This January, FilmRise released the chilling true crime documentary “Unseen,” from award-winning director and producer Laura Paglin. For two years, women had been disappearing from Mount Pleasant – a poverty-stricken, African-American neighborhood in Cleveland – with little investigation from police and city officials. Then in 2009, a reported rape led Cleveland police to a grisly discovery— the bodies of eleven women decomposing in the house and yard of known sex offender Anthony Sowell. How was it that a serial killer was able to operate virtually in plain sight for two years?
Told in riveting detail by the women who were able to escape Sowell’s deadly clutches, “Unseen” draws viewers into a world where marginalized women, plagued by drug use, shunned by society and dismissed by the police, became easy prey for a predatory monster. “Unseen” questions not only the police failures in this case but also why Sowell’s neighbors turned a blind eye to his bizarre activities. Through intimate, revealing interviews, Paglin gives voice to Sowell’s victims, allowing them to tell their stories, showing us how they attempt to come to grips with their horrific experiences.
“Unseen” was an Official Selection at Cleveland International Film Festival and DOC NYC. It was also a contender for the Social Impact Award at Greenwich International Film Festival. Unseen acts as a haunting indictment of a police force that failed its citizens.” UNSEEN: A True Crime Documentary About a Cleveland Serial Killer and the Women He Preyed On-Laura Paglin