3 women abducted by Ariel Castro open up about their horrifying 9 years in captivity at his Ohio home
CLEVELAND, OHIO: Three women who had been kidnapped in Cleveland and locked away for nine years are now breaking their silence around seven years after their escape.
Kidnapper Ariel Castro had held three women hostage — Amanda Berry, 33; Gina DeJesus, 29; and Michelle Knight, 38, after abducting them between 2002 and 2004. After many years of being raped, starved, tortured, and chained, the three women were able to escape on May 6 in 2013. Berry managed to escape and call 911 from a neighbor's house.
While doing an interview with ABC's 2020, DeJesus said, "He was always there watching every move, it was like he knew everything, every move that we did. When I was telling (first responders) my name, they looked like they’d seen a ghost or something. Like their face completely dropped," she said of the moment that the cops realized that these were the three women they were looking for.
Castro had kidnapped Knight in August in 2002 when she was 21 years old. Berry was kidnapped just a day before her 17th birthday while walking home from work. Castro, who worked as an elementary school driver, had approached her in his vehicle and asked her if she needed a lift back home. Since Berry knew Castro as the father of her classmate Arlene, she agreed.
He then invited her to come and hang out with his daughter and she entered the house not knowing that she wouldn't be leaving for a while.
Berry said, "He took me to the next bedroom, and it was just really dark in there, and he didn’t turn on the lights, and there was a little, like, a little room off of the bigger bedroom, kind of a big closet."
"And he took me in there, and he told me to pull down my pants. And from there I knew, like, this was not going to be good," she added. Castro grabbed DeJesus in a similar way in 2004 when she was 14 years old and was walking home. She had also been good friends with Castro's daughter Arlene.
Berry even became pregnant with Castro's daughter when she was 20 and gave birth to Jocelyn. The women had been forced to live in despicable conditions and were fed once a day. They went through years of sexual abuse and rape while being held hostage. Towards the end of August 2013, Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 937 counts of kidnapping and rape.