The quiet little town of Pocomoke City is a long way from the crime-infested streets of inner-city Baltimore.
Pocomoke Police Chief Kelvin Sewell was knee-deep in murders, drug deals and violent crimes for more than 22 years as a Baltimore City police detective.
“On one of my first days on the job in Pocomoke, a woman waved to me on the street,” he recalled. “I turned around to see who she was waving at. It was me. I wasn’t used to that.”
Sewell’s book, “Why Do We Kill?: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore,” covers 11 of his most notorious and often horrific cases as a Baltimore City detective.
“It was a therapeutic type thing to write about the cases,” he said.
Reading about the crimes that Sewell handled is disturbing. There are scenes straight out of HBO’s “The Wire,” but these cases are factually true. A teen shoots a woman he chooses at random as target practice. A 17-year-old girl is stabbed to death over a cell phone, and the killer calmly eats her unfinished sandwich. Gang members stab a petty drug dealer 22 times, then torch his body to destroy evidence.
Pocomoke is a big change for Sewell, who retired from Baltimore City police after years of dealing with hard-core criminals in homicide, narcotics and internal affairs. He moved his family to Pocomoke in November 2010 and took over as police chief in December 2011.
After his retirement, Sewell said he “wanted to stay in law enforcement, but wanted to move to a smaller town, and Pocomoke was what I was looking for. It’s a quiet town, a nice place to retire.”
The police chief’s oldest daughter graduated from UMES and is now in her first year of law school. His younger daughter is a second-year student at UMES. Wife Rhonda was a registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 22 years, and now works at Atlantic General Hospital.
|Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell with wife Rhonda|
Sewell’s book has been well received, not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, where shows like “The Wire” are popular. Sewell made a trip to Scotland to promote the book, and stayed with his wife in a medieval castle.
The book was co-authored by Stephen Janis, an investigative producer for WBFF-TV in Baltimore and formerly a criminal reporter for the Baltimore Examiner newspaper.
Currently, a TV series based on the book is in development.
Chief Sewell said there was one particular case “that threw me back. A mother buried her kid in a grave in Druid Hill Park. The baby was inside a back pack similar to the one my daughter had. She was on her way to school with the back pack on, and I sat in kitchen and watched her go out the door. It was the same Nike back pack that the baby was buried in.”
**No date has been set for the veiwing of the series based on the book "Why Do We Kill?". To view the "Why Do We Kill?" Trailer -Video OR CASE FILE 1: The Bounty Hunters
I will keep you posted. In the meantime read the book! As an average citizen you have NO idea as to what violence and crime is all about! jmmb