A Look Back At The Day Three Women Were Rescued From Ariel Castro's House Of Horrors
On May 6, 2013, Charles Ramsey, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, heard screaming coming from the house of his neighbor, 52-year-old unemployed bus driver Ariel Castro. “I heard screaming, and see this girl going nuts trying to get out of the house,” he said.
Along with two other neighbors, Ramsey said he started kicking in the door and helped the woman, who said her name was Amanda Berry, escape. Berry was with a young girl wearing a wig, who police would later learn was her six-year-old daughter who had been fathered by Castro.
Berry called the police and authorities found two other women, Michelle Knight, and Gina DeJesus, inside the house. The women went missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 21, 16, and 14 years old. Their harrowing tale and dramatic rescue would make headlines around the world.
Castro had abducted each of the women, who had been acquaintances of his children, by giving them a ride in his car and then luring them into his house.
During their years in captivity, the women were beaten, sexually assaulted, restrained by chains, and starved.
Knight told authorities she became pregnant by Castro five times and each time he punched and kicked her to force a miscarriage. When Berry then became pregnant, Knight reported that Castro forced her to help with the delivery — and threatened to kill her if anything wrong.
During the whole time they were kept prisoner, the women were allowed into the backyard of Castro’s rundown house just a few times, and then he make them wear wigs and sunglasses. Meanwhile, Castro was leading a seemingly normal life: driving a school bus, being friendly with his neighbors, playing bass in local bands, and being active on social media.
When police arrived at the house, they rescued Knight and DeJesus. Castro was arrested in the area that same night.
On July 26, 2013, in a deal that allowed Castro to avoid a possible death sentence, he pleaded guilty to more than 900 charges against him, including kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder.
On August 1, a judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an astounding additional 1,000 years. Just over a month later, on September 3, Castro committed suicide in his prison cell, hanging himself with a bed sheet.