The Cleveland man accused of murdering 11 women and entombing them in the walls and crawl spaces of his home pleaded guilty Thursday by reason of insanity.
Anthony Sowell, indicted by a grand jury on 85 criminal counts, including aggravated mass murder, is also charged with assaulting three other women, two of whom he allegedly raped, according to Ryan Miday, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, prosecutor Bill Mason. The “mass-murder” designation means that multiple people were killed in similar fashion, he said.
Mason said that the death penalty is the only appropriate penalty for the 50-year-old suspect.
Sowell was arrested in October after detectives, answering calls about a foul stench coming from the poor Cleveland neighborhood and claims that women were being abused at the residence, discovered the remains of six African-American women buried in and around his house. Five other bodies, including the head of one woman crammed in a bucket, were later found there.
"We're just trying to cover all our bases," Scott Wilson, spokesman for the FBI told The Associated Press.
Authorities say they are still investigating whether there is a link between Sowell and the unsolved murders of three women in East Cleveland.