GAINESVILLE — As a child, Paul Rowles fantasized about raping women.
As an adult, he murdered them.
Linda Fida. Elizabeth Foster. And maybe Tiffany Sessions.
Fida was found in her bathtub. Foster's body was found in a shallow grave in the woods. Sessions has never been located.
Nearly 25 years after the University of Florida student vanished during a walk near her Gainesville apartment, Sessions' family and detectives have once again asked the public for help in solving her case.
But unlike the previous pleas, investigators on Thursday named their prime suspect: Paul Rowles, a suspected serial killer who died in prison last year.
"I know [the case] can be closed," said Hilary Sessions, Tiffany's mother. "It's been a 25-year struggle, and it would be nice to be able to put her to rest."
Rowles may have thought he took his secrets to the grave, but a journal he left behind yields an important clue in Tiffany Sessions' case, investigators said.
Rowles wrote some of his victims' names in the book. Sessions isn't mentioned, but the date of her death is.
On the bottom of a 2002 calendar, Rowles wrote: "#2 2/9/89 #2."
Detectives and Sessions' family think Rowles' noted Tiffany was his second victim, and her disappearance was on Feb. 9, 1989.
"It may not be a smoking gun, but it's close," said Pat Sessions, Tiffany's father.
Tiffany Sessions was a 20-year-old finance major when she disappeared during her routine walk.
Sessions' picture was plastered on countless fliers and billboards across the state. The case garnered national attention as quarterback Dan Marino — a friend of Pat Sessions' — made public pleas for help in finding the college student.
Hundreds of people helped search for Tiffany, but eventually the case grew cold.
Rowles didn't emerge as a serious suspect in Tiffany's case until his DNA was linked to another Gainesville cold case.
By the time the connection was made in 2012, Rowles was suffering from cancer while in prison for kidnapping and raping a Clearwater girl.
According to information released by Alachua County detectives Thursday, Rowles led a disturbed life.
When he was 8 he choked a cat to death. He developed sexual fantasies of raping women by the time he was 12.