Posts Tagged ‘ Anthony Sowell ’

Serial killer Anthony Sowell’s aftermath continues

Serial killer Anthony Sowell’s aftermath continues to stoke fears on Cleveland’s East Side: Phillip Morris

Convicted serial murderer Anthony Sowell’s Imperial Avenue home in Cleveland,OH, is demolished, Tuesday, December 6, 2011. But fear in the wake of his slaughter remains strong in certain Cleveland communities.

I first met Renee when they started pulling bodies out of Anthony Sowell’s backyard in 2009.

She called and said she wanted to talk to a reporter. She warned me that she was in the middle of a nervous breakdown and needed to scream.

When I arrived at her East Side home, Renee met me at the door with a picture of Kimberly Yvette Smith in her hand. She gave me the photo and began to shake and sob uncontrollably.

Awkward and haunting doesn’t begin to describe that introduction, but it’s the moment the serial killing became real for me.

Kim, an attractive young lady, was the ninth woman to be found buried in the home of Anthony Sowell, the convict Cleveland serial killer. She was also a close friend of Renee’s, as were four of the other women whose remains were found at the Imperial Avenue property.

But Renee wasn’t worried about Sowell. His career was over. She was worried about someone else; a man who she believed posed a continuing threat to her.

“I’m scared, Mr. Morris. There is someone else out here raping us. I was raped in July at gunpoint. The same guy, with the same M.O. has raped at least three more of my girlfriends. How can we get this guy off the street before he kills someone?

I’ve thought of Renee often in recent days as the level of tension and fear begins to rise again in certain neighborhoods on Cleveland’s East Side — neighborhoods near the house where Anthony Sowell killed and stashed the bodies of eleven women.

Police took the extraordinary step this week of issuing a warning to women to remain vigilant against stranger abductions as they seek whoever killed 20-year-old Jazmine Trotter and 45-year-old Christine (Crissy) Johnson-Malone.

The bodies of these two Cleveland women were found about a mile from each other last week in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Both died of head trauma and strangulation. Police say they have no evidence the incidents are connected, but a highly stressed community is already rushing to its own judgements.

The fear that another serial predator might have emerged continues to evolve, especially with the news Monday of an attempted abduction in the general vicinity of the two killings.

Perhaps it’s a community’s overreaction. But that is what can be expected in the wake of a successful serial killer, who operated under a city’s radar for years. Even after Sowell’s 2011 capital conviction, the paranoia and fears he stoked live on.

The current attacks have caused some to wonder whether another violent sociopath has picked up the killer’s mantel and resumed his work.

Cleveland, to its benefit, has changed in some important ways since Sowell made women disappear. The city’s police department doesn’t take missing person’s reports as cavalierly as it once did. Officers appear quicker to handle the complaints and more eager to ascertain a missing person’s whereabouts.

And the community is much quicker to report those who go missing. Families are doing a better job of keeping an eye on their own lost sheep and vulnerable loved ones.

Such proactive behavior helps improve the overall level of public safety, as sloppy predators – like Sowell – no longer have the luxury of operating in a climate marked by rank indifference.

Still, the warning and plea of Renee continue to haunt me. I don’t know if she’s living or dead. I have been unable to locate her.

If you’re out there Miss RYO, give me a call.

Her concerns remain just as valid now as they were when we spoke.

The first line of defense against a predator remains vigilance. Members of a community who assume direct responsibility for each other thwart a serial killer from operating under our radar.

Original Article

Group Wants Serial Killer’s Street Renamed

Cleveland Group: “Rename Serial Killer’s Old Street”

 CLEVELAND (AP) – Some neighbors of a now-demolished home where the remains of 11 murdered women were found want the street renamed to escape the stigma of the crimes.

A task force representing residents, business owners, ministers and relatives of victims are proposing the renaming of Imperial Avenue, the street where Anthony Sowell lived in the impoverished Mount Pleasant neighborhood east of downtown.

Some relatives say the victims’ families should memorialize the women as they choose and that the city should leave the property empty and not add the names of victims to any memorial.

“My mother is resting now, and I don’t want her name on anything over there,” said Donnita Carmichael, whose mother Tonia Carmichael was killed by Sowell.

“Would your kids play in that park? Would you eat or plant anything that came from a community garden grown on that soil? I don’t think so.”

The house was fenced off and kept intact for Sowell’s trial last year, when the jury toured the site. It was demolished in December.

City Councilman Ken Johnson said the task force was a council-driven effort, and the group is expected to make a recommendation to council members in the next couple months.

“It is a bad memory for the people on the street, and the landlords can’t rent their property,” Johnson said. “Nobody wants to live there because of what happened.”

Sowell, 52, is appealing his conviction and death sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court.

How? On what basis? Is he serious? What is his excuse for the bodies found in his house and yard going to be? Gremelins planted them?

The murdered women began vanishing in 2007. Police discovered 10 bodies and a skull at Sowell’s house in late 2009 after officers went there on a woman’s report that she had been raped at the home.

More At 

What is your opinion?

Do you try to move on? Make a garden, a park or something?

Do you have a plaque, a bench, a memorial at all?

Do you just leave it empty, open, fenced off as a reminder? For how long?

I say made a nice garden, with benches, small seats one for each victim. It does not have to be a place where children play, I can see the public being uncomfortable with that.

I also think that the families need to have a say, a strong say.


Anthony Sowell Gets Death Penalty

A serial killer who kept the decomposing bodies of 11 women in his Ohio home and yard for more than two years was sentenced to the death penalty Friday.

Judge Dick Ambrose accepted a jury’s recommendation and ruled that Anthony Sowell’s troubled childhood and mental health issues did not mitigate the seriousness of his crimes.

“The court gives no weight to the defendant’s expression of remorse,” Ambrose said in handing down the verdict.

Ambrose set an execution date of October 29, 2012. Sowell has the right to appeal, which could delay his execution by years.

Sowell, 51, sat with his eyes closed as two women he raped but did not kill and the relatives of his victims shared their pain during the sentencing hearing.

“You’re going to hell for your actions,” Donnita Carmichael said to the man who killed her mother Tonia.

“May your pacemaker stop and you die tonight,” said Dorothy Pollard, aunt of victim Diane Turner.

“He took my heart,” testified Donald Smith, whose daughter Kim was among the victims.

One of Sowell’s surviving rape victims said “I had to forgive him so I can move on with my life,” adding “he didn’t kill me, he killed what I was.”

The former U.S. marine was found guilty on July 22 of 82 charges including kidnapping, rape, molesting a human corpse, robbery and attempted murder.

The StarPhoenix
From Here

Now he can sit there for years appealing and filing frivolous lawsuits like the rest of them.


Jury recommends death penalty for convicte serial killer Anthony Sowell

CLEVELAND – A Cuyahoga County jury recommended the death sentence for convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell.

On July 22, the same jury found Sowell guilty on 82 of 83 counts, including aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. Prosecutors said Sowell lured the women into his house with drugs and alcohol, then strangled them. The remains of 11 women were found, some wrapped in plastic bags, around his Imperial Avenue home in October 2009.

It will be up to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose to make a final decision. He could still give Sowell life in prison without the possibly of parole when sentencing takes place on Friday at 9 a.m. Sowell stood emotionless in courtroom with is hands cuffed in front of him while the verdict was read.

As Sowell was escorted from the courtroom by Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies, family members applauded and cried. Assistant prosecutors Rick Bombik and Pinkey Carr shared hugs with several the victims’ relatives.

The 51-year-old Cleveland man was also convicted of raping two other women and attacking another. One woman told the jury, Sowell slapped her across the face and said “Bitch, take your clothes off,” before brutally raping her.

During the mitigation phase, the defense called more than 20 witnesses, including the defendant himself, to make a case against the death penalty.

“The only thing I want to say is that I’m sorry. I know that may not seem like much. And I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart,” Sowell said, during his guided and unsworn testimony. “This is not typical of me. I don’t know what happened. I can’t explain it. But I know it’s not a lot, but that’s all I can give.”

While Sowell’s sister and his former prison cellmate gave reasons why they love the man who killed 11 women, other people painted a different picture of Sowell.

“I think I was about 10 or 11 and everything change. Like me and Anthony would fight all the time,” Sowell’s niece Leona Davis said. She said she would get tired of fighting and that’s when Sowell would rape her. “His mom would beat us all the time… We got tied up to a pole and she would beat us.”

The last person to be sentenced to death in Cuyahoga County was 29-year-old Denny Obermiller. He pleaded guilty to killing his grandparents and was sentenced during a bench trial. Prosecutions said he strangled them in August 2010 and raped his grandmother, before setting their house on fire to hide the evidence. It was the first time that most could remember that a defendant in Cuyahoga County pleaded guilty and waived his right to argument against his execution.

The last jury in Cuyahoga County to recommend the death penalty was in March 2007. Charles Maxwell was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, while her young daughter watch on the even of her fourth birthday. The judge upheld the recommendation for the 2005 murder and Maxwell now sits on death row.

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, there are 151 people on Ohio’s death row and 25 of them are from Cuyahoga County.


Source and video


I hope that the judge follows the juries recommendation.


Weekend Updates

Anthony Sowell’s penalty phase is still on going. I am not going to do a play by play but I am hoping for capital punishment. He has claimed child abuse now even though he said before that he had not been abused. Full Coverage Here if you want more than just the verdict and my opinions.
The  Lonnie David Franklin Jr. aka Grim Sleeper trial has begun in California. He is accused of shooting to death or strangling seven of his victims between August 1985 and September 1988 and three others between March 2002 and January 2007.  Full Coverage here.
Levi Bellfield, who was jailed for life in June for the murder of Milly Dowler in 2002, suffered cuts after he was attacked outside a bathroom in prison, according to the Daily Mirror. He is planning on suing for the attack.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “We have paid no compensation to this man. The vast majority of prisoners’ compensation claims are dismissed at an early stage. All claims are robustly defended, and would only be settled on the basis of strong legal advice, and in order to seek the best value for the taxpayer.”      Full Story Here.
Suspected serial killer and former over-the-road trucker,  Bruce D. Mendenhall  made a brief appearance Monday in Wilson County, Tenn,. Criminal Court for the appointment of a new attorney and the scheduling of his trial on charges that he murdered Symantha Winters then stuffed her into a garbage bag in 2007.

Mendenhall’s court appointed attorney withdrew his representation in June. At Monday’s hearing, which lasted barely five minutes, the judge appointed the Wilson County Public Defender to represent Mendenhall and scheduled the trial for April 10, 2012.

Mendenhall is already serving a life sentence in the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution near Nashville for the June 2007 shooting death of 25-year-old Sarah Nicole Hulbert of Nashville. After being tried next year in the Symantha Winters case, he is expected to stand trial in Indianapolis for the alleged murder of Carma Purpura, 31, there. After the Indianapolis trial, Mendenhall is expected to be tried in Alabama for the death of Lucille “Gretna” Carter, 44 of Birmingham, Ala.     Full Story Here
Lee Boyd Malvo (Remember the Beltway Snipers?)  filed a motion to change his name due to concern for “his safety, [to] reduce the risk of assault by other inmates due to the notoriety of his crimes.” Wise County Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea rejected the request, saying that whatever he called himself, people would still know he was the infamous Malvo, who claims more murders every time he speaks publicly.

Malvo is now 26. When he was 17, he went on a cross-country killing spree with John Allen Muhammad, murdering random people from Washington state to Washington D.C.. Ten people in this region were slain in a three-week period in October 2002, including victims in the Falls Church and Manassas areas. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Falls Church murder. Muhammad was executed for the Manassas murder. Full Story Here

Also, Mr Abad, a handwriting expert says he has solved the Jack the Ripper Case once and for all.

Suspects have ranged from a member of Royal Family to a local butcher – but it is now claimed that Jack the Ripper was the very detective who led the hunt for the killer.

Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline of Scotland Yard was the man who murdered and mutilated at least five women in Victorian East London – at least according to Spanish writer Jose Luis Abad, 84.

He makes the claim in his book Jack the Ripper: The Most Intelligent Murderer in History, published in Spain this week.

Mr Abad is a handwriting expert and has compared Abberline’s writing with that in the Ripper’s diary – which surfaced in Liverpool in 1992.

Mr Abad, says: ‘I have no doubt Abberline was the Ripper. Handwriting does not lie.’

The diary was attributed to a Liverpool cotton dealer called James Maybrick – whom others have identified as the Ripper.

But many experts say the diary is a hoax. Mr Abad believes it is real, but that the author was Abberline, not Maybrick.
Read more

I am going out on a limb here and saying that I believe Mr. Abad is mistaken. Just my opinion of course. In all honesty I almost laughed out loud.


I’d love to hear your opinions on it though. Maybe even stick your 2 cents into who you think Jack the Ripper was.

Update on Anthony Sowell Trial

The state of Ohio rested its case against accused serial killer Anthony Sowell on Monday following 12 hours of interrogation video.

Cleveland police Det. Lem Griffin was the last prosecution witness to take the stand and answered questions about the time he spent with 51-year-old Sowell in the interrogation room. During the video, Griffin and his partner, Det. Melvin Smith, become frustrated with Sowell, who had been given his Miranda Rights several times and still agreed to speak with police.

Without the jury present, the defense asked for the charges to be dropped under rule 29, saying the state has not met the burden of proof. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose dropped one of the kidnapping charges, along with an aggravated murder specification.

Sowell faces 85 charges, including aggravated murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse, in the deaths of 11 women whose bodies were found in October 2009.

The defense will begins its case Tuesday morning.


Full coverage

Spectator ejected at Anthony Sowell murder trial

CLEVELAND — A man was removed from the courtroom because of his outburst during the trial of accused serial killer Anthony Sowell.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was escorted out of the courtroom by a sheriff’s deputy on the orders of Judge Dick Ambrose for yelling, “Now you know how we feel!”

He was then led out of the Justice Center and will not be allowed back into the courtroom for the duration of the trial. 

The spectator, who is thought to be a relative of two of the Imperial Avenue murder victims, was reacting to the testimony of Anthony Sowell’s sister, Tressa Garrison.

She was being questioned about the minutes immediately following the discovery of the first bodies in Sowell’s house on Imperial Avenue in October, 2009.

Garrison and her family lived on East 130th Street, a few blocks away from her brother’s house.

“It was just a very frantic time.  It was ridiculous,” Garrison said of the public and media attention that came her family’s way.

She testified that her oldest daughter was stopped by police on Imperial Avenue just for going to see if something had happened to her Uncle Tony the night the his house was being searched by police.

“Now you know how we feel!” the spectator blurted out, and was immediately walked out of the courtroom.

Testimony on this morning of the seventh day of the serial murder trial also included a brief statement from Joe Veal, the man who spotted a hooded Sowell walking down Mount Auburn Avenue near East 102nd Street around noon on Saturday, October 31, 2009.

“He looked like the guy they was looking for, so I went to the police station and told them follow me,” Veal testified.

One of the police officers who responded said Sowell initially denied he was the man they were looking for, even when he was shown a picture of himself. “He said he was Anthony Williams,” Cleveland Police Officer Charles Locke testified.

At the police station, Sowell asked for coffee and a cigarette, and while talking with Sgt. Ronald Ross, started sweating profusely and fell to his knees. “He said he didn’t want any help,” Ross told the court. “He said he wanted to die.”

Ross testified that Sowell told him he was “glad it’s over,” and that when “I asked him if everything we found in the house was it, he goes, ‘I think so.’  And I asked him what about outside, and he said, ‘oh, those too.'”

At the time, one body had been found buried in Sowell’s yard, and Ross said he immediately wondered if there were more. In the following days, a total of five decomposing bodies would be unearthed in the yard, in addition to the six that were found inside his house.

Earlier Thursday, Sowell’s nephew Ja’ovvani Garrison, who lived with his mother in the East 130th Street house, testified that he was playing video games with his uncle the night Anthony Sowell’s house was search and the first bodies were being discovered. He said Sowell left briefly with another woman, but returned about 15 minutes later.

Garrison testified that Sowell did not talk about what had happened in the time he was gone. It was later discovered that he saw police activity near his home and stopped short, and asked the woman to drive him back to his sister’s house.


These trials have to be so hard on the families.

All of the families, the killer’s included.

It is not something I can imagine going through. When I try I picture myself hanging out in a hall and taking a shot at the serial killer. It does not matter if my loved one was a victim or the killer.

Not that it would work, but that is how I imagine myself reacting.

In reality I do not know and hope to never find out.

Anthony Sowell Coverage

This site has complete coverage of the Anthony Sowell trial.

Videos, updates, news clips and more.


Update on Anthony Sowell Trial

The jury toured Anthony Sowell’s house.

Here is the 6pm follow up.

This is a pretty good article on the tour as well.

News 5 Article

During Bombik’s hour-long presentation Rufus Sims, one of Sowell’s two attorneys, sat with his eyes closed and his hands formed in a steeple.  It was unclear whether Sims was praying or sleeping.

Sims would not have to sit through another long opening argument.  Co-counsel John Parker took only 10 minutes.  Parker tried to convince the jury that 11 bodies on the Sowell property was not enough to convict his client.

“There are no eyewitnesses. There are no fingerprints.  here’s no DNA linking Mr. Sowell to any of the homicides,” Parker said.

I am guessing that Sims was praying. It will take divine intervention for Sowell to be found not guilty.

As to the statement by Mr. Parker I think the bodies link Sowell to the homicides pretty well.

In September, 2009  Sowell invited a woman he knew to his home for a drink. On September 22, 2009 she reported to police that after a few drinks, he became angry, hit her, choked her and raped her as she passed out. On October 29, police arrived at his home with a warrant to arrest him for the alleged rape. He was not there, but they found two bodies on the floor in the living room.  He was located and arrested two days later.

The bodies of four other women were found throughout the home, buried in a shallow grave in the basement and in crawl spaces in the house.  After digging in the backyard, investigators found three more bodies and the remains of a fourth. Police also found a human skull in a bucket inside the house, which brought the body count to eleven.


I guess the that same person that John Wayne Gacy claimed hid the bodies under his house is back at it?

I respect the law and the justice system but I have a hard time figuring out why some cases go to trial.

A few updates

Michael Wayne McGray has been charged in connection with the death of Jeremy Michael Phillips.

On the morning of Nov. 23, 2010, Phillips, 33, was found dead in the prison cell he shared with McGray–who had been previously convicted of six murders and recently moved from maximum-security Kent Institution to medium-security Mountain Institution.

Phillips had been serving a six-year, nine-month sentence for an aggravated assault that took place after a failed drug deal.

McGray has been moved to a new federal prison and is no longer in British Columbia.

Full Story

I just hope this time they have him in a cell by himself!! I also hope that they have put him into a maximum security prison.


The trial of Anthony Sowell is beginning. Jury selection has started.

About 200 prospective jurors are being divided into groups of 15 and brought to the courtroom for orientation. Individuals in each group are then being interviewed privately about their views on the death penalty, according to court officials.

Anthony Sowell, 51, a former Marine, stood at military attention to face jurors as they entered. He was dressed in a white golf shirt and wore a goatee. He has been charged with the murder of 11 women in an 85-count indictment.

If Sowell is found guilty, the jury must then decide whether to sentence him to death. The decision must be unanimous.

Sowell was arrested on October 29, 2009, two days after the initial discovery of bodies in and around his home. The decomposing bodies were found by police who were responding to a report by a woman who said she had been attacked in the home.

Full Story


If Sowell is not found guilty I hope we make the jurors share custody of him..

Here is a page with video clips regarding the Sowell trial. 

In New York police are searching the beaches of Long Island again.

Police in New York say they will resume a search for bodies in the ongoing investigation into a possible serial killer on Long Island.

State police say recent FBI aerial photography is prompting a return to the area on Tuesday. State police did not specifically say if the photos, taken in April, yielded additional evidence.

Full Story

I am going to take a guess and say that the photos showed them something. Maybe not more bodies but something had to be seen if they are going back out there.


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