That is the opinion of five crime experts, who said the mounting evidence in Cleveland’s serial-killer case suggests a stereotypical sexual sadist. They said that if suspect Anthony Sowell is found guilty of killing the 11 women whose bodies were found in and around his home, law enforcement officials elsewhere should open their cold-case files as far back as Sowell’s days in the Marine Corps in the 1970s and ’80s. “I can guarantee you, every place [the killer] lived, you’re going to find cases of women just like these being raped and killed just like this,” said John Douglas, the retired agent behind the FBI’s criminal profiling program.
Cleveland’s Imperial Avenue strangler lured easy prey with alcohol and drugs, raped them to assert power over them, put cords around their throats to control them, and asphyxiated them one at a time in a thrill-quest that lasted for years, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He got away with it for so long by living in society’s margins, by lying and manipulating with pathological precision, and by hiding an intense hatred for women behind a “mask of sanity.”