UK & World News

  • 7 May 2014, 11:49

Ariel Castro 'Allowed Captives To Escape'

Ariel Castro intentionally left doors unlocked inside his Cleveland home for months before the three women he held captive for nearly a decade escaped, his former attorney has said.

Craig Weintraub told WKYC-TV that Castro knew the end was near, and that "he didn't have the courage to go to the police department and surrender".

He said Castro believed "the only way this was going to happen is if he was negligent and allowed them to leave the house and be able to find a way out while he was gone a few hours".

Mr Weintraub made the comments a year to the day after Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus were rescued from Castro's home.

Documents released this week, which included statements given by Miss Berry to police, appeared to confirm Mr Weintraub's statements.

Miss Berry told officers: "He didn't lock the door. He always locks the doors. I thought it was a trick but I had to take that chance."

Another document indicated that after his arrest Castro told investigators he was "glad that it is over", adding: "Now I can die in prison, but I'm a victim, too."

Details of the women's horrific 10-year ordeal, including being chained, sexually assaulted, beaten and poorly fed, gripped the nation.

In August, Castro was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole plus 1,000 years. A month later, the 53-year-old former school bus driver hanged himself in his prison cell.

Mr Weintraub told the station that Castro did not kill the three women, who he kidnapped between 2002 and 2004, because he had grown close to the girl he fathered with Miss Berry.

Miss Berry and Miss DeJesus are in Washington where they will be honoured on Tuesday night by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the anniversary of her escape, Michelle Knight said she had forgiven Castro.

In an interview on NBC's Today show, she said should would want to be forgiven if she did wrong because "that's the way of life", adding Castro "is a human being and every human being needs to be loved".

Advertisement