Anthony Sowell, 50, apparently murdered at least 11 women. Maybe more. We really won’t know until they stop digging bodies out of the ground of his Cleveland, Ohio home.
Over 14 women have disappeared in Cleveland’s 4th District. Authorities say the corpses may have been in the house or yard of Sewell’s home since 2005, which is around the time he was released from prison after serving a 15-year term for attempted rape.
Then there’s this interesting little nugget:
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Thirty-seven days passed between the time a woman told police Anthony Sowell choked and raped her in his house and when police went to Imperial Avenue to arrest him.
That time gap has raised the question — among the crowds of neighbors gathered outside Sowell’s home, victims’ advocates and at least one city councilman — if more could have been done to track Sowell, whom police charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated murder for some of the people found dead at his home.
“I’m not going to point fingers but at the end of the day, someone clearly dropped the ball,” Councilman Zack Reed said Tuesday.
Reed wants to hold hearings about how so many warning signs about Sowell — from the foul odor coming from his house to calls to police about him — weren’t acted upon fast enough.
Police said they did all they could to bring Sowell to justice for the Sept. 22 attack, but were hampered by a victim who was difficult to track down and hesitant to meet with detectives.
Mayor Frank Jackson defended the work of the police.
How did Anthony Sowell get away with it for so long?
Maybe it’s because he picked the right type of victim.
Sowell murdered Black women on the margins of society. Hunt them, rape them, kill them. Who cares about them?
A crowd of around 100 people milled about and chatted near the home Tuesday evening. A short while later, around 50 people joined hands and put their arms around one another in the middle of the street and prayed aloud.
One of those in the crowd, Antoinnette Dudley, 29, lives a few houses away. She said she could smell a terrible odor like something was dead all summer. She said she saw Sowell only a few times, mainly drinking beer while he sat on his porch.
“I didn’t think he was that sick,” she said.
As a registered sex offender, Sowell was required to check in regularly at the sheriff’s office. Officers didn’t have the right to enter his house, but they would stop by to make sure he was there. Their most recent visit was Sept. 22, just hours before the woman reported being raped.
For the past few years, Sowell’s neighbors thought the foul smell enveloping their street corner had been coming from a brick building where workers churned out sausage and head cheese. It got so bad that the owners of Ray’s Sausage replaced their sewer line and grease traps.
Oh, I’m not bashing the cops, though taking 37 days to investigate after a naked woman falls or jumps out of a known rapist’s house should have set off a few bells. Cops only handle the messy details and tidy up a bit after murders. They don’t prevent a committed serial killer/rapist, so forget all that CSI crap. I’m even going to cut a little slack to the officials who visited Sewell’s home because he was a convicted sex offender.
I’ll throw some of the weight on the neighbors. If both a man and the house he lives in smells like an abattoir, I’m going to call the police, mayor’s office, the EPA, and everybody except the dog catcher as much as I have to until someone gets off their ass and does something.
If we haven’t learned anything from this prick and the Phillip Garrido case it’s that you can’t unleash these dogs upon society and not expect them to bite.
The system has failed.
It comes down to the unpleasant truth that some don’t lives matter as much than others. Kill the right kind of victim and you can get away with murder for a long time.