What’s the deal with Ohio?

Did you catch this headline? As if Cleveland needed more drama and despair.

With the news about LeBron’s departure, I can’t help but feel a little extra sorry for Cleveland, and Ohio as a whole. In my imagination, losing LeBron wouldn’t sting so badly if Ohio weren’t already suffering from so much…homicide?

One of my favorite jokes (that never get laughs, btw) is that you couldn’t pay me to travel to Cleveland, because I’ve seen too many episodes of Cops and 48 Hours that were filmed there. I know that statistically evil lurks everywhere, but I get the impression that Cleveland sees more than its fair share. And naturally it’s also home to the most haunted house in Ohio, which we can enjoy vicariously through these videos recorded by much braver people than myself.

I thought about Cleveland a few weeks ago while I was reading True Crime Addict by Ohioan James Renner. Turns out he had reported on the disappearance of Amanda Berry, one of the three women held prisoner by Ariel Castro for years until they were finally rescued from his home. I remember the day they were freed, and after reading about Renner’s brush with the case I couldn’t help but notice how many horror stories and disappearances like these have come out of Ohio.

A few weeks ago I also came across this story about the Rhoden Family murders, also known as the Pike County shootings. Eight members of the same family were executed in each of their various homes in one night, and this shocking case remains unsolved two years later.

And then there are the missing women featured in Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, an excellent series by documentarian Joe Berlinger of the Paradise Lost trilogy. The show introduces six young women who have gone missing in Chillicothe, Ohio. Only four of the women’s remains have been found.

The investigators and families interviewed in the show are trying to uncover any possible connections between the victims. By sharing heart wrenching details about the victims’ lives and the loved ones they left behind, the documentary strives to portray the victims as full, if flawed, humans – something I think TV can always use more of.

More than anything the women shared a history of addiction, victims of the opioid crisis sweeping through the whole country but particularly Ohio. Some had been involved in sex work, which leads to a theory that a single killer could have been responsible. And as the investigstors consider suspects and widen the scope of their case, it begs the question: What’s going on in Ohio??

What are your thoughts? Which Ohio cases do you find fascinating?

Are you from Ohio? If so, I am sorry.

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