CNN reports that the 61-year-old passed away due to a terminal illness at an end-of-life care unit at the Ohio prison system’s Franklin Medical Center in Columbus. His death was unrelated to COVID-19.
Sowell was incarcerated in 2011 on a number of charges, including kidnapping, aggravated murder, and abuse of corpses, which involved the deaths of 11 Black women in Cuyahoga County, Ohio from 2007 to 2009. Sowell strangled the women and hid their corpses in and around his home in Cleveland. When a woman filed a report that he assaulted her, the police went to investigate and ultimately discovered the first two bodies in his attic in October 2019.
Authorities ultimately found 11 sets of remains on his property, with the victims ranging in age from 25 to 52. They were strangled using ligature, and he used his hands to strangle at least one of the women. Sowell—who was a Marine Corps veteran—was sentenced to death for his crimes in 2011. He was also convicted of raping two more women and attempted to rape a third.
His home was located in a neglected neighborhood in Cleveland called Mount Pleasant. While a foul odor emitted from his property, no one thought anything of it due to a nearby sausage factory. The house was later destroyed in 2011.