Serial killer Anthony Sowell took the stand in the death penalty phase of his mass murder trial, and apologized for his actions.
A deputy stood directly behind Sowell as he answered basic questions, such as his name, age, etc. He described his childhood education. Sowell played the cello growing up, songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Sowell said he was abused as a child, and described his mother beating him with an extension cord. When asked about specifics he said, "I don't want to talk about it." He said his mother did not nurture him as a little boy.
He said he joined the Marines because he heard they were tougher than the Army, and he had something to prove to his mother.
Sowell described his work in prison and how he sought employment after he got out in 2005. He worked for a temp agency as a cook, and proceeded to describe his work history job by job.
He choked up when he talked about his inability to show emotion to those he loved. He said he can't hug his sisters or hold hands.
Sowell described how a heart attack changed his life. Everything from mood swings to losing jobs to hearing a voice, one called Arnie.
Sowell completed his statement by saying he was sorry. He was asked no specifics about his crimes.
Sowell was convicted of murdering eleven women and burying their bodies in and around his Imperial Avenue home last month. The same jury that convicted him must now decide whether Sowell serves life in prison, or is put to death.
Before Sowell delivered his unsworn statement, social worker Lori Towne was on the stand for the entire morning and a portion of the afternoon. She displayed a chart detailing mental illness and physical problems on both sides of Sowell's family. She said physical and mental problems were "rampant" in the family. Sowell's mother had five children before she turned 18.
In the understatement of the trial, she called Sowell's family "dysfunctional." She said all of Sowell's siblings reacted to their harsh upbringing by "acting out" in various ways. Towne believes they have no boundaries. Sowell's siblings exhibit all kinds of issues; drug abuse, sexual dysfunction or obsession, overeating, seizures, lack of ability to care.
Towns said Sowell told her he was sexually abused as a child. This is the only testimony on that. Sowell never mentioned it to anyone.