Anthony Edward Sowell was born on August 19 in 1959. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His childhood was particularly atrocious. He had six siblings and was raised by a single mother. His mother’s name was Claudia “Gertude” Garrison and she was as cruel as they come. Following the death of her ill mother, Claudia moved herself and her children in with her sister and her seven children. The abuse began almost immediately after moving in. The strange thing about Claudia’s abuse was that it was aimed only toward her sister, Sowell’s children. She would physically and sexually abuse these children while her own children would watch from their bedrooms. This callous behavior was truly barbaric and Anthony grew up witnessing everything. It has been stated that in one sadistic episode, Claudia forced her niece to remove all of her clothes while she then whipped her with electrical cords. During these events, the other children would always be watching.
Anthony began raping his niece on a daily basis at the early age of eleven years old. This horrific abuse continued for two years. Anthony’s first brush with the law began in 1989 when he raped a woman who was three months pregnant. He was charged with kidnapping, rape and attempted rape and served 15 years in prison. He was released in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2007 that neighbors started to complain to the health department about the rancid smell coming from his home.
It wasn’t until 2009 when Anthony finally made a big enough mistake to get noticed. He went on a “date” with and then proceeded to choke, hit and rape her. Eventually she was able to escape and get away. She went straight to the police and filed a report. On October 29, 2009 police searched his home with their arrest warrant. Although Anthony was nowhere to be found, they almost immediately discovered two bodies on the living room floor. No attempt had been made to disguise or hide these bodies at all. In total, eleven bodies were found throughout the home and backyard. It was determined that the majority of the victims had been murdered by strangulation.
He was arrested at the age of fifty years old. His trial was delayed multiple times, but finally happened on June 6, 2011. Sowell was eventually charged with eleven counts of aggravated murder and over 70 counts of rape, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse. He was convicted of all but two counts against him and was sentenced to death. He has remained on death row at Chillicothe Correctional Institution since September 14, 2011.