Anthony Sowell - Case Study

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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...
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