Michelle Knight’s Book Review Finding Me: The Story Of The Ohio Captive Held By Ariel Castro
If you are not sure who Michelle Knight is, well then let me begin there. She is one of the three women held captive in the Cleveland area for 11 years by Ariel Castro. This case gained national attention when on May 6, 2013 a neighbor of Castro’s by the name of Charles Ramsey heard a young woman’s screams. Ramsey and another neighbor, Angel Cadero broke open the makeshift barricades on the door and rescued Amanda Berry and her daughter from the home. Police followed shortly and rescued two other girls from the created upstairs prison; one of the girls was Michelle Knight. I will respect Michelle’s notion of her captor and refer to him as the “dude” as she refused to continue giving him power by addressing him by name. Before the kidnappings, all three girls were announced on the media as missing. Each of them in different years, though all were abducted in the same area. Michelle and the youngest victim, who was kidnapped last, were friends of the dude’s daughter.
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I will not give away the details of the book, however, her story is one worth mentioning. This woman, now 33-years-old has seen tragedy beyond the beliefs of most and more than many of use could live through. She was the first of his victims, remained there the longest and likely experienced the brunt of his abuse. Yet, she is a survivor and a true hero in her own sense. A hero because through her book can be the voice to so many that has seen such horror and that he still can find peace.
Parts of the book were revealed on the Dr. Phil show as he took her in and helped to promote her story and her book. Through the show she revealed being pregnant 5 times by the dude and that each time he horrifically abused her to force a miscarriage. Having a son at the age of 17 prior to her kidnapping, Michelle has not been reunited with him since he was adopted at the age of 4. Michelle was on her way to a custody hearing when she was abducted.
Her book reminded me and hopefully can be a clue to society to be aware of your surroundings. Neighbors saw the three girls more than once and nothing was reported. A neighbor waved as Michelle walked into the house unknowingly to become a prisoner. If you can recall all the press, Amanda Berry gave birth to the dude’s daughter, which he did not hesitate to show off as he took her to church every Sunday and flaunted her to his family. Yet, no one asked questions. His home, inside and out, as described was filthy and had an over powering smell due to rotten food, feces and urine. Yet, even when he had visitors, no one questioned. As Michelle will discuss in the book, despite the similarities authorities did not piece together those clues to find the girls. Michelle described it and I felt her despair as so many hopeful moments of screams, smells, visitors and neighbors waves but no help ever arrived for 11 years and only after Amanda took a huge risk to attempt escaping.
The Neighbor Who Saved the Girls
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Charles Ramsey's Book About His Experience With the Girls
The Dude’s Fate
Also covered by the media was the court case against this person Michelle referred to as a “monster.” He was ultimately found guilty for most of the heinous acts he committed against these once naïve women. He received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole with an additional 1000 years. Unable to be a man and serve out his sentence and live the rest of his life in the hell he tried to create for these girls, he committed suicide in prison. Many would shrug that off as no big deal, however, Michelle may have a different take on that. Read her story to see what she says about his cowardly act.
Let me preface my recommendation with, I do like to read but it takes a good piece of work to keep me entertained. This book did just that, I was unable to put it down as I was so drawn to her story. Though many pages were tough, I shed a few tears as I empathized with her unimaginable strength. Through it all, I read this book in one day, 252 pages in one day. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone that is remotely curious about her story or how someone could remain alive held captive for 11 years. Without exposing an unnecessary amount of detail, Michelle wonderfully recreated her perception of what life was like thus far. The writer was able to draw in the reader by sharing her early life experiences and what led up to the abduction. I am sure much more occurred that either Michelle repressed or decided to omit to preserve her dignity, though what she shared seemed adequate. She is truly the definition and the epitome of strength.