Convicted Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell dies

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The man convicted of killing 11 women and leaving their bodies around his house in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood died on Monday.

Anthony Sowell, 61, was incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution. A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Corrections said he was receiving end-of-life care at the Franklin Medical Center for a terminal illness. He died Monday afternoon. It was not COVID-19 related.

Anthony Sowell

Cleveland police were investigating a rape case against Sowell when they searched his house on Imperial Avenue and discovered two bodies on Oct. 29, 2009. Over the next several days, investigators worked to uncover and identify the remains of 11 women: Tonia Carmichael, Nancy Cobbs, Tishana Culver, Crystal Dozier, Telacia Fortson, Amelda Hunter, Leshanda Long, Michelle Mason, Kim Yvette Smith, Diane Turner and Janice Webb.

Nearly two years later, a Cuyahoga County jury found Sowell guilty on 82 counts, including aggravated murder and kidnapping. He was also convicted of attacking three other women who survived. He was sentenced to death, but continued to appeal as recently as last May.

The state prison system notified the families of his death.

“I am glad he is dead. God made it happen. I will never ever ever forgive him,” said Donnita Carmichael, daughter of Tonia Carmichael.

“We can go on because he’s dead. We don’t have to hear about him any more,” said Joann Moore, sister of Janice Webb.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley released a statement on the death.

“My thoughts and prayers at this time are with the family and friends of the victims of this monster.  This community will never fully recover from the horror that occurred on Imperial Avenue.  My hope is that law enforcement and the criminal justice system have learned from the mistakes that allowed this diabolical predator to go undetected for so long.”

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