Ariel Castro, the very demented man who kidnapped, tortured, and raped three young women -- Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry -- for a period that stretched more than a decade, was found dead in his prison cell tonight. Officials reportedly found Castro hanging in his cell, but there has been no official cause of death released. Of course, most of our first thoughts are to assume it was suicide.
This news tonight is nothing if not completely shocking and confusing. After hearing the heartbreaking stories of these three women's years in captivity, I'm sure I'm not alone in wholeheartedly believing this man should pay for what he did. Pay long and hard and horribly. Death just wasn't what I had in mind.
Sure, there is some sort of sweet pleasure in knowing that sick, twisted man is gone for good. Wiped off the face of the Earth. Never again will he torture another innocent soul with a look, a letter, repugnant words, or with the sheer fact of just being alive after the heinous crimes he committed. Never will Jocelyn, the daughter Amanda Berry gave birth to and raised for her first six years in that Cleveland house of horrors, have to face this man's requests to see her. Never again. Not ever.
But then again, did he just get off easy when he should have sat with his crimes for as many of those 1,000 years as his human life could have mustered? There really is no answer to this question. So let's just try to pay attention to the relief this news brings tonight. Because there is no doubt a sudden and tremendous sigh of indescribable relief in knowing that monster is gone.
Are you shocked by Castro's death? What feelings are coming up for you upon hearing this news?
Image via AP/Cuyahoga County Jail