Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


           The Cleveland Kidnapper, Ariel Castro committed suicide by hanging himself on September 3, 2013. I will post information about his crimes from Wikipedia. Please go to this Unit 1012 Blog Post to see an article on the crime.

Ariel Castro Mug shot

Berry, DeJesus and Knight prior to their abductions

2207 Seymour Avenue, Tremont, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113-5108, U.S.

August 21, 2002 – May 6, 2013
Attack type
Kidnapping, rape, aggravated murder, attempted murder, assault
Michelle Knight
Amanda Berry
Gina DeJesus
Ariel Castro

Between 2002 and 2004, Ariel Castro (1960–2013) kidnapped three women and held them prisoner in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus were held against their will in his house on Seymour Avenue until May 6, 2013, when Berry escaped with her six-year-old daughter and contacted the police. Knight and DeJesus were rescued by responding officers and Castro was arrested within hours.

On May 8, 2013, Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. Castro pled guilty to 937 criminal counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder as part of a plea bargain. He was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole plus 1,000 years. One month into his sentence, Castro committed suicide by hanging himself with bedsheets in his prison cell.

Perpetrator background

Castro was 52 years old at the time of his arrest. He was born in Puerto Rico to Pedro Castro and Lillian Rodriguez. Shortly after his parents divorced when he was a child, Castro moved to the mainland U.S. with his mother and three siblings. The family first settled in Reading, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Cleveland, where Castro's father and several other extended family members were living. Castro had nine siblings in total. According to Castro's uncle, the Castro family knew the DeJesus family and had lived in the same west Cleveland neighborhood. Castro was a 1979 graduate of Cleveland's Lincoln-West High School.

Castro met his future common law wife, Grimilda Figueroa, when his family moved into a house across the street from hers in the 1980s. Castro and Figueroa lived with both sets of parents, but moved into their own home at 2207 Seymour Avenue in 1992. Their home was a two-story, 1,400-square-foot (130 m2), four-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a 760-square-foot (71 m2) unfinished basement built in 1890 and remodeled in 1956. According to Figueroa's sister, Elida Caraballo, when Figueroa and Castro moved into their new home, "all hell started breaking loose". Caraballo and her husband, Frank, claim Castro beat Figueroa, breaking her nose, ribs, and arms. He also once threw her down a set of stairs, cracking her skull. In 1993, Castro was arrested for domestic violence but was not indicted by a grand jury.

Figueroa moved out of the home in 1996 and secured custody of her four children. Police assisted in the move and detained Castro, but did not pursue charges. Castro continued to threaten and attack Figueroa after she left him, according to Caraballo. A 2005 filing by Figueroa in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court accused Castro of inflicting multiple severe injuries on her and of "frequently abduct[ing]" his daughters. A temporary restraining order against Castro was granted, but was dismissed a few months later. Figueroa died in 2012 due to complications from a brain tumor.

Before his arrest, Castro worked as a bus driver for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District until he was fired for "bad judgment" after a series of issues, including making an illegal U-turn with children on his bus, using his bus to go grocery shopping, leaving a child on the bus while he went for lunch, and for leaving the bus unattended while he took a nap at home. He was earning $18.91 per hour when he was discharged. At the time of his arrest, Castro's home was in foreclosure due to three years (2010–12) of unpaid real estate taxes.


Michelle Knight

Amanda Berry

Gina DeJesus



Arrest and legal proceedings




Castro's death

On the evening of September 3, 2013, one month into his life sentence, Castro was later found hanging by a bedsheet in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in the Pickaway Correctional Institution. Prison staff performed CPR on Castro before he was taken to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The following day, Franklin County coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak announced that a preliminary autopsy had found the cause of Castro's death to be suicide by hanging.

On October 10, 2013, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction briefly released a report that suggested Castro may have died accidentally from auto-erotic asphyxiation, but not suicide. Gorniak rejected that possibility, standing by her ruling of suicide. The report also said two prison guards had falsified logs documenting their observation of Castro hours before he was found dead. Castro was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, but had been subject to routine checks every 30 minutes due to his notoriety.

A consultants' report released on December 3, 2013, and officially concluded that "all available evidence pointed to suicide, including a shrine-like arrangement of family pictures and a Bible in Castro's cell, an increasing tone of frustration in his prison journal and the reality of spending the rest of his life in prison while subject to constant harassment". The Ohio State Highway Patrol also reviewed the case and reached the same conclusion.


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