Authorities demolish house where Ohio serial killer lived

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 2:28 PM
Authorities demolish house where Ohio serial killer lived

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A backhoe tore into a Cleveland house once occupied by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell on Tuesday as a light rain fell and spectators chanted: "Tear it down, tear it down to the ground."

Neighbors and a Sowell assault victim watched city workers demolish the two-story house on Imperial Avenue where 11 women were murdered. A local television station ran a live feed.

Sowell, who lured women to the house with the promise of drugs and alcohol, sits on death row in Ohio after being convicted in August of 82 counts of murder, attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse.

Police found the bodies of his victims in October 2009 when they came to the house to arrest him for the rape and assault of Vanessa Gay.

Gay stood with a group of men and women holding signs with pictures of Sowell's victims and watched as the porch of the house in which she was attacked was demolished.

After Sowell's conviction, a website called advertised dirt from the yard where some of Sowell's victims were buried for $25. City officials put up a chain-link fence to keep people off the property.

Sowell's execution date is set for October 2012, three years after the bodies of his victims were discovered.

(Writing and reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Cynthia Johnston)