Two of the Cleveland kidnap victims are suffering from long-term injuries not unlike those seen in a prisoner of war camp. Along with severe malnutrition, as least one will require long-term therapy for hearing loss, as well as joint and muscle damage.
The basement where all three women were held had chains coming from the wall and dog leashes attached to the ceiling. In a sense, it looked like a torture chamber.
The women were restrained with the chains and duct tape in “stress positions” for long periods of time. The positions left them with bed sores and other injuries, according to reports.
So far, Amanda Berry is the only Cleveland kidnap victim to be seen in public. While Gina DeJesus was spotted entering a family home last week, her face was covered by the hood of her sweatshirt. Michelle Knight has yet to be seen in public, though she was discharged from the hospital.
Berry was the victim who broke down a door to freedom last week with a neighbor’s help. She then told police about the other women. Berry also gave birth to a girl in captivity, who is now six years old.
Sources have said that Knight and DeJesus were not as lucky as Berry. Knight told investigators accused kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro forced her to miscarry at least five times by starving her, then repeatedly punching her in the stomach. Sources have added that both women were gaunt and had very short hair when they were freed.
All of the bedroom doors in the house had padlocks on the outside and only held a mattress. The Cleveland kidnap victims would be forced to watch as either Castro or one of the other women ate in front of them. Knight and DeJesus would sneak food to each other.
While the three Cleveland kidnap victims have yet to speak publicly about their ordeal, psychologists believe the women probably formed a bond that was strengthened by Berry’s daughter’s birth. Knight delivered Berry’s daughter in a plastic children’s swimming pool. She also gave the infant mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
While the three Cleveland kidnap victims recover, their alleged kidnapper and abuser, Ariel Castro, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.