Cleveand kidnapper hangs himself in cell

posted at 8:01 am on September 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

One of the most notorious sex-crimes offenders in history committed suicide overnight, just a month after bargaining to avoid the death penalty.  Ariel Castro, who was charged with almost a thousand counts related to the kidnapping and enslavement of three young girls for more than a decade and the murders of their unborn children, managed to hang himself in his cell, even though the Ohio prison had him in protective custody due to his mental state and his infamy:

Kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found hanged in his jail cell just a month after being sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for holding three women captive in his Cleveland home, a prison official said early Wednesday.

Medical officials tried to revive the 53-year-old former school bus driver after he was discovered around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, authorities said. …

Castro had been housed in protective custody, which means he was in a cell by himself, and guards make rounds every 30 minutes at staggered intervals, according to the Ohio Bureau of Prisons.

Thirty-minute gaps leave plenty of time for preparation for hanging one’s self, apparently, as well as for the act itself.  Given the number of prisoners and the resources available, that may be the best Ohio prisons can manage to protect certain prisoners from others as well as from themselves.  Castro’s attorney wants an investigation — “This is a human being,” he told Today in an interview this morning — and there will certainly be one. Unless it was something other than suicide, though, it’s difficult to see how Ohio could have protected Castro any further.  A court found him legally sane, so a padded room wasn’t going to be the answer.

It’s curious in another sense, too.  Castro could have fought the charges and taken a chance with a jury, but he cut the deal to avoid the death penalty.  Instead, Castro ended up killing himself far sooner than Ohio could have arranged an execution.  Perhaps the finality of his situation sunk into his psyche, or maybe Michelle Knight’s parting words at his sentencing proved more prophetic than anyone realized:

“I spent 11 years in hell,” the 32-year-old Knight told her tormentor. “Your hell is just beginning.”

One psychologist calls this the “final slap” at his victims:

Kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro’s apparent prison suicide may deprive his victims of a vital sense that justice has been done, a leading psychologist said Wednesday.

“Going forward now these girls are going to have to find a way of healing without a sense of justice,” said Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a U.K.-based psychologist and author. “We want the sense of justice when we heal. Sometimes we have to heal without it, and sadly that is what they will have to do.”

She added: “He decided his fate, something they were never ever ever able to do for themselves. He had ultimate control. To some extent this was in a way his last slap to their faces —  ‘I’ve got this over you’.”

That may be what Castro intended, but it’s probably going to have the opposite effect for the three young women. As long as Castro was alive, he’d be the center of curiosity and conversation.  With his death, Ariel Castro becomes officially and irrevocably part of the past instead of the present.  That frees the victims in a very real sense to get back to being themselves, rather than a part of Castro’s story.


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In prison, he might have had a chance to redeem himself, but instead, he’s pretty much ensured himself eternal damnation.

Ward Cleaver on September 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

I disagree. Suicide is not a guarantee of damnation unless the person has not been justified before God. Religious teachings from certain churches, notwithstanding.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

“Castro’s attorney wants an investigation — “This is a human being,”

So was Hitler. Who cares?

Personally, I hope that some of the prison guards decided to hang him and make it look like a suicide.

Greg Q on September 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Personally, I hope that some of the prison guards decided to hang him and make it look like a suicide.

Greg Q on September 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

No. Once that kind of thing becomes acceptable it’s only a matter of time when an innocent person is met with unlawful justice. We don’t really want law enforcement types to be executioners, too, no matter how much we loathe these perpetrators.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

That may be what Castro intended, but it’s probably going to have the opposite effect for the three young women. As long as Castro was alive, he’d be the center of curiosity and conversation. With his death, Ariel Castro becomes officially and irrevocably part of the past instead of the present. That frees the victims in a very real sense to get back to being themselves, rather than a part of Castro’s story.

No doubt that, had there been a full trial (which would have taken forever to commence, let alone finding a jury of his peers that DIDN’T hear of the story) it would have caused far more anguish and grief for the victims. This chain of events – pleading out, getting an embarrassing 1,000 year sentence, and his suicide – may have been the best possible outcome for the three girls and the daughter he fathered.

The only people that wanted a trial were the higher-ups at CNN, HLN, MSNBC and Fox News.

Myron Falwell on September 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

As a Christian I feel compelled to say: May God have mercy on his soul.

As a human being I feel compelled to say: rot in the deepest pits of fire and torment for eternity plus one day.

KrisinNE on September 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM

If the concept of eternal purgatory is for real (which Catholics argue is a consequence of suicide), he’ll be a prisoner of his own making forever. That alone would be far worse than hell, and would be suiting of the crime.

Myron Falwell on September 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I can think of quite a few politicians that should meet the same fate.

F_This on September 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

I’m glad he’s gone,whether from his own hands or others. He saved me and other Ohioans lots of tax money that would have gone to his prison upkeep. A pine box in an unmarked prison grave yard would be all he needs now.

jaywemm on September 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Personally, I hope that some of the prison guards decided to hang him and make it look like a suicide.

Greg Q on September 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

.
No. Once that kind of thing becomes acceptable it’s only a matter of time when an innocent person is met with unlawful justice. We don’t really want law enforcement types to be executioners, too, no matter how much we loathe these perpetrators.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

.
Greater likely-hood is that he did it himself.
However … he may have been motivated by some threat, such as,”if you don’t kill yourself, we’ll do it for you … and it’ll be a lot more painful.”

listens2glenn on September 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I’m trying to have a problem with this, but it just isn’t working. I feel as bad as I do when I scrape the dog poop off the bottom of my shoe.

On second thought, I don’t even actually feel that bad.

Wino on September 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Typo in headline: Cleveland, not Cleaveand.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

In prison, he might have had a chance to redeem himself, but instead, he’s pretty much ensured himself eternal damnation.

Ward Cleaver on September 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

.
I disagree. Suicide is not a guarantee of damnation unless the person has not been justified before God. Religious teachings from certain churches, notwithstanding.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

.
Boy, do I ever understand “religious teachings from certain churches, notwithstanding.”

Adolph Hitler could have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, right up to his suicide. It doesn’t seem likely, but the point is … it’s possible.

At least one Japanese officer who, after the surrender, was tried and convicted of major atrocities and war-crimes, accepted Jesus as Savior because of some lady who worked hard on evangelizing Japanese during the post war.

Some of us will be surprised by who we see with the Lord, when we get that far.

listens2glenn on September 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

As a Christian I feel compelled to say: May God have mercy on his soul.

As a human being I feel compelled to say: rot in the deepest pits of fire and torment for eternity plus one day.

KrisinNE on September 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Well, if that’s the way it is, then this planet will be much better off when people start behaving like human beings and less like liberals…I mean, Christians.

A vile POS like Castro deserves the mercy of a crocodile. Now pony up; are you a liberal or sane?

thejackal on September 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM

As a Christian I feel compelled to say: May God have mercy on his soul.

As a human being I feel compelled to say: rot in the deepest pits of fire and torment for eternity plus one day.

KrisinNE on September 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Well, if that’s the way it is, then this planet will be much better off when people start behaving like human beings and less like liberals…I mean, Christians.

A vile POS like Castro deserves the mercy of a crocodile. Now pony up; are you a liberal or sane?

thejackal on September 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM

This has nothing to do with political leanings. It has to do with Castro’s relationship with God.

Confess with your lips and believe with all your heart that Jesus is Lord and Savior and let your beliefs guide your actions and God will forgive and forget your sins regardless of your sins. This is basic Christian doctrine. Peter, who denied Jesus 3 times did this. Jesus forgave him. Judas could not bring himself to ask for forgiveness and hanged himself straight to Hell. Castro could have done what Peter did but he did not have the guts to, he was too much a coward and chose an eternity separated from God which is Hell.

Whether you believe it or not I do not care.
What I do care is you understand what you are talking about to offer intelligent comments and not mouth off junk.

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I feel about as bad when hearing this as I felt when I heard George Tiller died. “Hmmph. He got off easy.”

cptacek on September 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

How did he hang himself? Where did he get the rope, or whatever he used?

And let’s be honest, if you were one of his guards and he asked for something he could use for this purpose (whether he stated it’s purpose or not), would you have refused the request?

I can honestly say I would not have refused it. Dying man’s last request and all that.

runawayyyy on September 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Yeah, he got off easy. But at least there is closure for the victims and they can now move on with their lives.

SoulGlo on September 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

On second thought, I don’t even actually feel that bad.

Wino on September 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Well, I feel kinda bad.
I was hoping he’d get some abuse as some Bubba’s forced play toy for a few years before he finally did himself in….

But regardless, no loss to society. At least it will save us some money from his care and feeding….

dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I was hoping he’d get some abuse as some Bubba’s forced play toy for a few years before he finally did himself in….
dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Didn’t mean you Bubba…..
;)

dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Don’t know. Don’t care.

gerrym51 on September 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Some politicians need to learn how to hang themselves. I’d gladly supply the rope.

they lie on September 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Whether you believe it or not I do not care.
What I do care is you understand what you are talking about to offer intelligent comments and not mouth off junk.

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Uh, yeah, Peanut. You obviously care what I believe.

thejackal on September 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Sweet. Now everyone’s satisfied, including me. Except lawyers, of course.

Splashman on September 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Whether you believe it or not I do not care.
What I do care is you understand what you are talking about to offer intelligent comments and not mouth off junk.

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Uh, yeah, Peanut. You obviously care what I believe.

thejackal on September 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Actually I could care less what you believe or not believe
I do care that doctrine, of any type, simply be stated accurately.
You equated liberalism with Christianity and with insanity with the implication that Christians are insane.

Best to keep silent and have others think you are a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt. You chose unwisely.

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I was hoping he’d get some abuse as some Bubba’s forced play toy for a few years before he finally did himself in….
dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Didn’t mean you Bubba…..
;)

dentarthurdent on September 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM

No worries!!

I was kinda hoping G Block would “enjoy” him for a while before trading him to D Block for some hooch and cigs . . . and keep the ball rolling if you will.

Bubba Redneck on September 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

In prison, he might have had a chance to redeem himself, but instead, he’s pretty much ensured himself eternal damnation.
Ward Cleaver on September 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

.
I disagree. Suicide is not a guarantee of damnation unless the person has not been justified before God. Religious teachings from certain churches, notwithstanding.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

.
Boy, do I ever understand “religious teachings from certain churches, notwithstanding.”

Adolph Hitler could have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, right up to his suicide. It doesn’t seem likely, but the point is … it’s possible.

At least one Japanese officer who, after the surrender, was tried and convicted of major atrocities and war-crimes, accepted Jesus as Savior because of some lady who worked hard on evangelizing Japanese during the post war.

Some of us will be surprised by who we see with the Lord, when we get that far.

listens2glenn on September 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

In working with residents of three different Ohio prisons, it has been difficult to convey to the residents that redemption is available to us all. For reasons known only to themselves, the inmates were hoping Castro would be transferred to their institutions. The intended result was similar to his fate at his own hands. Even Christians have a lot of work to do on the inside. All of us, on the inside and the outside of the walls.

yesiamapirate on September 4, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2