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Families of victims testify in Anthony Sowell trial

11:38 AM, Jun 29, 2011   |    comments
  • Crystal Dozier
  • Michelle Mason
  • Tishana Culver
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CLEVELAND -- The mother of one of the11 women found slain in Anthony Sowell's house says her daughter was "too friendly." 

Adlean Atterberry testified about her futile search to find her daughter Michelle Mason, who disappeared in October, 2008.

"She could come into this room and smile and make everybody in here smile, but I told her that would be her downfall," Atterberry said, after admitted to being "a little jumpy" testifying at the serial killing trial of Sowell, who is accused of killing Mason and ten other women.

Atterberry described having 2,000 flyers distributed throughout her daughter's east side neighborhood, putting them up inside and outside stores, among other places.

Atterberry says the flyers began disappearing. She described having placed the flyers, which included a picture and description of Michelle Mason, in three stores in particular, from which they disappeared.

In one instance she talked to the store clerk about the missing posters.

"The gentleman in the store said Mr. Sowell came into the store and when he left the signs were gone," Atterberry testified with a sigh while under cross examination from Sowell's defense attorney Rufus Sims.

Relatives of Crystal Dozier, another of the Imperial Avenue victims also took the witness stand and told of how she disappeared and was eventually found slain in Sowell's house.

The next to last witness during the morning session of the third day of the trial was Yvonne Williams, mother of Tishana Culver, another of the 11 women whose remains were discovered in late 2009.

Culver lived only a few doors east of Sowell's house, on the same side of Imperial Avenue, just past East 123rd Street.  

Wednesday's testimony began with Brandon Pompey of Bedford Heights, who until September, 2006, rented rooms from Sowell's stepmother in the house at 12205 Imperial Avenue. He talked of a strong odor, like rotted fruit, that permeated the house and got stronger, he said, as you moved further inside.

"We speculated it may have been a dead animal that crawled under the house. There's a small alley between the house and the building next door," Pompey said. "Maybe something crawled in there and the smell just carried up to ours."


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