OMG! Was that Sowell aka the Cleveland Strangler?
I always thought it was unusual that this bus shelter located at the intersection of East 79th and Kinsman Avenue was reversed. Typically they’re installed so the occupant faces the avenue.
As depicted this one the bench allows seated individuals to gaze directly at anyone who entered its confines. On that summer night, around 9 pm, I wasn’t there waiting for the eastbound #14 RTA bus. No. It was the perfect vantage point to view in all four directions the woman I was out searching for.
After repeated circuits for the past hour and a half where was she? We had just talked by phone two hours earlier.
Why does this dude give off such a terrible…vibe?
The stranger crossed the street from the north direction of East 79th Street. As he drew near and stood just a few feet in front of me, I purposely gazed at him. I started to ask him the same question I had already asked the locals. “Do you know Niecy? Have you seen her?” But this eerie feeling stops me from asking him. I didn’t care I was staring. Right away I realized two years of visiting Vernice and walking about the neighborhood, I never saw his stoic mug before. Even so, why does he give off such a disturbing vibe?
Within 3-4 minutes I watched this stranger around 9 pm board the RTA #14 eastbound bus. I got up and decided to check back at my earlier locations. Thinking maybe she had returned. Little did I know she was just 10-minutes due west of that shelter.
Vernice was nude, beaten, slashed and lying in a pool of her own blood. Unconscious in a dead like state inside the upper floor of an abandoned house.
About 15-hours later she miraculously regained consciousness! I received an urgent call from the ER.
Annoyance a Blessing in Disguise.
“I’m Charles Newton. You called me. Where is Vernice Crutcher?!” “Sir, before I let you see her, the Cleveland Police Department would like to speak to you first.”
In the back of my mind, I thought, what in the world would they need to see me for? Why this unnecessary delay?
I ended up being interrogated by the police for about 15-minutes.
“I was out looking for her all evening. Until early morning but couldn’t find her. I reached Garden Valley around 7:30 and stayed precisely till 1:30 in the morning. I searched everywhere. We had just talked over the phone earlier. I’d say about 5:30.”
“When was the last time you saw her?” CPD asked me.
“About 3-weeks ago. Her chronic substance abuse was just too overwhelming. It was a very difficult decision. But I had to let her go.”
“Did she know you were coming to see her?”
“No. It was a surprise. Her girlfriend Pat and adult niece Lovely can verify it. I’d still cared about her safety and well-being. To encourage her to seek help with her addiction. I wish I only told her to stay put till I got there.”
“Ok. Mr. Newton. No need to detain you any further. Thanks for your time. You may see her now.”
“Spoke to Victim’s Boyfriend. Has Information”
For years, I never knew the intercepting CPD officer added the above to Vernice’s official police report. That was June 19, 2006, right inside an empty room in the Emergency Room. That “information,” was the above. So CPD knows I was there in the area.
So CPD knows I was there in the area. But unbeknownst to me, although missing she wasn’t far away.
Just minutes away the entire time. Unconscious, nude, beaten, slashed and lying in a pool of her own blood.
Nonetheless, what I didn’t disclose was the eerie random stranger, I crossed paths with at the bus shelter. Yes, right at the intersection of East 79th Street and Kinsman Avenue. Why would I in 2006?
But three years later…
Everything I read about this accused serial killer had a disturbing similarity to Vernice’s horrifying attack.
But could he be the one? At first, Vernice could not place him from the above news photo. So a trip to the Internet for a different photo.
And I soon realize she wasn’t the only one.
He was the man that briefly joined me at the bus shelter. But if that was Anthony E. Sowell where was he headed?
Wow! This schedule proves he was headed home. The #14 eastbound RTA bus in less than 8 minutes rode right pass his street. That explains it all. Now, will anybody ever listened to these amazing facts? Or will this cold case be denied justice and closure?
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