Tanja Doss, 43, went up to suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell's third-floor bedroom for a beer and said that he seemed like a "civilized person", until, she says, he leapt up and began choking her and threatening to killer. Doss says she survived the night with him through a combination of calm, prayer, trickery and cajoling.
Doss says that she met Sowell in 2005 after his prison release, but did not know the real reason for his sentence. She said that she found him to be "a civilized person, siting outside drinking beer, a nice person." So she didn't hesitate to join him for a drink. However, things quickly turned ugly.
"And then he just clicked. I'm sitting on the corner of the bed and he just leaped up and came over and started choking me," she said.
In a state of shock, Doss said that she laid back and tried not to struggle. She said:
"He said, 'If you want to live, knock three times on the floor.' And I knocked on the floor."
With his hands still around her throat, Doss says that he then told her using a string of profanities that she could be "dead in the street" and no one would care. He then made her strip and lay on the bed. But she says that he did not attempt to rape her.