The Most Intriguing Stories Are Often Untold
No, you haven’t seen this story receive all the attention as Plain Dealer reporter’s Joanna Connors “I Will Find You,” rape survivor story. But it is equal as compelling.
Cleveland’s best kept secret revealed! A man fights for truth and justice for an ex-girlfriend. She is the first unknown survivor that reported the then emerging Cleveland Strangler a year before the 11-Women of Imperial Avenue murders.
Who is Vernice Crutcher?
Vernice Cruther loves fashion and is a gifted designer and seamstress. She also enjoys music and dancing. And has an insatiable appetite for action movies.
Although never blessed with children of her own she loves to dote on everyone else’s. She adores babies. There’s no question she has the motherly affection gene.
Yet despite her maternal bigheartedness, Vernice has mental health issues and is a recovering addict.
This challenging combination made her a perfect victim to prey upon. By the then emerging violent sexual predator the Cleveland Strangler Anthony E. Sowell.
On June 18, 2009, Sunday evening under false pretense, she was lured and forced at blade point inside an abandoned house. Once inside he sexually and physically assaulted her. Under the cover of darkness, he left her presumed dead nude body in a pool of her own blood.
Miraculously she regained consciousness some 15-hours later. Sadly her case was suspended 4-months later. Tragically 3-years and 11-Women of Imperial Avenue murders later (also discovered strangled and nude) later, Vernice and I, identified Anthony E. Sowell as her 2006 attacker.
Conflict of Interest
Unfortunately, the emerging Cleveland Strangler poses a real problem for the CPD Sex Crimes Unit.
- Did they drop the ball?
- Did SCU prematurely “suspend” this cold case after just 4-months?
- Did they rely on a DNA match rather than a thorough investigation?
- Was Vernice Crutcher’s case the pivotal case that should have prevented the infamous 11-Women of Imperial Avenue?
- Did you know that the first Imperial Avenue victim, Crystal Dozier, resided just doors away from the abandoned house? (See CPD Imperial Avenue Timeline November 2009)
“Victims of criminal offenses shall be accorded fairness, dignity and respect in the criminal justice process…shall be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, access, and protection and to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process.”-Ohio Constitution Rights of Victims of Crime 10a
This is the unedited Preview Edition. It’s also a call to action. After reading this riveting story you are asked to contact the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. Request they give Vernice Crutcher, cold case 2006-00241169, her long overdue justice, and closure. Thank you, dear reader, in advance.
*Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office
*Be sure to read Open Letter “Dear Prosecutor: 10 Probable Causes.” Riveting.
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