Anthony Sowell dies: Looking back on Imperial Avenue murders

News

CLEVELAND (WJW)– Convicted Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell died on Monday following a terminal illness.

Sowell, 61, was found guilty of killing 11 women and hiding their bodies in and around his home on Imperial Avenue on Cleveland’s east side. A Cuyahoga County jury gave him a death sentence, but he died with appeals pending and no execution date.

Here is a look back at the events leading to his arrest and conviction:

Sept. 12, 1990: Anthony Sowell pleaded guilty to rape and attempted rape, then sentenced to 15 years in prison.

June 20, 2005: Anthony Sowell was released from prison and labeled a Tier III sexual offender.

April 17, 2007: Crystal Dozier, 36, was last seen. Her son, who testified at Sowell’s trial, said he searched for his mom while he was home on leave from the Marines.

June 2008: Tishana Culver, 33, was not reported missing, but she was last seen in June 2008. Her sister said her boyfriend’s death contributed to her drug use.

August 2008: Leshanda Long, 25, was last seen in August 2008. Her skull was later found in Anthony Sowell’s basement.

September 2008: Vanessa Gay was raped and beaten by Sowell. During his trial, she told jurors she saw a decapitated body inside his house. Gay called police, but was told she needed to go to the police station to file a report.

Oct. 4, 2008: Michelle Mason’s mother reported the 45-year-old missing. She said she was last seen on or about Oct. 4, 2008.

December 2008: Gladys Wade was bleeding when she flagged down Cleveland police officers after escaping from Sowell’s house. She spoke with a detective and Sowell was brought in for questioning, but he wasn’t charged in the case. Wade later testified Sowell choked her and punched her.

Nov. 2, 2009: Nancy Cobbs, 43, was reported missing. She left home to go to a neighborhood store and was not seen again.

Aug. 2, 2009: Janice Webb’s family reported her missing to Cleveland police and posted flyers.

September 2009: Diane Turner, 38, was the last of Sowell’s victims to disappear. That same month, Sowell attacked Latundra Billups. She said he beat her, raped her and choked her with an extension cord until she passed out. Billups told jurors Sowell looked surprised when she woke up.

October 2009: Shawn Morris testified Sowell put her in a chokehold, forced her to take off her clothes and threatened to kill her. She jumped from an open window to escape and woke up in the hospital days later.

Oct. 29, 2009: Cleveland police were investigating Latundra Billups’ case when they served a warrant and searched Sowell’s home on Imperial Avenue. That’s when the first two bodies are found. Sowell was not home.

Oct. 30, 2009: As investigators combed Sowell’s three-story house next to Ray’s Sausage, they found more bodies. The death count was at six.

Oct. 31, 2009: Sowell was arrested while walking on Mount Auburn Avenue, about 1 mile from his home.

Nov. 3, 2009: After finding five more sets of remains, the death toll reached 11.

Nov. 4, 2009: A judge ordered Sowell held without bond on five counts of aggravated murder. The same day, Tonia Carmichael became the first victim to be identified.

June 6, 2011: Eighteen months after the 11 bodies were found, Sowell’s trial began with jury selection.

July 22, 2011: A Cuyahoga County jury found the then-51-year-old guilty of 82 counts, including aggravated murder.

Aug. 10, 2011: During the death penalty phase, the jury recommended Sowell be sentenced to death. Two days later, Judge Dick Ambrose upheld the recommendation and sentenced the convicted killer.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FOX 8 Cleveland Weather // Quick Links:

Hot on FOX 8

More Viral