Cleveland, OH is Now at Peace

May 6, 2013 ended a decade of horror for three women.  Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were held captive in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, OH got their freedom when they escaped from Ariel Castro’s house.  That day they got their life, their freedom, their families, and their independence back.  Now it is time for these courageous women who fought to stay alive for more than a decade to find their way back into the community and get back to what we would call a normal life.  A life where you can wake up and do whatever you want.  A life where no one tells you what to do, when you can do it, or if you can do it.  A life filled with freedom.

Almost three months after the women escaped from captivity, Ariel Castro, their kidnapper & rapist, was sentenced on August 1, 2013 to life in prison without parole + 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 charges including murder, rape & kidnapping.  A sentence fitting for this monster.  During his sentencing hearing, he said that he was not a monster and he basically blamed all that he did on others in his life.  He took no responsibility for anything that he did.  He said that he was abused when he was younger and that is why he became addicted to porn and made him the way he was.  He did say that he was sorry and apologized to the women, the court, the judge, and to the city of Cleveland for what he did, but it was not a heartfelt apology at all.  He was only thinking of himself.  He pleaded guilty to raping these women, who were young girls when he kidnapped them, but then said that his house had “harmony”.  He said that what went on between him and these woman was consensual, but the judge then interrupted him and said, “if you say that what went on between you and these women was consensual, then why did you plead guilty to raping them?”  No answer from Castro.

Today, marked a day of freedom (again), independence, peace, and love in the city of Cleveland, as Ariel Castro’s house was torn down as part of his plea agreement.  There will no longer be a reminder of what horrible acts of terror that went on in that house, as it is gone.  By the time evening arrives tonight, grass will have been planted on that lot with flowers and three angel statues, one for each woman, and another smaller one for Amanda Berry’s daughter, Joslyn, who was born six years ago in captivity on December 25th.  By tonight, you will have never known his house ever existed, and the people of Cleveland, and these three brave women can start to heal.

Here is the news report clip from earlier today with the demolition:

Castro has started his new life in jail where he will now be told what to do and when to do it.  His torment and captivity has only just begun.  This chapter of horror is now closed.  Healing can now begin.


29 thoughts on “Cleveland, OH is Now at Peace

    • My heart just goes out to the girls, now women, who have to heal now. I can only imagine, or rather, I cannot imagine what they had to endure for ten years. I just makes me sick to my stomach this whole ordeal.

  1. I can’t believe he could keep it secret for that long either, it truly shows how messed up his head is because to him it was normal. I try to remember that for every monster out there and every person who is missing that there are still miracles out there. I think putting something on the lot would be wonderful but if not just the fact that its gone is symbolism enough.

    • I agree. That neighborhood needs recovery. And, another sad but true fact about this, is that he drove past his own daughter one day in his car to grab her friend. One of the girls was his daughters friend. How sad is that! Monsters, is what they are, real sick in the head for sure. Anormal person would never do such things like that, ever.

  2. This is a wonderful post and so well written. Our news had a brief story the other day about the plans to tear down the house. I think that was the best thing to do. I didn’t realize they were making it, for lack of better word, a memorial. It’s so difficult to comprehend how someone can have the mentality that he had and even more when something like that happens so close. With my job I’ve been “witness” to horrible events, none on this scale, but involving people with the same mindset but there are times I’m still surprised those people are out there, free, roaming this world and we never know when we’ll find them.

    I saw in the comments you had hesitate in posting this but there are just some things that deserve as much attention as they can get, whether its national news or blogging so thanks for sharing!

    • Oh Ruby, thank you for your response, and yes I was hesitant to even do a post on this, but I have been affected by this event in our community.

      Not everything in the news is good, but when we heard this story that night that Amanda Berry knocked out the front door of Castro’s house and ran for help, was a miracle.

      It is scary that more monsters like Castro are still out there, carrying on with their lives, going about their business, while they have kidnapped girls in their home.

      As for what they are going to do with that property now that it is torn down, they are still deciding it, but the company who cleared the land did it all for free. The $22,000 that Castro had in the house was to be given to the girls, but they turned it back to the community to fix up the neighborhood.

      I still am hung up on the fact that he kept this a secret from everyone for ten years, but on the day that Amanda busted out the front door and escaped with her daughter, Castro will never forget – – – because he left to go eat at McDonalds with his brothers and they arrested him there. What a fitting ending to his life, he had his last “Happy Meal”.

    • That is the only best part of this whole bizarre story. He saved them from a long trial and more anguish. I am just happy that all three women survived ten+ years with this man and were able to be reunited with their families.

  3. I am one who doesn’t normally read this type of news story, so this is the first I’ve heard of it…Experience tells me that this demon won’t live long in prison…Tearing down the house and planting grass and flowers is unique…I hope it aids in the healing for all

    • This is news that all over, and I am just glad that they caught this guy and that all three of the girls were found alive after more than 10 years of being prisoners in his house. The community has come together for these girls that have been looking for them this entire time. This whole story is horrible, but it hit our city bad.

  4. This is a remarkable story, remarkable that the women escaped and justice of some sort is being served. Thank you for highlighting it. I really, truly hope that the women are able to heal.

    • I do too. I am still in shock that they were held hostage for more than ten years. We just sat there on May 6th when they escaped with our jaws on the floor that they were still alive and in a neighborhood that was close to ours. It is shocking nonetheless. This guy beat all three of the women, had a child with one of them that was born not breathing and he made one women breath life into the child and was told that if the child died, so would she. Justice is that they caught him and now he spends his days until he dies in jail.

    • This was a nationwide news story that happened just a few miles from our home. It is scary to think that someone can do this to another person, let alone three, and keep them locked up for more than ten years. It is horrifying. His house is now all gone.

  5. Hi Y’all,

    My Human says that whatever Hell we can imagine for Castro, what he now faces is a shortened life and a much worse Hell. He’ll wish he was dead until he is.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • I agree, too much evil. He said that he was not a Monster, but that is exactly what he was. What he put these girls, now women, through for more than 10 years is horrible. I cannot imagine what they endured, but I am so glad that they were found alive and can only recover from this ordeal.

  6. This is so disgusting. I have some ideas for punishment. Yep… Good to know the land will now bring joy to children and parents. Two thumbs up, Cleveland! Glad you posted this, Val.

    • I deliberated about posting something on this, but it has affected me so much as we see this in the news every day since their release from that horrible home. I am still in shock that they were held captive for more than ten years. I can’t get over this, but I am so glad that they are now free, save, and on the road to recovery. Castro will get his punishment.

    • Either way, they were both. Victims who went through the most horrible things in the world for ten years+, and now survivors. I am still in shock that they were found alive after all of that time, but thankful that they were. Such brave young women.

  7. AWESOME POST! The symbolism of tearing that monstrosity down is just plain awesome. I hope the victims feel the same way as they see their former “bars” turn into rubble!

    • Michelle Knight was the only one of the three women who showed up today to see it torn down. She said that no one was there for her when she went missing, so she is going to speak out for others now. (she was talking about her family in that part) The symbolism is perfect justice, and now Castro will spend the rest of his days behind bars.

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