The mother of Ariel Castro, who is accused of kidnapping three women and holding them hostage in his home for a decade, has spoken out for the first time about the horrific crimes her son has reportedly admitted to committing. Castro allegedly snatched Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight off the streets of his neighborhood and kept them as sex slaves until they were rescued this week. His mom, Lillian Rodriguez, has apologized for his alleged heinous crimes and says, "I am a mother in a lot of pain. I'm sorry for what my son is done." Can you imagine being his mother?!
Lillian is apparently one of the only people who saw Amanda Berry's daughter (most likely fathered by Castro) before her rescue. Castro would reportedly bring 6-year-old Jocelyn on visits to her house on the weekends. There is no evidence that she knew what was happening inside the Cleveland house of horrors.
More of the Castro family has expressed astonishment and horror. His cousin, Maria Castro-Montes, said: "We are horribly sorry for what the three of you went through," and added that Castro does not: "define this family and we hope that people don't judge an entire family on one person's actions."
Castro's daughter, Arlene, who was best friends with one of the victims, Michelle, has also expressed her apologies. "I'm absolutely so, so sorry," she said on Good Morning America.
But it's Castro's mom I truly feel sorry for. Imagine you bring someone like Castro into this world. Imagine that baby you diapered and taught to walk and talk would grow up to become such a monster. Caught by a reporters, Lillian tearfully said in Spanish:
I tell you, I have a sick son who has committed something very grave. I'm suffering very much. I ask forgiveness of those mothers. May those young ladies to forgive me ... I have nothing to do with what my son did.
Lillian isn't denying it happened, isn't saying no one understands, isn't saying he was framed, like the mom of the alleged Boston bombers believes of her sons. Nope, she's saying he did it. That takes bravery.
Did she ignore some things about her son she should have paid more attention to? Like if she thought Jocelyn was Castro's girlfriend's daughter, as has been reported, wouldn't she have asked to meet the girlfriend? Didn't she wonder why her son would never let anyone in his house?
Still, it's a long way from thinking your son is a bit strange to thinking he's got three sex slaves chained in his home. Let's cut her some slack for now. Not too many of us could make that leap of imagination.
Castro reportedly partly blamed his family for his actions in a suicide note written nine years ago. Could his mother have been partially responsible for how he turned out? We don't know how he was raised. But right now, we have to feel for his mother. Until we know more.
Do you feel bad for her? Here's her interview:
Image via Reuters