Michael Madison is a 35-year-old East Cleveland man who is in custody after the shocking discovery of three dead women found stuffed inside trash bags.
Here’s what you should know about this disturbing case and this suspected monster.
1. He May Be a Copycat of the Infamous ‘Cleveland Strangler’
The horrific crimes allegedly committed by Madison are eerily similar to those of Anthony Sowell, a former Marine known as the “Cleveland Strangler” who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2011. In 2009, the bodies of 11 women were found wrapped in plastic and garbage bags in and around his home. What’s more, a neighbor says Madison recently threatened to commit copycat crimes in the mode of Sowell. And East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told the AP:
He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence.
2. His Bond is Set at $6 Million
At a court appearance today (Monday, July 22), Madison was charged with three counts of aggravated murder and three kidnapping charges. His bond was set at $1 million per count, or $6 million.
3. One Victim Has Been Named
Of the three victims, two remain unidentified and one has been named as Angela Deskins, 38. All three bodies were found in the fetal position and wrapped in trash bags. Deskins was identified by her fingerprints, but the bodies are so badly decomposed that the others are extremely difficult to identified. Deskins has been missing since June 7.
4. A Rotten Stench Led to the Bodies’ Discovery
A reported odor led police to the discovery of the first body in a garage on Friday, July 19. Two others were found nearby in the neighborhood. All three bodies were found within a few hundred yards of each other.
5. Volunteers Joined the Search for Dead Bodies
Police confirm Michael Madison is still in custody at E CLE police dept #Early5
— Kristin Byrne (@Kristin_Byrne) July 23, 2013
Over the weekend more than 30 neighborhood volunteers joined in a search for additional victims, exploring ramshackle homes in the rundown neighborhood. CBS reports East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts told the volunteers:
The MO of each body we’ve found so far was wrapped up in a lot of garbage bags, so if you see anything… and it might not look like it’s a body, but it could be — because each bag, the way he had each person was in a fetal position. It didn’t look like a person could actually fit in the bag.
Barbara Stirtmire said she came to help because she knows many people in the community and has a teenage daughter.
“It doesn’t make the city look good, I know that,” Stirtmire said. “But as far as everybody coming together, it’s beautiful.”
6. He Was Arrested After a Standoff
Madison was arrested on Friday, July 19, after a two-hour standoff at his mother’s house on Chickasaw Ave. in East Cleveland.
7. He Has Already Confessed to One Murder
WKYC reports that Madison has confessed to one of the three murders.
According to reporter Scott Taylor, Madison also gave the locations of two of the bodies:
Michael Madison has confessed to one murder and did give Police the locations of 2 of the 3 bodies. pic.twitter.com/ymzC3CLyzo
— Scott Taylor (@ScottTaylor19) July 22, 2013
Mayor Gary Norton said the community is coping with the tragedy.
“Three individuals who were minding their own business were killed senselessly by an individual with no regard for human life,” Norton said. “As a community we are dealing with the tragedy, we are healing and we are strong.”
8. He’s a Registered Sex Offender
Madison was jailed in 2002 on charges of attempted rape, gross sexual imposition and kidnapping and was sentenced to four years in prison. Two months ago, he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. His criminal record also holds disorderly conduct charges from 2001 and 2006.
9. There May Be More Victims
Ohio Police Expand Search After Three Bodies Found: We Hope 'This Is It': Michael Madison, 35, was arrested an… http://t.co/7EbUmgGby2
— News 24h Usa (@news24husa) July 21, 2013
East Cleveland’s Mayor Norton told reporters there “lots of reasons” to think there are more victims. Cops continued to search the neighborhood on Sunday but suspended the search.
10. Cleveland is Just Recovering From a Terrifying Kidnapping Case
The Cleveland area is still reeling from the discovery of three women held hostage for about 10 years, allegedly by Ariel Castro. Before they were discovered they were thought to be undiscovered victims of the Cleveland Strangler.