Something's rotten in Cleveland, and Boston, and Benghazi

Ten years is a long time for one man to do so much damage as an entire city slept.
Photo: Ariel Castro

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013 - They should have been arrested 10 years ago for being so ugly. Neighbors should have been suspicious for that reason alone.

Instead, Ariel Castro was given all the time he needed, 10 years, to abduct and torture those three Cleveland women, plus a child that came along through rape, never mind the multiple abortions that resulted from alleged kicks and blows to the stomach.

Ariel is being held on $8 million bond.

Meanwhile his brothers, those two charmers Onil and Pedro, have been released. Therefore we are to assume that they knew nothing.

Is this a joke?

Ten years and they knew nothing about their brother’s house of horrors. Who is buying this?

Who did the shopping for the captives…and wasn’t anyone suspicious about the amount of food being brought into a house that was supposed to be the home of one man alone? So week after week, who bought the over-abundant groceries and toiletries to supply a household?

He did not feed them much, but enough to keep beating them and raping them (according to reports coming in, and a possible confession).

Surely someone at the check-out counter must have wondered why good old Ariel kept filling up his cart with feminine hygiene products.

Or perhaps either Onin or Pedro did the shopping while Ariel was off collecting his unemployment checks.

Ten years is a long time for one man to do so much damage as an entire city slept.

A cousin reported that the three brothers were “very tight. They did everything together.”

Not a chance, huh, that anyone asked about the shrieks and cries coming from the basement?

There were other missed signals: Ariel pulled over for a traffic violation, but let go for being “so courteous” to the officer; neighbors alleging that they informed police about a naked young woman crawling in Ariel’s backyard, which police allegedly dismissed as a prank; windows covered with garbage bags…and on to other signs that something was amiss but that failed to rouse Cleveland’s law enforcement authorities.

In the midst of it all, the brothers knew nothing.  That’s what we are expected to believe.

Are the rest of us supposed to be that stupid – or is it a Cleveland thing, or rather, what happens in Cleveland stays in Cleveland?

Which brings us to Boston. Katherine Russell, the widow of bomber number one, Tamerian Tsamaev.  We are supposed to belive she knew nothing. She converted to Islam for his sake, the house was filled with bomb-making material, and she saw no evil, heard no evil, and spoke no evil. 

She is being questioned, but she is not being charged with a crime. Nothing, so far, about her possible role as an accomplice.

There were no phone calls she may have overheard? Not one single phone call that made her suspicious?

People living in the same home, husband and wife, and nothing passed between them. That’s what we’re being asked to swallow.

Which brings us to Benghazi. The hearings (so far) turning out to be a dud. The whistleblowers are to be commended for their service and for their sacrifice, but as witnesses they prove to be less than compelling.

In giving such long-winded accounts they kep burying the headline.

So we still do not know how Obama and Hillary figure in all that, except that here too we are supposed to take it on trust that they knew nothing.

Hillary, though, may have been onto something when she declared: “What difference at this point does in make?”

Now there’s a mouthful about the amnesia that appears to have stricken and blinded so many of us.


Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.

Read more Jack Engelhard, A Novelist’s View of the World

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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at


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