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The Cleveland Kidnappings: Ariel Castro's home

Updated on December 1, 2013
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Cleveland kidnappings

May 6, 2013 will forever be remembered as the day that a miracle occurred, three times over. After a decade of enduring violence, torture, and captivity, Cleveland’s missing persons Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight are finally free and safe. The world is wondering how any individual could remain undetected for so long, without raising any suspicion to what was happening inside his home.

The three kidnapped victims, Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight, were held captive for more than a decade by Ariel Castro, a former bus driver for Cleveland schools. The kidnapping victims were subjected to years of beatings, sexual abuse, starvation, and depraved of life by their abductor, Ariel Castro. Between the three women, there were five pregnancies, multiple broken bones, and years of emotional torment.

Living without freedom and fear for their lives daily, the abuse the women endured is unimaginable to the world, The three women and child are now free and safe from the years of abuse from Ariel Castro.

Who is Ariel Castro?

Ariel Castro, 52, a former school bus driver and a local musician, was well-known to the mostly populated Hispanic community where he lived. Neighbors described him as a friendly, social individual who they mingled with over the years. Always cheerful, Ariel Castro was considered a normal guy. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him, and everyone in the neighborhood thought he was a great addition to the Hispanic community, until that fateful evening on May 6, 2013, when three captives were free from Ariel Castro’s cruel and unusual punishment for these three young women.

While Ariel Castro enjoyed freedom to come and go as he pleased, there were three captives in his home that were kept for his own personal needs. While chained and bound, Ariel Castro managed to live his live without any suspicion of what was inside his home. What existed inside his home were the three women who were considered dead, missing for over a decade from their Cleveland homes.

Ariel Castro subjected the women to degrading and unimaginable treatment over the years, without suspicion of what was going on inside his home. Inside the rundown, clapboard home that he owned, in the heart of the working-class neighborhood in Cleveland, Ariel Castro created a torture chamber for three young ladies, while living a normal life outside of his home. He managed to remain undetected for years, until he finally made a big mistake that set Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight free from captivity and free from the man who help them captive for over ten years.

Here is the story of what transpired on May 6, 2013:

About 4:30 PM at Lillian Rodriguez’s home

Ariel Castro joined his family at his Mother’s home. In attendance were his brothers Pedro and Onil and His brother-in-Law Juan Alicea. They were at His Mother’s home to work on the yard and enjoy a meal that Mother Castro prepared for everyone.

This consisted of rice and beans with pork chops. Unknown to Ariel Castro at the time he was eating this meal, that this would be his last meal as a free man. Unaware of the events that later unfold today, Ariel Castro was enjoying the gathering with his 'Familia.' For Ariel Castro, this was a normal, uneventful day for him that would later become his last day of freedom.

About 5:40 PM at 2207 Seymour Avenue….

There is commotion at the front door of 2207 Seymour Avenue. A woman is screaming for help and trying to kick down a door. Neighbors run frantically to see what was happening. The woman, Amanda Berry, was trying to set herself free, begging for the neighbors to help her get out. She saw the neighbors sitting outside and decided to finally try to escape.

She begged the neighbors who ran to the front porch to help her finally get out of the house. She explained that she was locked in this house for a long time and wanted out. Charles Ramsey and a few neighbors helped kick in the screen door, allowing Amanda Berry and her daughter Jocelyn, to experience freedom from their captivity.

5:51 PM at 2210 Seymour Avenue….

Amanda Berry frantically calls 9-1-1, asking for help, saying, “Help me I’m Amanda Berry…I’ve been kidnapped…I’m here. I’m free now.”

While Amanda Berry is calling 9-1-1, a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, is calling, too. Neighbors start gathering, trying to help in any way they can. All are shocked with what they witnessed unfolding.

Within two minutes of the call, several law enforcement agents arrive, kicking in the remainder of the door. They entered the home and find two more captives, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight. They lead the last two women out of the house to safety. Neighbors provide the women with bottles of water because they were very thirsty.

All of the women and Amanda’s daughter were finally free from this house and taken to the hospital for observation.

Moments later….

Ariel Castro and his brothers are arrested in connection of the kidnappings of Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight. The three men were taken into custody and questioned for their role in the kidnappings. The nightmare for the three women and child is over. The neighborhood is in disbelief over the events of that day, shocked to find out that their neighborhood was home to a monster.

Why did this happen?

Many in this typical, working-class neighborhood are wondering how this could have happened or how they could have ended this nightmare sooner. Neighbors gathered around, watching in shock the events that turned this quiet neighborhood into a place where three women were held captive for more than a decade. Neighbors are wondering what they could have done to end this nightmare. Neighbors are wondering what they could have done to save them from Ariel Castro.

It took the strength of one woman, Amanda Berry, to end the nightmare who never stopped looking for an opportunity to escape. On May 6, 2013, Ariel Castro made the mistake of leaving the “big door unlocked.” Because of the mistake of leaving this door unlocked, three women and a child were able to be free. Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight are now free from Ariel Castro and safe from harm.

As for Ariel Castro, he will never see freedom for as long as he lives. The tables have turned and now Ariel Castro is being held in his own prison cell.

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    • Patriot Quest profile image

      Wayne Joel Bushong 4 years ago from America

      May he rot in ................................ I hope these woman find some kind of peace and joy for their remaining days on this earth.