Ohio man who held 3 women captive commits suicide

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COLUMBUS, Ohio  — The man serving a life prison term for kidnapping three women and repeatedly raping them in his home for nearly a decade has been found dead and is believed to have committed suicide, a prison official said.

Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, located south of Columbus in central Ohio, JoEllen Smith, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman, said early Wednesday.

Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10:50 p.m.

Castro was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes, but was not on suicide watch, Smith said. She said suicide watch entails constant observation.

The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped from Castro's Cleveland home May 6, when Amanda Berry, one of the women, broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help.

"Help me," she said in a 911 call. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

The two other women were so scared of Castro that they held back initially even as police officers began to swarm the house. But quickly they realized they were free.

"You saved us! You saved us!" another of the captives, Michelle Knight, told an officer as she leaped into his arms.

Castro was arrested that evening. He had also fathered a child with Berry while she was in captivity; that girl was 6 years old when freed. A judge rejected Castro's request to have visiting rights with his daughter.

Elation over the women's rescue soon turned to shock as details emerged about conditions of their captivity. Investigators say they were bound with chains, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities. Knight told investigators she was beaten and starved several times to force her to miscarry.

Messages left for the women's lawyers were not immediately returned early Wednesday.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.

In a rambling statement, he told the judge he was not a monster but a man suffering from a pornography addiction.

"I'm not a monster. I'm sick," Castro said at his sentencing.

Knight was the only one of the three who appeared in court at his sentencing.

"You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back," she said in the hushed courtroom. "I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning."

Castro was watched closely in the Cuyahoga County Jail in the several weeks after his arrest and before his guilty plea, with logs noting his activity every 10 minutes. He was taken off county jail suicide watch in early June after authorities determined he was not a suicide risk.

Castro's attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have a psychological examination of Castro done at the Cuyahoga County Jail, where Castro was housed before he was turned over to state authorities following his guilty plea and conviction, his attorney, Jaye Schlachet, told The Associated Press early Wednesday. Schlachet said he could not immediately comment further.

In an interview last month after Castro's conviction, Schlachet and attorney Craig Weintraub said their client clearly fit the profile of sociopathic disorder and that they hoped researchers would study him for clues that could be used to stop other predators.

This is the second high-profile suicide in an Ohio prison in a month.

On Aug. 4, death row inmate Billy Slagle was found hanged in his cell just days before his scheduled execution. He was condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbor.

Comments (14) Add comment
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corgimom
33206
Points
corgimom 09/04/13 - 04:05 am
8
1
Good riddance to evil

Good riddance to evil rubbish.

itsanotherday1
43819
Points
itsanotherday1 09/04/13 - 06:08 am
8
0
I have one word for him

GOODBYE.

Make that three: THANK YOU.

shrimp for breakfast
5460
Points
shrimp for breakfast 09/04/13 - 07:01 am
7
0
He got off easy in this life

I wouldn't want to be where he is at the moment that's for sure.

myfather15
55725
Points
myfather15 09/04/13 - 07:16 am
7
0
Wonderful news!! It's a good

Wonderful news!! It's a good day!!

Watermedic
292
Points
Watermedic 09/04/13 - 07:22 am
7
0
He finally made a good

He finally made a good decision!!

my.voice
4867
Points
my.voice 09/04/13 - 07:51 am
6
0
He's a model prisoner, but

He's a model prisoner, but like every coward out there, he took the easy way out. Those girls lasted a decade, and he lasted for a month?

CobaltGeorge
160967
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/04/13 - 08:00 am
4
0
A Hidden Justice Key May Have Been PROVIDE!

He was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes, but was not on suicide watch, Smith said.

Strong Bed Sheets & 30 Minutes!

seenitB4
88248
Points
seenitB4 09/04/13 - 08:31 am
5
0
That was the official word

and we believe officials....anyway bye bye--so long.

nocnoc
43454
Points
nocnoc 09/04/13 - 08:34 am
5
0
We sure seem to have a lot of

Mass murders that get life without parole.
Die quickly of Suicide or stabbings in prison.

BamaMan
2396
Points
BamaMan 09/04/13 - 08:46 am
5
0
I agree with Shrimp

I wouldn't want to be where he is either. Rejoice victims, he just hastened his meeting his maker. Eternity will be alittle longer for him.

JRC2024
9085
Points
JRC2024 09/04/13 - 09:15 am
4
0
No tears from me. I don't

No tears from me. I don't care if he was a sychopath or not. What he did to the girls can never be forgiven. May he suffer torment the rest of his death.

Marinerman1
4947
Points
Marinerman1 09/04/13 - 09:16 am
6
0
Saved Taxpayer Money

BU - BYE !!

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/04/13 - 10:53 am
0
0
My condolences
Unpublished

to satan.

jimmymac
41331
Points
jimmymac 09/04/13 - 11:11 am
1
0
Oh Well!
Unpublished

I woke up this morning and found out there really is a God. Glad this evil monster is gone. I hope it gives the three victims some closure.

GnipGnop
12324
Points
GnipGnop 09/04/13 - 11:15 am
4
0
I would love to call this man

fecal matter but I wouldn't want to insult fecal matter that way...

Sweet son
10555
Points
Sweet son 09/04/13 - 11:48 am
2
0
Marinerman1 said it!

Taxpayers don't have to take care of him until is sorry arse dies!

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