An Ohio serial killer who strangled women and hid their corpses in and around his Cleveland home has died in state prison, an official said.
Anthony Sowell, 61, died Monday afternoon after being admitted to an end-of-life care unit at the Ohio prison system’s Franklin Medical Center in Columbus, state corrections spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.
Sowell had a terminal illness that was not related to Covid-19, Smith said.
Sowell was convicted in 2011 of numerous charges including kidnapping, aggravated murder and abuse of corpses in connection with the deaths of 11 African American women in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County from 2007 to 2009.
Police found the first two bodies in his attic in October 2009 after investigating a woman’s complaint that he had assaulted her.
They were the first of 11 sets of remains police would eventually discover on the property. Most of the women – ranging in age from 25 to 52 – were strangled by ligature, and at least one was strangled by hand, authorities said.
Sowell, who previously had served in the Marine Corps, was sentenced to death in August 2011.
His two-story home sat in a dilapidated Cleveland neighborhood known as Mount Pleasant. A stench had 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.
The house was demolished in late 2011.