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Ear to the Ground

Cleveland Rapist and Kidnapper Discovered Hanged in Prison Cell

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Posted on Sep 4, 2013
AP/Tony Dejak

Ariel Castro.

Ariel Castro, the man who held three women captive for a decade, died Tuesday. After being found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, prison staff attempted to resuscitate him, but the 53-year-old died at the hospital where he’d been transferred. Castro was a school bus driver who, between 2002 and 2004, lured and kidnapped Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. The three were raped repeatedly and kept chained up in his Cleveland house, which has since been destroyed.

The BBC offers more details on Castro’s possible suicide:

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, JoEllen Smith, said: “He was housed in protective custody which means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes at staggered intervals.

“Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures. Shortly after he was transported to [the prison medical facility] where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 pm.”

“A thorough review of this incident is under way,” she added.

Castro was placed in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, but was not on suicide watch.


The abducted women escaped in May with the 6-year-old child that Berry had given birth to during her captivity. Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts during his trial, and repeatedly asked for forgiveness, claiming he was sick and suffered from an uncontrollable addiction. His lawyers had stated that he exhibited evidence of sociopathic disorder, and wanted him to be studied by researchers who would look for indicators of his illness that could be used to prevent other predators from performing similar acts. In August, he was sentenced to life without parole plus a thousand years.

Knight was the only victim to testify in court, saying to him, “I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning. You will face hell for eternity.”

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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