Read more about this case in the column "The Cleveland Strangler."
At least 11 black women were raped and killed on Cleveland's East Side between 2007 and 2009 by a man named Anthony Sowell. It's one of the worst cases of serial murder in recent history and has been largely left untold.
For Wilbert L. Cooper, who was born and raised in Cleveland, the real story lies in how Sowell was able to get away with these heinous acts for two years. These crimes say as much about the depraved killer as they do about race, class, and law enforcement in the city of Cleveland.
Wilbert heads back to his hometown and speaks to his parents, both former sergeants on the Cleveland Police Department, about the case. He also meets with the homicide detectives who investigated the murders and he revisits the horrific evidence found when the 11 bodies were discovered in October 2009.
To support the survivors of rape and their families, donate to the Cleveland Rape Crises Center. To support greater awareness around missing persons of color, donate to the Black and Missing Foundation.