Demolition of serial killer Anthony Sowell's Imperial Avenue home complete

CLEVELAND - At 12205 Imperial Ave. Tuesday night, the type of lights that once aided investigators in their search of Anthony Sowell's house aided demolition crews in ensuring that no piece of that house remained.

By 9 p.m., the spot that once hid death was being covered with grass seed and hay, the beginnings of the life that will sprout here in the spring.

These are the contrasts surrounding this spot off East 123rd and Imperial, where Anthony Sowell murdered 11 women. They're crimes that came to light on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, and have been synonymous with this street ever since.

The demolition began early Tuesday morning and crews worked hard to ensure that this job would be done in one day with no interruptions. Cleveland Building and Housing Director Ed Rybka said they wanted it "done in a way where none of the pieces of this house are going to show up eBay and someone profiting on just a tremendous tragedy."

The crowds that gathered around 7 a.m. Tuesday to watch the crews methodically tear through the home from curb through to the backyard were gone by the time the work wrapped up.

In the light rain, though, James Williams looked on. He lives around the corner and never stopped by when the bodies were first discovered two years ago, but felt compelled to this night.

"They can't never stand outside and feel the rain again in their life," said Williams of the victims. "I'm here for them."

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