Just last week, Ariel Castro took a plea deal, admitting his guilt in the kidnapping case that shocked the entire country, in exchange for a life sentence with no death penalty. Now, a sentencing memorandum filed yesterday describes diaries the women kept detailing their abuse at his hands and also said that Castro kept his victims -- Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus -- chained by their ankles and fed them only one meal a day.
The diaries are enough to make anyone's stomach turn.
According to the memorandum:
The entries speak of forced sexual conduct, of being locked in a dark room, of anticipating the next session of abuse, of the dreams of someday escaping and being reunited with family, of being chained to a wall, of being held like a prisoner of war.
There were more details, too. According to the diaries:
- Castro appeared to be changing and was threatening to "find their replacements"
- He kept capturing younger and younger women.
- Castro made his victims believe that they would die without him and he threatened to end their lives if they did not do exactly as he commanded.
- He told the women he had had other victims and not all of them were still alive.
- The dreamed of being back with their families and knew what was going on in the outside world (including the fact that Berry's mother had died).
- They were deprived of food and light, often for days at a time.
- All three women were repeatedly raped vaginally, orally and anally.
It is horrifying to hear. No matter how amazing these women seem to be out at Nelly concerts and in life, they are still victims and their recovery is a long, long way away.
But once it happens, if it happens, that is justice. Their good lives will be the only real closure that can come from this. If all three of these women can find happiness and fulfillment in freedom, then Castro truly lost.
Do these details make you sick?
Image via AP/Cuyahoga County Jail