COLUMBUS, Ohio — Frustrated by conditions in his cell, obsessed with the quality of prison food and convinced that guards were mistreating him, Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro committed suicide as the reality of living out his life in prison set in, two consultants concluded Tuesday.
The new report said all available evidence pointed to suicide, including a shrine-like arrangement of family pictures and a Bible in Castro’s cell, an increasing tone of frustration in his prison journal and coming to terms with spending the rest of his life in prison while subject to constant harassment.
Subsequent reviews by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County coroner reached the same conclusion, the report said.
“Based upon the fact that this inmate was going to remain in prison for the rest of his natural life under the probability of continued perceived harassment and threats to his safety, his death was not predictable on September 3, 2013, but his suicide was not surprising and perhaps inevitable,” the report said.
Castro pleaded guilty in August to imprisoning three women in his Cleveland home for a decade while repeatedly raping and assaulting them. He fathered a girl with one of the victims.
He told a judge at sentencing that he suffered from addictions to sex and pornography. “I’m not a monster. I’m sick,” he said.
Castro was found dead kneeling in his cell with his pants down; he was hanging from a sheet attached to a window hinge, according to an earlier prisons report. He had just begun serving his sentence of life plus 1,000 years.
The two consultants said it was likely Castro was harassed by guards, based on interviews with inmates who said they had heard it.
“I don’t know if I can take this neglect anymore, and the way I’m being treated,” Castro wrote in a journal on Aug. 22, according to the report.
“I will not take this kind of treatment much longer if this place treats me this way,” Castro wrote on Aug. 31. “I can only imagine what things would be like at my parent institution. … I feel as though I’m being pushed over the edge, one day at a time.”
The report said Castro complained constantly about the quality of food and wrote in his journal he believed his food was being tampered with. He complained in late August that his cell and toilet were filthy.
Castro abducted three women from the streets of Cleveland from 2002 to 2004 when they were 14, 16 and 20. He periodically kept them chained in rooms, sometimes in the basement, and restricted access to food and toilets.
The women were rescued May 6 when one of them broke out part of a door and called for help.
Notice that Michelle Knight reported that Castro had convinced her that her family did not care that she was missing. This is exactly the type of mind games that Kodiak played with me while pretending to be my husband “Jim Cramer.”
- Michelle Knight: Castro convinced me ‘my family didn’t care’
- Prosecutor: Castro a coward in death as in life