Sowell lived for years with Cleveland mayor’s niece
Former marine told Lori Frazier stench of bodies in his house came from nearby sausage factory
Anthony Sowell, the man believed to have murdered 11 people at his house in Cleveland, Ohio, lived for years with the niece of the city's mayor, Frank Jackson. While Jackson is not believed to be connected in any way to Sowell, he faces more questions about why it took the city's police so long to apprehend Sowell. As reported in The First Post, neighbours had been complaining for years about the smell emanating from his house.
The mayor's niece is Lori Frazier, a drug user who still claims to be Sowell's girlfriend. She and Sowell have been a couple since his release from jail in 2005, where he had been serving a 15-year sentence for rape. "He came out from the penitentiary on June 23. Me and him hooked up on July 7, and I have been with him ever since," she told reporters. "I want to know why, why would he do this. He took care of me."
Frazier was aware of the smell in the house on Imperial Avenue, in the poor East Cleveland district. Sowell told her that it came from his stepmother's apartment downstairs. When the stepmother moved out, he blamed it on the sausage shop next door.
Frazier admitted to having used drugs together with Sowell until she decided to move out of the house last year, in an attempt to kick her habit. The mayor told local TV station WOIO Channel 19: "My niece would probably fit the same profile of many victims, so she is fortunate, very fortunate." He denied ever having met Sowell.
The fact that his niece is connected with the alleged serial killer makes the mayor's position even more awkward as he faces questions about alleged police inaction. Some critics have suggested that the city's force didn't follow up missing persons cases because a black woman missing on the streets of East Cleveland is simply not a priority.
Writing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, columnist Phillip Morris said: "It appears that a serial killer was able to kill with abandon and confidence in a congested neighbourhood because he knew that no one would bother to come looking. The killer knew that on his streets, a black woman can simply disappear. No questions will be asked. He arrogantly told one of his victims, who managed to escape, that no one would come looking for her because she was a 'crack bitch'."
Mayor Jackson, who was returned to power in an election last week, has refused to condemn the police, saying of chief Michael McGrath and his force: "I think they're doing a very good job. A very good job."
He also rejected calls for an investigation from Councilman Zack Reed, who had called the public health department in 2007 about the stench from Sowell's house.
Some people were "working a personal agenda or some professional ambition," Jackson said. When asked if Reed was his target, he replied: "If the shoe fits, wear it."
Reed replied: "The bottom line is that the community is well aware of the fact that a number of opportunities were given to bring this to closure early on."
Meanwhile, CBS revealed exclusively this morning that Sowell frequented a sex fetish website where he described himself as a "master looking for his sub". The 50-year-old opened his profile in July 2005, a month after his release from jail. "If your [sic] submissive and like to please, then this master wants to talk to you," his profile on Alt.com read. It raises awkward questions about whether sex offenders should have their internet history policed while they are on license, or whether sites should vet their members better.
Seven victims have now been identified by police examining the house on Imperial Avenue. All of them were black women between 31 and 52 with substance abuse issues and criminal records. ·
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