East Cleveland murders bring back terrors for woman who survived serial killer Anthony Sowell

Survivor cautions women to stay alert

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Lisa Broughton recalls her early 20s with a level of horror few women have had to endure.

She not only survived a rape, but found out more than 20 years later that she escaped a serial killer.

According to Broughton, convicted murder Anthony Sowell followed her for months, engaging her in conversation on the streets of East Cleveland in the late 80s and gaining her trust. A recently-retired Marine, Sowell came off as intelligent and charming, said Broughton.

That was until one night when he attacked her with a choke hold in a vacant field off of Euclid Avenue.

"He worked me for a good eight to nine months before he actually raped me," Broughton said. "His whole personality changed. The look in his eyes, everything. It was like a Dr. Jekyll. He was a totally different person who went from human to animal."

With three new murders on East Cleveland's streets, Broughton said she's certain that Sowell had more victims and more survivors are still out there.

The suspect in the latest case is 35-year-old Michael Madison, who was charged with three counts of aggravated murder. Broughton said she feels sure he's connected to Anthony Sowell and that Madison may know the death row inmate well.

"I can't be sure, but the similarities are too close and there are still unsolved murders tied to rapes from back when Sowell was around. They (police) just never tied them together, or even cared if they were drug users," Broughton said.

Broughton said the night Sowell attack her was the turning point in her life. In and out of jail for drug use and other offenses, she now counts her blessings.

"Only God's grace kept me alive, and I sometimes wonder why he kept me alive, but today I think it's for the peace of the family of victims that were killed that they said didn't fit his MO," Broughton said.

Broughton since moved out of the state of Ohio, yet still has recurring nightmares of Sowell.

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