In what might be one of the craziest stories of 2013, three Cleveland women have been rescued after being kidnapped by Ariel Castro, where they were beaten, sexually abused, and forced to live in fear for more than a decade.
Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight were all kidnapped on the same street, however, in 2003, 2004, and 2002, respectively. On Monday, Berry attempted to make an escape with her 6-year-old daughter through the front door of her prison. That’s when bystander-turned-hero Charles Ramsey heard her cries, called the police, and helped her through the screen door.
While Ramsey has subsequently shot to internet stardom due to his charismatic personality, punchlines and, of course, heroism, the facts trickling down from the investigation are proving to be much more gripping…and gruesome.
Here are the latest updates in the bizarre case.
1. Ariel Castro Is A “Monster Who Should Rot In Hell,” Say Brothers
In an exclusive interview with CNN, the brothers of Ariel Castro say that they do not refer to him as kin after finding out that he held three women captive for 10 years. They also told CNN that they had nothing at all to do with the kidnappings.
“I had nothing to do with this, and I don’t know how my brother got away with it for so many years,” Pedro Castro, 54, said when he and brother Onil Castro, 50, sat down with CNN’s Martin Savidge this weekend.
Although Pedro and Onil were cleared and released last Thursday, they are still receiving death threats. They agreed to the CNN interview because they wanted the world to know that they knew none of the horrific secrets their brother kept. It wasn’t until Onil was arrested with his brother, who had just picked him up to grab a bite to eat, that he suspected something was wrong.
“Maybe he wanted to get caught,” Onil later speculated. “Maybe time was up. Maybe he was inside too much; he wanted to get caught. But if he did it that way, he shouldn’t of went to mama’s house and picked me up and put me in a car, if he knows that was going to happen.”
It was more than 36 hours later, after each brother spent the night behind bars, that they found out about the allegations against Ariel.
“Oh, it was just heart-dropping,” Onil said. “Just terrible when they said that, when he said that, ‘It’s Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, and they were in your brother’s house.’ I just couldn’t believe it because, you know, there was no signs of anything like that. I’ve seen no signs.”
Onil and Pedro also recalled never being able to stay at Ariel’s house for long periods of time, telling CNN that their brother was a loner who they wouldn’t hear from for months at a time.
Check out some of the interview above.
2. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus & Michelle Knight Ask For Privacy
A spokesman for Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus thanked the community and law enforcement for their support of the girls, but pleaded for their privacy while they recover from years of captivity in a Cleveland home.
Berry, Knight and DeJesus will not speak publicly with reporters while criminal proceedings against their accused captor, Ariel Castro, are ongoing.
Attorney Jim Wooley asked the public to give the women “time, space, and privacy.” He also read individual statements from each girl.
“Thank you so much for everything you’re doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family,” Berry is quoted as saying.
DeJesus said, “I’m so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family.”
And Knight said, “Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time.”
Wooley also said the girls were grateful for the work of the prosecutors’ office, police department and FBI for their tireless efforts.
This story is developing.