Friday, February 25, 2011

Milwaukee's North Side Strangler sentenced to life

Milwaukee's North Side Strangler was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms yesterday, February 24, 2011 in Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Dennis Cimpl's courtroom. Walter E. Ellis was sentenced for seven counts of 1st degree intentional homicide for the strangulation murders of seven women, must of them prostitutes. More about these crimes can be found here and here.

More than 30 friends and relatives of his many victims filled the gallery Thursday. Nine made formal statements to Cimpl, ranging from vengeful to forgiving.Tina Lewis, mother of Ouithreaun Stokes, Ellis' last known victim, asked, "What went wrong in his life that would make him kill these women?" She said she wished Wisconsin had the death penalty and hoped Ellis would wind up murdered in prison like infamous Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Zola Farrior, sister of Sheila Farrior, who was killed in 1995, called Ellis "nothing but the devil. He didn't only kill my sister, he killed my mother - she died of heartbreak after that," Farrior said.

Dominika Walton's mother, Irene Smith, was stabbed and strangled in 1992. She tearfully said she was not happy with Ellis pleading no contest, that he was still trying to avoid responsibility. "He is a straight coward," she said.

Patricia Donald spoke about her friend Deborah Harris, Ellis' first known victim, who was killed Oct. 10, 1986, whom she called a generous, loving person who had moved to the city for a better life. She said she had forgiven Ellis because she will not let him prevent her from enjoying closure.

"We're going to all be all right," Donald said. "You don't win. You don't get to destroy lives anymore."

Ellis did not speak, and his attorney, Patrick Earle, said that he would not make any statements on his client's behalf.

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