Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Cleveland Strangler

When Lisa suggested to me that I should watch Unseen, I knew it would be an interesting watch. She is always great for TV recommendations. So after watching it and being completely shocked I decided to do a post about the case. Lisa will be doing a post about the documentary so make sure to keep an eye out for that.
The Case

In September 2009, a report was made to police that a woman had been raped. The victim knew her attacker and named him as Anthony Sowell. After getting a warrant to arrest him, in October 2009, police went to his home. There was no sign of Sowell, but police found two dead bodies in his living room. 
After further investigations, four more bodies were found in his home. They also found a human skull in a bucket. In the garden they found three more bodies and the remains of a fourth. Nearly all the victims had been strangled.


Anthony Sowell's known victims were -
  • Crystal Dozier 35
  • Tishana Culver 31
  • Leshanda Long 25
  • Michelle Mason 45
  • Tonia Carmichael 53
  • Nancy Cobbs 43
  • Amelda Hunter 47
  • Telacia Fortson 31
  • Janice Webb 49
  • Kim Yvette Smith 44
  • Diane Turner 38
Sowell had let at least 3 women he had raped live. These women never reported him, maybe they thought they wouldn't be believed because they were addicted to drugs. A lot of his victim's had been lured to his home with the promise of drugs.

History of Anthony Sowell

Sowell was one of seven children. There have been reports that he was violent towards his siblings and even abused his niece. 
Anthony Sowell was in the Marine Corps from 1978, when he was 19, until 1985. During his time in the Marines he was awarded several commendations.
In 1989 he attacked a pregnant woman, he was charged with rape, attempted rape and kidnapping. He pled guilty to the attempted rape charge and served 15 years in prison. 
After his release in 2005, he worked in a factory for a couple of years. 

Trial Appeal and Sentence

Anthony Sowell was charged with over 70 counts of kidnapping, rape, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. He was also charged with aggravated murder for each of the eleven victims. The trial was delayed several times, eventually in 2011 he was convicted on all charges except two. Anthony Sowell was sentenced to die and sent to death row.
Sowell got new lawyers who appealed against the verdict and sentence. Included in the reasons for an appeal they said Sowell had not received a fair trial because of media coverage and that he didn't have adequate legal representation. 
His appeal was rejected and he is currently still on death row.

My Views

This is a truly shocking case, these women were basically overlooked because they had problems. I don't know how he got away with it for as long as he did. It wasn't like he lived in the middle of nowhere, eleven women missing and killed, there bodies just left in and around his home and nobody noticed a thing. The women who he raped but lived to tell, didn't tell mainly through fear of not being believed, I find this absolutely dreadful no matter what issues you have no one should ever be made to feel like they won't be believed. Watching the documentary was a real eye opener, listening to survivor's telling their stories and how a man in the neighbourhood spoke about these poor women.
Anthony Sowell's house has been demolished and he is currently waiting for his death sentence to be carried out. In my opinion that day can't come soon enough, that monster should never be able to hurt anyone else again.

 I would be really interested in hearing people's views on this case let me know in the comments.


  1. I've heard about the Cleveland Strangler before but never really looked into details of this case. Thanks to your post I know more now and... it's horrifying. How can some people be so effed up?

    1. Thanks for commenting. I know it's seriously worrying how some people's minds work isn't it x

  2. I remember first following this case when I use to watch crime documentaries on weekend away from school. I would never forget this case and the horrific details. It’s always super sad learning in full detail what those victims and their families went through. I guess can never wrap my head around people who have such monsterous hearts. You pinpointed every part quite well Emma! I love that you’re blog isn’t so different and mystery related 💕😘

    xx Lena |

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Lena. It means so much to know people enjoy what I write xx

  3. This is a really interesting post. I had never heard of the Cleveland Strangler before but I will be checking out the documentary now!

    1. It's really interesting and shocking to watch x

  4. Thanks for sharing Emma great post as always on this shocking story amazes me how he got away with it. Glad they tore the house down don’t think people in the area need the reminder of the shocking things he got away with


    1. Thank you Lisa, and thanks for recommending the programme to me. Yeah it was a definately a good idea to tear it down, for the survivors I thought it was a good thing to do x