This Guy’s Inner Hell is Paving His Way INTO Hell: Six Bodies of Women Found Within, Under Cleveland, OH House
Well, Happy Hallowe’en, huh? The holiday is now over, but the nightmare’s just beginning. On top of the Richmond High rape episode, now this. Only two more months to the end of the year, and the freaks are coming out big time. And it doesn’t have to be at night.
The news broke on Thursday, just before the trick or treating, Freakfests, and parties began. Jeffrey Dahmer was really bad, but when it comes to black men becoming serial killers–and serial killing is more a pastime by white males–it’s too easy for people to start referencing their worst dreams and popular horror films.
Black women who lived near this guy’s house thought he was weird, but didn’t know that he was a convicted sex offender and rapist. The lucky ones refused his invitations to come over to his house and have a drink. Neighbors kept smelling an odor near his house, but thought it was something connected with the sewers or the plumbing. It was, after all, the inner city of Cleveland. They should have referenced Jeffrey Dahmer. He was weird too. Lived in a predominantly black area where other people of color also lived. And on his floor, there was the most awful smell.
Well, now we all know, on the Day of the Dead. It was the decaying bodies of six women–two of them have been identified as black–he had lured to his home, then raped, strangled, and secreted their bodies in a room on the third floor or buried in shallow graves under his house. Now people are wondering about the recent disappearances of local girls and women from the area since this guy moved here after his release from prison, and families are hoping that their child/sister/ex-wife/cousin/daughter isn’t among the bodies. This ain’t ovah yet. From the AP:
Six women whose badly decomposed bodies were found at the home of a convicted rapist were all victims of homicide, the coroner’s office said Sunday.
At least five of the women apparently had been strangled, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner. Decomposition made it difficult to determine how the sixth died, he said.
The bodies “could have been there anywhere from weeks to months to years,” Caesar said.
None of the victims has been identified, Caesar said. Two were black, but the race of the others hadn’t been determined, he said.
Anthony Sowell, a 50-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested Saturday when officers spotted him walking down the street of his east-side neighborhood. Court records and jail officials had no information about whether he had an attorney. No charges have been filed regarding the bodies.
The gruesome discovery left some in the community concerned about women who they had not seen in a long time. Ida Garrett, 72, remembered a friend who was reported missing in April. “I think one of them is her,” Garrett said.
The first bodies were found Thursday night when police went to Sowell’s home to arrest him on new charges of rape and felonious assault, but he wasn’t there. The woman in that alleged attack survived. She said she knew Sowell and was raped at the house.
Sowell had spent 15 years in the slam for choking and raping a woman he lured to his bedroom in 1989. Police had checked in with him only hours before the rape occurred on September 22, so I guess he thought he could party. Sure enough, he lured another female acquaintance to the house and raped her. The woman escaped, and apparently got up the courage to tell the police. She wasn’t the only survivor.
[S]ince Sowell wasn’t on parole or probation, [the police] didn’t have the right to enter his house — until Thursday when they had search and arrest warrants.
The three-story house with neat white siding sits in a crowded inner-city neighborhood of mostly older homes, some boarded up, and small corner stores.
The windows of the third floor, where the first two bodies were found, were wide open Sunday as a slight breeze blew. Some neighbors said a bad smell came from the house several months ago, but they thought then that it might be natural gas.
Garrett, the neighbor, walked to church services Sunday just one block from Sowell’s home. She said the neighborhood was relieved by the arrest but worried about those missing, including one of her friends who disappeared six months ago, just after Garrett wished her a happy 43rd birthday.
The friend, Nancy Cobbs, lived one street away from the Sowell home. She was reported missing in April, and her family told police they fear she is among the victims.
“She seemed to be a very nice, quiet girl. I’ve known her since she was a teenager,” Garrett said.
Now get this, Sowell lived there with his uncle and aunt or stepmother, but the neighbors haven’t seen him or her for quite a while. The aunt/stepmother was thought to have been remanded to a nursing home, but cops have yet to find out their whereabouts.
But few are more shocked than Allan Sowell, Anthony’s own half-brother.
“I never would think that anyone would do anything like this, let alone a half-brother. It’s just devastating,” Allan Sowell explains.
Allan tells Fox 8 News there were times that he was concerned for his stepmother, who lived with Anthony in the same house. He says her disability prevented her from seeing Anthony’s activity on the third floor.
“When he initially came home he had a job and he was paying her rent. And after awhile he stopped and he started threatening her,” Allan Sowell says. “It’s a tragedy for the families of the other missing people, the victims . . . and it’s also a tragedy for my family.”
There’s still the backyard to be combed for clues.
Clovice Ramsey, minister at All Nations Deliverance Ministries in nearby Maple Heights, held a “PEACE” sign on a corner within sight of the Sowell home and said the discovery of the bodies had damaged people’s trust in law enforcement.
“They don’t see the system working for them,” Ramsey said. Sowell “is not being rehabilitated. They are not keeping a watch on him. I just feel that when the system fails, the people give up. They give up on the system, and they give up on the God they can’t see.”
Well, being a Buddhist who believes that the divine resides in each person, I would have to say that Sowell allowed his darkness to swallow him up, extinguishing whatever light was within. He should have been kept in jail.
Law enforcement in communities of color can be a continuing series of neglect, apathy, and racism; subversions of the law, and outright murders in the name of the law. It seems none of the neighbors knew that they had a registered sex offender in their midst, although they knew he had been in prison. The cops say that they didn’t have to watch this guy, although women in that neighborhood were beginning to disappear without a trace. And so it goes.
A candlelight vigil has been called for Monday evening for families awaiting word about the fate of their loved ones. Community activists and families are being asked to come to East 123rd Street and Imperial Avenue for 7:00 p.m. The vigil is being called by Survivors/Victims of Tragedy.