon found herself a victim of Grate’s violent tendencies, but unlike his murder victims, she was able to get away and distance herself from her abuser. During an interview on “Dr. Phil,” Bowman revealed that she had to file for a domestic violence protection order against Grate after their divorce. At one point, Grate sent her a message saying (per Investigation Discovery), “If I can’t see my daughter then no one will.” He also told her that he was preparing for a “grand finale,” the implications of which cast a haunting tone.

During their brief union, Grate and Bowman did have one child. Bowman stated in her interview that she gave birth to a girl in 2012 and that the thought of telling her about her father concerns her. When asked, she told Dr. Phil (via Yahoo News), “I feel like eventually, I’ll have to. I don’t even know how you address that with her, or when the right time would be.”