One of the eleven bodies discovered in Cleveland rapist Anthony Sowell's home has been identified. It is that of 52-year old Toni Carmichael, a woman who was last seen on November 10, 2008. From CNN:
In the missing persons report, Carmichael's mother, Barbara, told police her daughter was addicted to crack and had previously disappeared for several days at a time. But she said she believed something had happened to her because she had not picked up two paychecks.
Though not surprising, the news was still tragic for her family especially the victim's mother, Danita Carmichael said.
"As you can imagine, it's heartbreaking for the whole family, but this was her child. This was her daughter, her angel, her princess, and now we will never see her again. She's gone," Danita Carmichael said.
How is it that a convicted rapist could keep almost a dozen badly-stored bodies in his house in the middle of a neighborhood? Let's see the elements at play: Anthony Sowell, the neighborhood, the neighbors, the police and the victims.
-Poor Black ex-con: A convicted rapist who did fifteen years. He was released in 2005. Considering parole and the fact that he's a violent offender…how was he able to slip through the cracks in the "I have a dozen bodies on my property" sort of way?
-Poor Black neighborhood: That dice can roll both ways. Lots of police presence for particular offenses or no police presence at all.
-Neighbors: People smelled the stench, but assumed it was from a sausage spot next door. When the spot cleaned up its act, the neighbors still smelled it. Did anyone call the police or the city? YES THEY DID. IN 2007. From CNN:
A Cleveland city council member called Wednesday for an independent investigation into whether police and health authorities should have spotted signs of foul play sooner at a house where 11 bodies were found…The council member, Zach Reed, told CNN on Wednesday he received a call about the smell in 2007.
"We received a phone call from a resident that said a foul odor came across the street and it smells like a dead person. Not dead meat, not a dead animal — a dead person," Reed said.
The entire council issued a statement saying the "top priorities at this time must be to discover the full extent of the tragedies and to bring forth justice. "
"We acknowledge the issues being raised by the community and the media and will examine the case at the appropriate time but we will do nothing to impede the ongoing investigation," it said in a statement.
Authorities Wednesday identified the first of 11 bodies pulled from the home of Anthony Sowell, a registered sex offender in jail without bond.
Someone calls and says explicitly that the stink of a dead body is permeating a neighborhood with possible origins coming from the home of a registered sex offender who did fifteen years and nobody thought that was worth giving a look-see? The Buzz wonders why that is.
-The cops: Authorities claimed no one had said anything about any stench. Let's go with that for a second. Is that to say that there were no general patrols of that neighborhood between 2005-2009? No officer spent enough time to at least puzzle over that disgusting stench? The Buzz doesn't expect that every cop knows the smell of dead body, but senses keen to environmental peculiarities don't seem unreasonable. Police also claimed they had no victim pattern to go on. Who were these victims?
-The victims: At least 10 Black women from the Cleveland area, which explains the inability to establish a pattern of serial killing since…nobody really cares when a Black woman goes missing, especially if she's poor and thus it can't really garner the media attention that might help track killers down because, for whatever reason, the disappearance of poor Black women doesn't really tug at the heart strings until they're found decomposing in a convicted rapist's house (and even that tugging is predicated upon a sensational number. #MediaFAIL).
Put all those together and it seems tragically simple. But maybe The Buzz missed something. What's your take?