Accused Ohio serial killer, in video, admits sex with victims

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 8:28 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Jurors in the capital murder trial of accused Ohio serial killer Anthony Sowell watched on Friday as he admitted in a videotaped interrogation to having sex with six women whose remains were found on his property.

In the video, jurors see a Sowell who is at times talkative and animated when discussing his house or relationship with ex-girlfriend Lori Frazier, but who sometimes appears agitated when the subject turns to the remains found in his home.

Sowell, 51, is on trial accused of murdering 11 women and assaulting four others, and could face the death penalty. The bodies of the women were found in and around his house after police raided his home in 2009 to arrest him for rape and assault.

Sowell, in video shown to jurors, never confesses to hurting or killing any of the women found at his house, although he does discuss meeting women and refers to dreams and fantasies as detectives ask him direct questions.

Sowell appears to concentrate as he tries to remember information about the women he met, what they were wearing, and their height and weight. He is seen rocking in his chair grabbing his head and repeating: "I don't remember."

At one point, two detectives show Sowell a diagram outlining where they found six bodies and asking him repeatedly which body was "his first" and which "the last".

"I don't remember actually killing anyone," Sowell says and tells the detectives he can't distinguish the women he dates from the six bodies that had been found by then by police.

"I was separated ... I see flashes," he says.

Throughout the interview, Sowell is asked if the women he describes meeting were "one of the six". Never does Sowell hint that there were more remains to be found on his property.

Sowell admits to having sex with "the six" women but when Smith says, "If we took DNA from you will we find it on them?" Sowell responds, "I don't want to do that."

Sowell talks about meeting women and bringing them to his house. But he never gives any details about what happened to them or how their remains came to be in his house. "Maybe all I did was strangle ... that's what I did," he says.

He says, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over again as the interrogation goes on late into the night and the detectives offer to give him time to think.

Sowell agrees with detectives that he should help give the families of the victims closure but appears to have problems distinguishing fact from fantasy.

"I'm telling you the best I can," he says.

At one point, Sowell seems to grasp what is going to happen to him, "My life is over," he tells detectives.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Cynthia Johnston)