It seemed like déjà vu when the murder victims of Michael Madison were discovered. The search began due to a complaint about a foul odor. Upon investigation, the decomposing body of an 18 year old woman was found in a garage. The search continued and the remains of two other women were found in the neighborhood, one in a lot and one in a basement. These victims were 28 and 38 years old.
Madison, a registered sex offender and alleged drug dealer, was arrested and originally charged with three counts of aggravated murder. His bail set at six million dollars.
By the time he went to trial, the charges were multiplied including several counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, rape, and weapons possession. To these charges, a not guilty plea was entered.
The murder trial began with prosecution describing the deaths of the victims, how they were mutilated and stored in trash bags. The defense took on the stance that Madison led a tormented life beginning with abuse as a child and a drug induced lifetime riddled with fits of rage.
The medical examiner determined that two of the women were strangled, while the cause of death of the other victim was stated to be "homicidal violence by unspecified means".
The defense did not deny that the defendant committed the crimes. It seemed more like they were focused on avoiding a death sentence in this capital case by presenting mitigating circumstances and attempting to discount that the murders were premeditated rather then proving Madison not guilty.
In interrogations, which the jury heard, Madison admitted to murder and seemed to have trouble remembering where he put the bodies. Testimonies in the Madison's murder trial revealed that Madison was known as a dealer of marijuana and that he hated women. Evidently he had a cumbersome relationship with his own mother and the mother of his children.
When all was said and done, the jury returned a guilty
verdict. Mitigating circumstances were
presented by defense in an attempt to avoid the death penalty. After deliberation, the jury recommended the
death penalty. He was sentenced to
Due to statements made by people who knew Madison, it is assumed that his crimes were inspired by his fascination with Anthony Sowell. Sowell is known as the Cleveland Strangler. The remains of eleven women were found in and around his home.
Sowell was arrested approximately four years before Madison's arrest. He was convicted of the murders and sentenced
to death, despite the attempt to plea not guilty by reason of insanity. At the time that Madison's murders came to light, Sowell was serving time on
death row in the state of Ohio.