Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Found Dead in his Cell

Suspect Ariel Castro from his Facebook page.

Suspect Ariel Castro from his Facebook page.

Ariel Castro, 53, the man found guilty of keeping three women captive for a decade in his makeshift-prison home has been found hanged in his cell. According to the results of a preliminary autopsy, Castro, who was not on suicide watch after his sentencing last month, hung himself in his cell on the night of September 3, 2013.

On August 1, Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for abducting teens Michele Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and keeping them as sex slaves for a decade, longer in the case of Knight, who was the first abducted.

During that time he raped, beat, humiliated and in general abused the girls, now women, both mentally and physically. In the case of Knight, who sustained lasting facial damaged from his abuse, he intentionally beat her into miscarrying the five times that she became pregnant. Then forced her to deliver Berry’s child alive under threat of death.

At his sentencing Knight said, ”I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.” the other victims were not present.

The next week Castro’s house was torn down while onlookers cheered. Two contractors generously volunteered their services for the job after prosecutors voiced concerns that the house could become some sort of twisted tourist attraction.

Through it all Ariel Castro never really showed any true remorse, at least not publicly. In court he apologized, but blamed past abuse and a sex addiction for his crimes, saying that he was “not a monster.” At one point he stated that the sex in his prison house was consensual, not rape and that he looked forward to being a father to his child with Berry, though she did not seem to have any intention of letting Castro near her daughter ever again.

Once in prison, however, it is logical to assume that the other prisoners would have wanted to exact some measure of jail house justice against Castro for his crimes against the young women. In fact, at the time of his death, Castro was being held in protective custody at the the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. His family is reportedly devastated and his lawyer hasn’t ruled out foul play in Castro’s death promising to  ”get to the bottom” of what happened to Castro Tuesday night.

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