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Ill Cleveland man who confessed last month to killing prostitute 20 years ago has history of attacking prostitutes

September 27, 2018

Ill Cleveland man who confessed last month to killing prostitute 20 years ago has history of attacking prostitutes

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A chronically ill Cleveland man who confessed to police that he killed a prostitute two decades ago was also convicted in 1990 for attacking and tying up a prostitute, according to court records.

Michael Thompson, 64, is charged with aggravated murder after he told police that he killed the prostitute some 20 years ago and buried her body in a shallow grave on the side of a hidden road near railroad tracks in the city’s Stockyards neighborhood, according to investigators.

Thompson called police on Aug. 20 and confessed to the slaying. He led police, the FBI and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to the woman’s shallow grave at the intersection of Train and Richner avenues.

Authorities on Monday dug where Thompson said he left the woman’s remains. They uncovered human bones after a short search. Thompson was charged with aggravated murder on Wednesday.

The medical examiner has not yet identified the woman. Her cause of death has not been determined but her death was ruled a homicide, court records.

Police believe Thompson confessed to the crime because of his illness.

Thompson has one local felony conviction— the 1989 attack of a prostitute, according to court records.

Thompson worked as a truck driver for the Freeway Corporation when he carried out the Nov. 24, 1989 that led to his convication. He lived at his home on Cloud Avenue, about a quarter mile from where the FBI found the woman’s body.

He lived with his fiancée and her four children—ages 4 to 11, according to court records. His father was dying of leukemia. He also supported his sister, who was mentally disabled, according to court records.

Thompson hired a 20-year-old prostitute, who went to his home. Thomson, in a handwritten plea for a judge to release him from prison, said he picked the woman up and the two agreed for Thompson to pay her $20 for sex.

When they got back to his home, the woman told Thompson that she wanted $100 and that if she’d alert her pimp, who she said was sitting outside, if Thompson refused to pay. Thompson wrote that he became afraid, grabbed a gun from his closet.

The woman took the $20 and the two had sex. Thompson said the woman grabbed his gun. He wrote that he pushed her on the bed and “lost my tempter.”

He wrote that he hit her on the side of her head, tied her up, gagged her “so she would shut up,” Thompson’s letter says.

Thompson put her in his car, drove her downtown, untied her and forced her out of his car, he wrote.

Cleveland police went to his home and Thompson claims in his letter he never lied to the police. He lamented whether or not he should have been honest with investigators.

“Would it have been the right thing for me to lie to the police and denial [sic] everything?”

He wrote that he believed “no one really got hurt” and that what he did ”“wasn’t so bad,” the letter says.

“At times I feel very angry because I know it was not fair I should end up in prison,” Thompson wrote.

He promised if he was allowed out of prison early, he would “stay out of trouble.”

The woman in the case didn’t show up for two hearings and the case was nearly dismissed, his defense attorney wrote. She only appeared in court after being arrested on a prostitution charge and was brought to court.

Thompson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a gun and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, the maximum allowable by law at the time.

Then-Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Robert Feighan denied his plea for an early release from prison.

Thompson was also charged in connection with a Nov. 24, 1996 stabbing of a Brunswick man. Thompson was accused of stabbing the man multiple times in the chest at Thompson’s Cloud Avenue home. The man survived and charges were dropped. Court records do not indicate why prosecutors decided to drop the charges.

To comment on this story, please visit Wednesday’s crime and courts comments page.

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