Anthony Sowell – Case Study
Criminological Theory: Week 5 (Case Study) ENF 393 Criminal Nature: Submitted by Nicole Bailey Donald Kalamas, Instructor Cohort # 14 July 20, 2011 Anthony Edward Sowell was supposed to be a low risk inmate after his release from prison in June of 2005. He had served 15 years in prison for rape. Anthony Sowell moved in with family directly following his release. He moved into a Cleveland home on Imperial Avenue.
Soon, residents started to complain about a pungent odor coming from Anthony’s home. Sowell blamed the source of the odor on a nearby sausage factory, and a new sewage pipe that had just been put in.Police then began to get reports of missing women, all from around the same area. Police received reports of a naked woman falling from the house, assault, and attempted rape. Finally, on Halloween 2009, Anthony was arrested after a third complaint of assault was filed.
Police officials went to Sowell’s house and unearthed the bodies of 11 women. Anthony Sowell’s first appearance in trial was on May 2nd. 2011. Sowell’s case is still under review to date. Many people believe police overlooked many of the complaints and red flags.
Spectators believe that early signs could have prevented the release of such a lethal sexual predator.Anthony Sowell was born in East Cleveland on August 19th. 1959. He was born into a working class family. His father worked in the construction field and his mother worked at a local dry-cleaner.
Anthony’s father soon abandoned the family but nonetheless, Anthony still saw constant violence as a norm in his family. Anthony’s seven cousins soon moved in after the death of their mother. He watched his twin cousins be forced to strip down. They then were tied up with an extension cord and whipped with the end of it. As Anthony grew older, he was teased and bullied by his friends.
It is reported that Anthony did not get involved in any organized sports or extra curricular activities. As a preteen, Sowell would repeatedly take his cousin to an upstairs bedroom and force her to engage in sexual activities. His cousin, Leona, tried to report the crimes to authorities, but no one listened to her as dismissed the allegations. According to his cousin, she was being raped almost everyday. By the time Anthony reached high school he discovered that he would not have the enough credits to graduate so he joined the U.
S. Marine Corps in 1978.Anthony was 19 years old when he joined the military. Military life included time spent in South Carolina, North Carolina, California, and Okinawa, Japan. While in the military, Anthony received his GED and was trained as an electrician. Sowell was in the military for seven years before his honorable discharge on January 18th.
1985. During his military career, Anthony received many honors including a “Good Conduct Medal, with one service star, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, a Certificate of Commendation, a Meritorious Mast, and two Letters of Appreciation” (Wikipedia 2011).Although Anthony seemed to do well in the military, it did not take long for the real Anthony to come out. In 1989, a pregnant woman went to Anthony’s home on her own free will. When she tried to leave, Anthony bound her hands and feet with a belt and a tie and proceeded to gag her with a rag.
The woman told officials that he had chocked her to the point of numbness. She told authorities that she thought she was going to die. Sowell was charged with kidnapping, rape, and attempted rape. He plead guilty to attempted rape and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.When Sowell was released in 2005, he went to work in nearby factory.
He worked there for two years then quit and collected unemployment compensation and to earn extra money, Anthony would sell scrap metal. During the time Sowell was working at the factory, he began a relationship with the mayor of Cleveland’s niece, Lori Frazier. She moved in with Sowell until 2008 and would frequently comment about the smell coming from the home. Anthony would tell her that the smell came from his stepmother. When his stepmother moved out, he blamed the smell on the sausage factory that was across the street from his house.In September, another report was made against Sowell.
On September 22 in 2009, a woman was invited over to Anthony’s home for a drink. The woman reported that soon Anthony became angry and hit her. She told authorities that he had chocked her until she was passing out, then he raped her. Six days later, police showed up at Anthony’s house with a warrant. Anthony didn’t answer the door, so police then entered the home.
Upon entering, they found two dead bodies on the living room floor. Police finally found Sowell and arrested him two days later for rape and murder.After police and crime scene investigators searched the premises, they found four additional bodies. Two of the bodies were found in a small crawl space and the other two were found buried in the basement. Soon, investigators decided to dig up the back yard where they found three more bodies and the skull of a fourth victim that had been wrapped in paper and placed in a bucket in the basement.
According to police, some of the bodies were hard to identify due to the amount of decay and decomposition. November 2009 was when the first victim was identified.Her name was Tonia Carmichael. She was a 53-year-old African American woman who had been strangled. Her body was one of the victims found in the backyard. Police records indicate that Tonia had been reported missing for over a year.
The second victim to be identified was 31 year old, Telacia Fortson. She was an African American woman who had been missing since June. Telacia’s mother was unaware of her absence until coverage of the Sowell murders was brought to her attention. It was then that she realized her daughter had been unaccounted for, for several months.Once she reported her daughter missing, the second body was identified. Three more bodies were positively identified on November 8th.
Their names were: Crystal Dozier, 38, Ameldea (Amy) Hunter, 47, and Michelle Mason, 45, all African American women. Crystal was a mother of seven and had a criminal history of drug offences. Crystal’s family reported her missing several times before. The family believed that the police department failed to investigate the reports so they took it upon themselves to contact local hospitals. They also posted flyers in their neighborhood.Amy Hunter was a beautician and a mother of three.
She had a criminal history and there were several reports of Amy abusing drugs and alcohol. Although Amy did not live in the area, she frequently visited the area. It is reported that Amy did not have use of both of her arm, which made her an even more desirable target. Michelle Mason was a mother who again, had a history of drug abuse. Police records show that Michelle also had a criminal record. Amy lived near Sowell’s house.
After reports of her disappearance in October of 2008, a full investigation was launched.This is just another reason victim’s families believe that the police in Cleveland were negligent. The Cleveland Police Department has reopened many cold case files due to the findings on Imperial Avenue. Currently, DNA testing is being done to see if any other murders can be linked to Anthony Sowell. Anthony is facing 83 counts, which include aggravated murder, rape, and kidnapping.
If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to death. Sowell first entered a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” but now he has changed his plea to “not guilty”. The trial is still undergoing testimony. Cleveland. com) When looking at the similarities of the victims, it is plain to see that Sowell lured in only troubled women who may not be missed. He preyed on drug-addicted women and coursed them with alcohol and drugs.
All of his victims were African American women, which may help investigators to narrow down their focus on cold case files. I believe Anthony was taught how to treat people by his upbringing. He bullied women and only those who were disturbed. I feel that Anthony preyed on the week, because he himself was week. Anthony had a pacemaker put in and was not in good health himself.I believe that even a death sentence would not get carried out before his natural death in prison.
In the end, I believe that this case will have a positive effect on the Cleveland Police Department. I believe that through all the negligence, a new feeling of seriousness will encircle the department. I firmly believe that the outcomes of these reports are devastating to the town, the police and the criminal justice system. How could a man kill that many people without anyone being suspicious? I can foresee the Cleveland police becoming a much more intense and concerned with future complaints.In conclusion, Anthony Sowell is a serial killer.
He brutality and inhumanly raped and strangled eleven African American women and his crimes went virtually undetected for four years. Even after fifteen years in prison, Sowell was still unable to be rehabilitated. He was released from prison and killed his first victim not even a year later. Anthony had a history of sexual assault that was only fed upon his reintegration back into society. Today, police officials are still uncertain of the final number of victims that may still be out there. Anthony Sowell is currently facing eighty-three counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder.
If convicted he could face the death penalty according to Ohio Law. In my personal opinion, Sowell is incapable of being rehabilitated. I believe this to be true, due to the lack of responsibility shown in the trial and the change that he made to his trial plea. Why would an innocent man plead guilty by reason of insanity, and then change it? Insanity implies that he didn’t know what he was doing. I believe he knew exactly what he was doing. Work Cited Baird, Gabriel.
, Plain Dealer staff. (2010). Imperial Avenue Uncovered: Anthony Sowell and the deaths of 11 women.Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://blog. cleveland. com/metro/2010/10/covering_anthony_sowell_a_look.
html Dillon, Loretta. Cleveland. com. (2009). The Anthony Sowell Murders: And Then There Were 10.
Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://blogcritics. org/culture/article/the-anthony-sowell-murders-and-then Miller, Mitchell J. , C. J. Schreck & R.
Tewksbury. (2011) Criminological Theory: A Brief Introduction. New Jersey: Pearson Education. Wikipedia. (2011).
The Free Encyclopedia: Anthony Sowell. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Anthony_Sowell