EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio– Who is Michael Madison and how did the 35-year-old end up as an accused serial killer?
Court records indicate he has a criminal history that includes a 2001 arrest by East Cleveland police on charges of kidnapping, attempted rape and gross sexual imposition.
In 2002, as part of a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the attempted rape charge. He was sentenced to four years in prison and when he was released, was classified a sexually oriented offender.
He reported to authorities that he was staying at his mother’s home on Chickasaw Avenue in Cleveland; the same home where he was found on Friday after the first victim was discovered in East Cleveland.
But some neighborhood residents say Madison was rarely at his mother’s house, and they had no idea he was a sex offender.
One neighbor, who asked to not be identified, told FOX 8, “You’d like to know if there’s a monster living next door to you, and it just makes you be a little more vigilant. You know if I had known he was a sex offender, I probably would have paid more attention to anything I would have seen at that household.”
East Cleveland residents say there were a number of red flags in Michael Madison’s life, including his aggressive behavior toward young women, and his admiration for notorious Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell.
One resident said Madison befriended her teenage daughter and when she found out how old Madison was, told him to leave her daughter alone in a very forceful way.
Nathenia Crosby told FOX 8, “It could have been my baby. He walked my daughter down the street two weeks ago, my cousin and my daughter; it could have been one of them, but I believe because I was so aggressive, he knew, ‘don’t mess with those girls.'”
According to those who have encountered Madison, it is his obsession with Anthony Sowell, the serial killer sentenced to death for the murders of 11 women, that is providing the most telling glimpse into his mind.
One of his mother’s neighbors told us, “Anyone who admires Anthony Sowell is a danger. They are insane. He is nothing to admire or glorify in any way, and if you would say it out loud to someone else that you admire Anthony Sowell, there’s signs of your psychosis right there. It’s very sad. I mean anybody who would idolize or admire someone who doesn’t respect human life, and will just dispose of you like you’re garbage, that’s not anyone that I would want to be my neighbor.”