E. Cleveland: Why so many crimes against women here?

6:47 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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East Cleveland Investigation


East Cleveland Murders: Expanded Coverage


Photos: East Cleveland bodies found, Michael Madison arrested

Video:  Michael Madison arraigned on aggravated murder charges

Video: East Cleveland news conference on victims found

Video: 3 bodies found in 2 days in East Cleveland

Video: Search for victims in East Cleveland

Story: Angela Deskins identified as victim


Story: Family remembers Angela Deskins


Story: Shetisha Sheeley identified as victim


Story: Family remembers Shetisha Sheeley


Story: Third victim identified as Shirellda Terry


Investigator: Family says Madison is not a ‘killer’

Blog: Madison and Sowell?

Story: 3 bodies found wrapped in plastic

Story: Victim identified as Angela Deskins

Story: Michael Madison charged in 3 murders

Story: Michael Madison held on $6M bond

Coverage: Anthony Sowell case

EAST CLEVELAND -- For the third time in recent years, the national spotlight is focusing on the Cleveland area for a gruesome story about serial violence against women.

First it was serial killer Anthony Sowell, now on death row for brutally murdering 11 vulnerable and down-and-out women.

Then the country learned about the horrors surrounding Ariel Castro.

He faces trial for hundreds of charges of kidnapping, rape and other offenses for imprisoning three women for nearly a decade in his Seymour Avenue home.

Now the nation is learning about the gruesome charges against Michael Madison in the violent deaths of three women.

At the Rape Crisis Center, Interim Director Sondra Miller joins those asking, "How does this keep happening?"

The Sowell case prompted improvement in police procedure and greater community awareness of the issues involved.

Miller added, "Many of us have more questions and not enough answers to think about how does this happen in the city that I love."

Cleveland and East Cleveland have too many neighborhoods plagued by poverty, crime and addictions.

At a press conference announcing fast-tracked highway projects and job creation, Governor John Kasich said, "This is what happens when  you have poverty...It's about the breakdown of neighborhoods. We don't always know our neighbors. There is so much to it."

East Cleveland has the recipe Kasich described, plus a recent 25 percent cut in police manpower.

"It's been a nightmare...It's unthinkable...It's unimaginable..It's not supposed to happen in our backyard....This tragedy involves police protection and leaving standing abandoned, vacant houses," East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said.

Sondra Miller said, "I don't thnk there's anything unique to Cleveland. Violence agains women is an epidemic problem across our nation."

But because of recent events, the nation may have reason to  think Cleveland has more than its share.


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