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What authorities in Cleveland knew was bad enough.

The remains of 11 women were discovered at the home of Anthony Sowell, 51, who was charged with the serial killings two years ago.

But investigators wanted to make sure there weren’t other victims, so the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors office formed a cold case squad to look at old murder cases in the poor Cleveland community.

What they found rocked the entire Northeast Ohio region.

It appears that a second second killer was preying on women in the mostly black and poor eastside of Cleveland.

Joseph Harwell, 50, (pictured at the top) was indicted this week on multiple counts of aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping in the deaths of Mary Thomas, 27, (Mary Ann Prater holds a picture of daughter Thomas above) and Tondilear Harge, 33, (sister-in-law Yolanda Cook-Gillis holds a photo of Harge below).

Harwell is currently serving 15 years to life in prison for killing Teresa Vinson in Columbus in 1997.

Though Harwell had been eligible for parole next year (is that scary or what?), he can likely forget ever seeing the streets again.

The prosecutor’s office is now seeking the death penalty for Harwell, as it is for Sowell.

Having worked as a national writer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer for nearly a decade, I know the streets where authorities say Sowell and Harwell hunted human game.

What stands out about them most is how interchangeable they are to the streets in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago or Los Angeles, where black folks struggle to make ends meet.

This sad story makes me wonder how many murderers we would find if we dedicated the resources for cold case investigation units the way Sowell’s killings forced Cuyahoga County authorities to do.

When poor black women go missing, especially those women known to run the streets, few ask probing questions. It’s as if a trap door sprung open underneath them and they were swallowed up by the earth.

Based on the information found in Cleveland, wouldn’t it make sense to develop similar cold case units in Los Angeles, where Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. is accused for murdering 10 people, nine of them women?

While looking for cold case killers will not bring their victims back, it will take the sick and dangerous perpetrators off the streets, where they use the public’s lack of concern for poor black people as a shield for their crimes.