The horrific suspected copycat serial killer case in Cleveland has taken an even more devastating turn. The third body found in East Cleveland has been identified as Shetisha Sheeley, 28. The young woman is one of three women whose bodies were found wrapped in trash bags over the weekend. Officers suspect that this may be the work of a serial killer working off Anthony Sowell's play book.
As you may recall, Sowell was the sick Cleveland serial killer who was found guilty of killing 11 women in 2011. He hid their remains around his Cleveland home. Sowell was sentenced to death and is in prison in Ohio.
What makes this case even more devastating is that Sheeley's mother lost her 25-year-old son last December in a different violent incident. Two children in one year. It's unimaginable.
Sometimes when you hear about stories like this, they feel distant. Anthony Sowell, for instance, killed mainly prostitutes and women who were desperate for whatever reason, whether they were addicts or otherwise needy. This does not make it OK. Not by any stretch. But it does make it feel like something that most of us who are not in that line of work are safe from or immune to. A story like this just makes it all clear. We are not.
One of the biggest complaints people have about police investigations that involve prostitutes is that they are not taken as seriously. Maybe this will change things. A mother has lost two of her children. Sheeley was not identified as a prostitute, but she was referred to as "living on the edge," the implication being that she somehow was more vulnerable to this.
That might be true. But how is that relevant? People have the right to go through hard times and pull themselves back up. They can fall down and get back up again without becoming victims. In the end, it is the suspect -- Michael Madison, a registered sex offender -- who is accused. It's not the victim.
Sheeley's mom, who is also suffering from cancer, was said to be devastated by the news that it was her daughter. "...This is really, really hard on me right now," she told reporters.
I can't even imagine. My heart goes out to her and I hope she can find some sort of healing through this unimaginably difficult time.
Do you think cases where the victims were in "dangerous" lines of work get less attention?
Image via Alex /Flickr