WASHINGTON, September 4, 2013 – Ariel Castro is dead, a suspected suicide by hanging.
One can only imagine the demons that haunted Ariel Castro as he sat by himself, day after day, with not much more to think about. Not much more than that he held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade. That he would never again be a free man.
That he was responsibile for the death of at least five unborn infants, whose miscarriages he caused by punching captive Michelle Knight repeatedly in the stomach.
Testimony at trial was that Castro regularly beat, sexually assaulted, starved and humiliated Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry. He kept them chained to poles, fed them infrequently and threatened their lives if they failed to obey him.
Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty wrote in a sentencing memo that Castro “admits his disgusting and inhuman conduct” but “remains remorseless for his actions.”
Castro justified his actions saying he was sexually abused as a child and that he needed help because was “sick”, even asking for visitation with his daughter with captive Amanda Berry. A request the court denied.
At his trial McGinty’s memo offered new, and horrific, details of Castro’s treatment of the women, who he wrote were kept “in a state of powerlessness” through physical, sexual and psychological violence.
Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. And though his death brings some closure to the living nightmare he was, it is doubtful it will bring closure the women he enslaved or the child he fathered.
JoEllen Smith, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman from the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, a community located south of Columbus in central Ohio said that prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. Castro was held in protective custody, meaning he was isolated, and he was checked every 30 minutes, but he was not under suicide watch, Smith said.
Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.
At his sentencing, after reaching a plea agreement that removed the death penalty for causing Michelle Knight’s miscarriages, Knight stood within feet of Castro and told him his life was over.
Knight, 32, was held the longest and treated the worst by Castro.
“You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back,” said Michelle Knight to AP. “I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.”Associated Press contributed to this report. The writer chose photos of Michell Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJusus instead of the monster who was Ariel Castro.
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