Anthony Sowell sentenced to death for killing 11 women
August 10th, 2011
02:56 PM ET

Anthony Sowell sentenced to death for killing 11 women

An Ohio jury recommended death Wednesday for convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell in the murders of 11 women.

Relatives of the victims gasped and hugged each other as Judge Dick Ambrose announced the first verdict for victim Tonya Carmichael. The courtroom erupted into applause after Sowell, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, left the courtroom.

The final decision rests with Ambrose, who scheduled a hearing Friday to impose the sentence.

Sowell, who frowned as the verdicts were read, was convicted in July of 11 counts of aggravated murder more than 70 other charges, including abusing corpses and kidnapping.

As part of the sentencing hearing, Sowell made a statement on Monday without being under oath or facing cross-examination from prosecutors.

Sowell was visibly agitated and occasionally tearful as he recounted claims of childhood abuse - both physical and sexual.

Sowell said his childhood "was like a war," with his mother and grandmother constantly arguing, yelling and "whopping" the children.

He did not elaborate on the crimes for which he was convicted.

"I don't know what happened, it's not typical of me," Sowell said. "I can't explain it and I know it's not a lot, but it's all I can give."

Sowell's convictions ended a saga that began in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two victims' remains inside Sowell's home. He eventually was accused of killing at least 11 women ranging in age from 25 to 52.

soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Adam

    @lee: I agree. My way serves both agendas and would make a great deterrent. If someone doesn't value their life and isn't scared of death then why would a nice clean and humane death penalty deter them? If they think they are going to be locked away for the rest of their lives and tormented then they might not commit such a crime. He will still have to pay for his crimes in the afterlife. I believe this to be true. I'm sure I'm paying for something I did wrong in a past life. I think I was a cult member or something. Lol

    August 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisade

      I think the same thing on that.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      You only think he'll pay for his crimes in an afterlife. That's not necessarily true. There may not be an afterlife at all.

      August 11, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. BamBam

    Their is now a gurney and a needle with his name on it ... put the rabid dog down for good. No one is going to miss this piece of trash.

    August 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. meela dark

    Why do these killers always blame it on childhood abuse. It's ridiculous. He should get what he gave.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Me

    @meela dark: There is a clear and concise correlation between childhood abuse and adult behaviors. Some children are spoiled and exposed to adult material on a constant basis, so many of those kids grow up to seek out that stuff without ever being able to grow up innocently. Now take a child who is repeatedly abused in all sorts of horrific ways and then add to that all the depravity society has to offer.. It's obvious what the result will be. Don't blame Frankenstein's monster completely, because he was assembled in a controlled environment by a very sick doctor. I'm not making excuses for this man, nor am I suggesting he not pay for the harm he has caused. These men are like weeds and to kill a weed you start at the root. Simply cutting off the stem won't prevent more weeds from popping up. It hasn't worked yet has it?

    August 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. leeintulsa

    @me: We've delved into the psyche of everyone from jack the ripper to that goofball who shot giffords, and *still* weeds pop up.

    I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind your post.. Are you suggesting we purge children of parents deemed unfit? Or what?

    August 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    Sowell I wish they would fry you. Oh wait that would be cruel and unusual punishment. You have it easy compared to your victims. I hope they cremate you and scatter your ashes in the sewer. You hore!!!!

    August 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. That Guy

    This is rehabilitation with 100% accuracy.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Me

    @lee: Absolutely. I don't know how my post confused you. I think he should be punished for what he did, but he is not 100% at fault for his messed up mind. I could raise one kid an a sterile and loving environment free of violence and the other I will expose to all sorts of nasty vile things and ask you which one has the highest likelihood of being a loving and successful adult? It's obvious to me that we are failing our children miserably and yes some parents shouldn't be having kids. I'm not taking away personal responsibility, but I grew up with a bunch of garbage going on around me and it absolutely effected my adolescence and adult years. I'm at the point now where I realize what personal responsibility is and that we as people are going to be held accountable, regardless of how many buttons other people push. I see horrible parents and their spawn all the time and most good people are getting tired of it. Your little quip about psychologists is not a very good assessment of how to fix people. Many psychologists would probably agree with me that years of conditioning cannot be wiped clean with weekly sessions. Look at war vets and how messed up they are. The mind is strong, but it has it's breaking points. I blame this man for being weak and doing what he obviously knew was wrong and he should be punished, but all the people who contributed to his being so messed up definitely share in the responsibility. Sometimes stuff just happens even if a murderer was brought up in a loving household, but that is more like the exception than the rule. Hope that clears it up for you.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Me

    @lee: You don't see anything wrong with our society? You don't think some parents are raising little monsters with permission from Uncle Sam? I see this as munchausen by proxy on a huge scale and yes the mommy putting pine sol in her little baby's cheerios is responsible for baby getting sick, but what he have is mommy yelling at baby for puking up the pine sol, so she threatens to beat baby if baby keeps puking.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Me

    Typo.. What "we" have

    August 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bud

    There is something really wrong with this guy in the head department. I mean he lived with these decomposing bodies for months until discovered. Problem is there are a lot of these guys out there and it is almost impossible to predict who will go wierd and who will pull themselves up from a bad early experience. The bottom line is, they are not going to get better so just kill them when they offend and save them from any more bad karma. No sense getting all weepy over their humanity we just cannot live with them if they are going to go down this type of road. Humanity is not perfected yet. Someday there may be programs that can show us when to intervene and who is at risk for sliding into this type of deviant behavior but that day unfortunately is not now.

    August 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marion

    So in about 20yrs he'll get the death penalty? Why bother calling it a death penalty?

    August 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Carmelita

    You are taking this man out of a miserable existence upon his execution. I'm not sure when things started going bad for him but he has been unhappy for a long time now. Maybe the next will be better.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. yas

    its a shame when so many people lose loved ones because one was so disturbed by his past he could not handle it in a hugely more appropriate way . its even more sad that all he could say was sorry. sorry doesnt bring back those who he killed. you cant unshed fallen tears.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rosebud

    @ Paul Ronco:
    You wrote that the death penalty was racist.
    Did you factor in the apparently racist commission of capital crimes before you posted that?

    August 11, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
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