Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ohio Man Who Held 3 Women Captive Hangs Himself

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ohio Man Who Held 3 Women Captive Hangs Himself

Article excerpt

COLUMBUS, Ohio -

The Cleveland man serving a life sentence for holding three women captive in his home for a decade hanged himself in his prison cell, officials said today in another startling twist in the case that transfixed and appalled the city.

Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging Tuesday night at the state prison in Orient, said JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the corrections system. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"He took the coward's way out," said Elsie Cintron, a neighbor who lived up the street from the former school bus driver in Cleveland. "We're sad to hear that he's dead, but at the same time, we're happy he's gone, and now we know he can't ask for an appeal or try for one if he's acting like he's crazy."

There was no immediate comment from his three victims.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, in a deal to avoid the death penalty. At his sentencing, he told the judge: "I'm not a monster. I'm sick."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said in a statement Wednesday: "This man couldn't take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade."

Castro had been in a cell by himself in protective custody because of his notoriety, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes, but was not on suicide watch, which entails constant supervision, Ms. Smith said.

An autopsy showed the death was suicide by hanging, said Dr. Jan Gorniak, Franklin County coroner. Dr. Gorniak would not comment on the circumstances in which Castro was found.

Castro's three captives - Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight - disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. …

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