Evidence points more to an E. 93rd Street serial killer than McGrath wants public to believe
Councilman Zack Reed says he's not waiting for another Anthony Sowell and wants Jackson to open unsolved murder files to the public
CLEVELAND, OH – Mayor Frank Jackson, Safety Director Martin Flask, Police Chief Mike McGrath and Public Safety Committee Chair Councilor Kevin Conwell seem reluctant to give voice to the obvious. There’s another “Anthony Sowell-like” serial killer loose on the east side of Cleveland who’s abducting, beating, raping and stabbing women, and leaving a trail of dead bodies along East 93rd Street at the same time a Hollywood blockbuster production of the Avengers is being filmed in town.
Three of the women’s bodies have been found in lots or abandoned homes: Jazmine Trotter, Christine Malone and now Ashley Leszyeski. One woman, Jameela Hasan, was found on the second floor of her duplex on Mt. Carmel, less than 500 feet from the Fourth District police headquarters. She’d been stabbed 11 times in the neck while Trotter and Malone were strangled and beaten to death.
Four dead women in six months and there may be more since Cleveland police haven’t organized volunteers to help them search vacant lots and homes throughout the area. Volunteers doing “police work” strips cops of overtime opportunities according to the police union.
Medical Examiner administrator Hugh Shannon told Cleveland Challenger it’s too early to determine how Leszyeski was killed.
“At this time, investigation is still on-going pending further tests and examination,” Shannon said. “There has been no cause and manner of death determined yet. I will provide such information when it is ruled upon by the Medical Examiner.”
McGrath and the detectives he leads have done everything within their power to disconnect the murders from each other. In their minds if the women weren’t killed the same way and raped the murders are not necessarily being executed by a lone killer.
“Again, it is important to reiterate that at this time, these cases appear to be unrelated, with separate suspects,” McGrath told the public in a news release on the Cleveland Police Department’s Facebook page when Malone and Trotter’s bodies were discovered.
Why is McGrath so sure the suspects are separate if the cops he supervises arrested two people in connection with two of the murders who’ve turned out to be the wrong men? Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine condemned McGrath and the city’s public safety team for running a broken police department that’s now under its second federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice since 1999.
100 out of control cops who committed violated federal “color of law” statutes to invade another city to watch 13 of their co-workers murder two unarmed American citizens. Second District cops failed to identify signals that would have led to the discovery of three abducted and captive women being hidden in plain sight. A Fourth District serial killer who murdered 11 known women without any dots being connected does not reflect a competent or trustworthy police chief or department.
McGrath’s “separate suspect” interpretation of the facts makes him seem more than a little disconnected and out of touch with reality when the past performance of the cops he supervises suggests he should be more open-minded. These aren’t the “heroes” he likes to call them. The lawsuits the city is paying out for their violent misconduct, including those cops now being prosecuted for stealing overtime, is more evidence that DeWine is right and that the system McGrath manages is broken.
Raven Freeman’s near abduction on East 116th Street offers the best glimpse of a potential killer who is methodical and calculating, and someone who understands “military-style” camouflage and the element of surprise. Her description made him sound like a predatory “hunter.”
Freeman said her attacker totally concealed his body, and used the steel-toed boots he wore to not only weaken her will. but to disable her from being able to escape by kicking the woman hard in the legs as he dragged her body down the driveway and over bricks, rocks and debris. His disabling tactics connects to information in both Malone and Trotter’s Medical Examiner’s verdicts.
Both Malone and Trotter were strangled and hit in the head and neck with a blunt object. The steel toed boots Freeman’s attacker wore are blunt objects.
Trotter has multiple abrasions on the right side of her face and body, as if she, too, may have been dragged. Malone’s body was also scraped with abrasions, according to the Medical Examiner. Three women struck with a blunt object and abrasions seems more similar than dissimilar in terms of the killer’s style than the “separate suspect” theory McGrath wants the public to buy.
The fact that Trotter was raped and Malone wasn’t doesn’t necessarily mean the two women weren’t murdered by the same person as cops have tried to convince the public. Hasan’s stabbing death in her home appears to be the only inconsistency among the other three women whose bodies were found on abandoned properties.
Councilor Zack Reed isn’t waiting for the city’s top departmental managers to act. Someone is killing or attempting to abduct residents in the ward he serves and he’s taking some matters in his own hands.
“I’m not waiting for another Anthony Sowell,” Reed told Cleveland Challenger.
Reed at first organized residents to comb the ward and distribute flyers to alert women to be careful. Now he’s secured a $2500 donation from Walmart to buy pepper spray for women and plans to distribute it at his annual festival.
He also supports Jackson ordering McGrath to open up the unsolved homicide files to the public since it’s apparent that detectives working the cases have a continuously shrinking success rate.
In 2009 only 79 percent of the city’s homicides were solved, leaving 21 percent unsolved. The number of solved murders dropped to 67 percent in 2011 and was 69 percent in 2012. 31 percent of homicides in 2012 were unsolved under McGrath.
What has many Clevelanders angry is the lack of public hearings on the unsolved homicides, police shootings and cop misconduct coming from the public safety committee led by Ward 9 Councilor Kevin Conwell. Conwell’s committee hasn’t investigated any of the serious issues facing the police department. Families of murder victims say detectives are totally unresponsive.
When questioned by this author about his failure to investigate and question cops during a live OCU Forum broadcast on AM1490, Conwell offered blamed Council President Martin Sweeney and resorted to name calling instead of accepting responsibility for his inaction.
“I’m not afraid of you,” he told this author. He is, however, afraid of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association according to a Plain Dealer reporter.