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Cleveland demolishes serial killer's home

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:37 PM EST, Tue December 6, 2011
The home of convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell in Cleveland, Ohio was demolished early Tuesday.
The home of convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell in Cleveland, Ohio was demolished early Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The city of Cleveland demolishes the house of Anthony Sowell
  • Sowell was convicted of killing 11 women and hiding bodies in the house
  • He was sentenced to death in August after conviction in July
  • "No piece of the property will remain," a community relations official tells victims' families

(CNN) -- The city of Cleveland, Ohio, demolished the house in which convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell hid the bodies of his victims, officials said Tuesday.

A jury convicted him in July for kidnapping, abuse of corpses and the aggravated murder of 11 women around Cleveland from 2007 to 2009. In August, he was sentenced to death.

The convictions ended a saga that began in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two victims' remains in Sowell's home. He eventually was accused of killing at least 11 women ranging in age from 25 to 52.

Eleven bodies were found in and around Anthony Sowell\'s house in Cleveland, Ohio.
Eleven bodies were found in and around Anthony Sowell's house in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sowell's inconspicuous two-story home sat in a dilapidated Cleveland neighborhood known as Mount Pleasant. A stench hovered around the area, but no one initially realized it was the smell of decaying human flesh, instead assuming that it was a byproduct of a nearby sausage factory.

In a letter to the families of Sowell's victims, Blaine Griffin, executive director of the Cleveland Community Relations Board, said the demolition "is an important step in helping our community heal and move forward."

"In order to prevent actions that would be disrespectful to the memory of your loved one, your family and our community, the demolition will be performed in such a way that no piece of the property will remain," Griffin wrote in the letter.

CNN's Maggie Schneider contributed to this report.

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