Latest Stories

Few tears shed for US rapist Castro after apparent suicide

This Aug. 1, 2013 file photo shows Ariel Castro in the courtroom during the sentencing phase in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file)

CHICAGO – Few tears have been shed over the apparent suicide of Ariel Castro, who endured just a month in prison before ending his life but had held three women as sex slaves for a decade.

At least one psychologist said those three women, with Castro dead, are now being denied a sense of justice, as he got to choose his fate whereas they did not.

Castro, 53, was found hanged Tuesday in the Ohio prison where he was serving a life sentence.

It was an abrupt ending to a sordid case that shocked the United States and the world with revelations of depravity and brutality carried out in an ordinary Cleveland home.

Castro was being held in protective custody, which means he was in a cell by himself and guards checked on him every 30 minutes.

Officials tried in vain to resuscitate Castro after his body was discovered at 9:20 pm Tuesday (0120 GMT Wednesday) at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. He was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later.

Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 1,000 years for the repeated rape and beatings of his victims.

His crimes – committed when he imprisoned the women in a so-called ‘house of horrors’ – led to an outpouring of national pity for the three victims, Amanda Berry, now 27; Gina DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32.

They were abducted separately between 2002 and 2004 at the ages of 14, 16, and 20 and held captive in a working class neighborhood of Cleveland.

Berry, DeJesus and Knight did not immediately release a statement in reaction to Castro’s death. However prosecutors called him a degenerate molester and said he took the coward’s way out.

“This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty in a scathing statement.

However, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a Britain-based-based psychologist and author, called Castro’s suicide a last slap to his victims.

“Going forward now, these girls are going to have to find a way of healing without a sense of justice,” Papadopoulos told NBC news.

“We want the sense of justice when we heal. Sometimes we have to heal without it, and sadly that is what they will have to do.”

She added: “He decided his fate, something they were never ever ever able to do for themselves. He had ultimate control. To some extent this was in a way his last slap to their faces – ‘I’ve got this over you’.”

Comments posted on the website of the main Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer, were merciless.

“Adios diablo, may you burn for 1,000 years, just like you were sentenced,” one said.

However Maria Castro Montes, a cousin of Castro, told CNN she found it “hard to

believe he had the courage to take his own life,” noting that she hoped her cousin’s death will allow his victims to move on with their lives.

“They would never find peace if he were still in prison,” Montes said.

“Maybe this is for the best… maybe this is the only way he will be out of the spotlight.”

She said she cried when he learned that Castro was dead, because she remembered happier times growing up with him and thought immediately of his victims and what effect his death might have on them.

Castro’s attorney expressed frustration Wednesday that his client was able to kill himself after having been removed from suicide watch.

“I know most of greater Cleveland will be looking on this day as joyous, but for his family this is anything but,” Craig Weintraub told the Plain Dealer.

“He’s still a human being, this is still a civilized society. There’s still an obligation to prevent our inmates from committing suicide.”

Prison authorities have launched an investigation into how Castro managed to kill himself.

His three victims escaped on May 6 when Berry managed to break open part of the front door and call out to a neighbor for help. She emerged from the dilapidated house with a young daughter who was fathered by Castro during her captivity.

More than 92 pounds (42 kilos) of chains were found in the filthy, darkened home where the women were kept in locked rooms with boarded-up windows.

The house was demolished a few days after Castro was sentenced.

Castro pleaded guilty on August 1 after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

A tearful Michelle Knight said in emotional testimony before the court that death would have been “so much easier” for her tormenter.

“I spent 11 years in hell, and now your hell is just beginning,” Knight told Castro.

In a rambling quasi-apology to his victims – only Knight was present in the courtroom – Castro claimed he had acted on impulse as a result of sexual addiction.

“I’m not a monster. I’m sick,” he said then, clad in an orange prison jumpsuit.

Despite having pleaded guilty to 977 charges related to his victims’ brutal ordeal – including terminating Knight’s pregnancies by starving and beating her – Castro insisted he was not a violent man and that “there was harmony in that home.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Ariel Castro , Crime , Rape , US , world

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • Marketplace