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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    OH - JOSEPH HARWELL, Columbus and Cleveland, 1986-1997

    I was surprised we didn't have a thread on this guy already. With all of the talk about Sowell, I guess he was overlooked. This is another one who took his victims' shoes!

    Joseph Harwell – four aliases: Joseph Harwell, Joseph Dwayne Perry, Joseph Ober and Joseph Oher born 1960


    February 1986 -- Mary "Susie" Thomas - strangled - courtyard of abandoned apartment building, East Cleveland

    Two gas-meter readers had found Susie dead in the trash-filled courtyard of an abandoned apartment building. She was wearing a black cloth jacket and a white T-shirt, but she was naked from the waist down except for a pair of white socks.

    Bloodstained white jeans and a pair of purple underwear were lying next to her amid the wood, garbage, papers and glass. She'd been beaten over the head and strangled with a red ribbon. It was still tied around her neck.


    1989 -- Attempted to strangle a woman who escaped. Served six years for felonious assault

    1995 -- Released on parole

    September 1996 -- Tondilear Harge - found in a wooded area near 1904 E. 86th St, East Cleveland

    March 1997 - Teresa Vinson - raped, strangled - Columbus

    982 Duxberry Ave Mike McCann and Pat Barr, Columbus homicide detectives, got the assignment just before 9 a.m.: A woman had been found lying in the backyard of an empty house in north Columbus. Medics on the scene had pronounced her dead.

    McCann and Barr pulled up to 982 Duxberry Ave. five minutes later. Officers led them to the end of the driveway, where the victim was lying face-down, next to a pinelike bush. Her blue denim shirt and blue Georgetown Hoyas jacket had been pushed up to the top of her back. Except for her socks, she was nude from the waist down. Her underwear and jeans were lying next to her. Bruises covered her face and neck; she'd been beaten and strangled.

    Footprints surrounded her in the bare dirt. Her shoes were missing, but her white socks were clean.


    Harwell (aka Joseph Oher and Joseph Ober) had called police to say he found a woman's body next to his house. Said he'd been awakened by a commotion outside that also awakened his girlfriend's 7-year-old daughter. The two began playing video games. He asked the girl what she'd heard. She said it sounded like breaking glass. He went outside to look again, and found Vinson's body.

    He didn't have a phone, so he went to neighbor's house. Neighbor didn't answer. After kids went to school, he and girlfriend walked to another neighbor's house and called police.

    Police noticed a freshly washed pair of high top tennis shoes. Harwell said he'd washed his clothes after he found the body.
    Detective noticed a pack of Newport cigarettes on the coffee table. An empty Newport pack and two Newport cigarettes were found under Vinson's body

    Semen and blood DNA matched to Harwell

    November 1998 -- pleaded guilty, sentenced 15 to life.

    After his arrest in 1997, Harwell confided in his jailmate, FC. FC contacted detectives, who interviewed him about his conversations with Harwell in 1997.

    November 2008 - police interview Harwell in prison about Harge's murder. He denies it. They already have preliminary DNA match. Take more swabs. Those come back positive.

    November 2009 - police begin "the surge" investigation of female homicides within a 2-1/2 mile radius of Sowell's home from 1989-2007.

    Investigator reviews the file on Mary Thompson.

    Summer 2010 - Detectives continue investigation of Harge's murder. They track down former convict who was Harwell's jailmate in 1998. This man says Harwell told him he was on the run from a homicide in Cleveland similar to the one he committed in Columbus (Teresa Vinson).

    Detectives talk to Harwell again, and give him a chance to confess. He denies.

    August 2010 -- Cuyahoga County's new crime lab take another look at evidence found with Susie Thomas: a white bra, purple panties, a white T-shirt with green trim and a pair of white Gitano jeans, size 12.

    Blood and seminal fluid were found on the t-shirt and jeans. It's tested for DNA.

    November 2010 -- Crime lab contacts cold case unit. DNA is a match to an inmate in the state’s DNA database (Harwell).

    December 2010 -- Detective O'Malley visits the former jailmate, FC. FC said he contacted the prosecutor in 1997 because he didn't want Harwell back on the streets. When asked what Harwell said about Cleveland, FC replied, "He said that he ducked Cleveland, and he had bodies up there," Conner said. "Under the same circumstances, I believe."

    February 2012 -- Harwell pleaded guilty to two counts of Abduction, and two counts of Involuntary Manslaughter. Sentenced to 35 years, on top of the 15 to life for Vinson's murder.

    O'Malley thinks Harwell killed more than three women. Another murder in East Cleveland seems to bear Harwell's signature. Carmella Prater was found dead on Feb. 27, 1989, in a vacant building on First Avenue, less than a minute's walk from where Susie Thomas was found 29 days later. But there's no DNA evidence in the Prater case.


    http://www.clevelandmagazine.com/ME2...A66BA33EAF90AA
    Last edited by bessie; 10-18-2015 at 10:20 PM.
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

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  2. #2
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    As a clevelander, I thought this map may be helpful to others. The City of East Cleveland is a separate entity from the City of Cleveland. East Cleveland is located to the northeast of University Circle. To the west and southwest of University Circle, is the "east side" of Cleveland. This area is known locally as the Buckeye/Woodland area to the southwest of University Circle. That is the area that Sowell was finally found in, although in earlier years he was in East Cleveland. East 93rd Street becomes Woodhill Road as you go North from the Buckeye/Woodland areato the circle. But you will see as you go north from there it becomes East 93rd again. So, if you look at the map in this link and move it around, you will see what I'm talking about.

    https://www.maptechnica.com/us-city-...cityid/3923380

  3. #3
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    BTW, I hadn't even heard of Harwell. Thank you Bessie!!!!

  4. #4
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    Thank you, for the map!
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK





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