Ariel Castro’s suicide by hanging in his jail cell marked a new chapter of horror for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the three women held captive for years in his Cleveland home until Berry broke free and rescued the four total captives with the help of neighbor Charles Ramsey.
When Ariel Castro’s suicide death was reported late last night, many couldn’t help but recall Knight’s words at his sentencing hearing just weeks ago.
Castro accepted a plea bargain sparing him the death penalty in the kidnapping and captivity of the three women and a daughter born to Berry by her rapist after she was abducted.
As he was formally sentenced to life in prison, Knight — the first of the three young women abducted by Castro — said something that was widely reported following the hearing:
“I spent 11 years in hell. Your hell is just beginning.”
Many cheered Knight as she was given a moment of triumph over the man who beat her so severely that she required facial reconstruction surgery to mitigate the damage done by her rapists vicious and repeated beatings.
And now in many ways it seems terribly unfair that in death, Castro yet again managed to evade the fate he inflicted on not just Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, but Berry’s daughter and the women’s loved ones as well. Like much of what we know about the kidnappings, it seems horribly unfair that Castro’s suffering didn’t near approach what the three endured.
One Twitter user opined:
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight lasted 30x longer in captivity than their captor did. Pray for their families today
— Matthew Hoxworth (@Hoxy10) September 4, 2013
After Ariel Castro’s suicide in prison, a lawyer for the three women indicated that the recovering victims are aware of the death of the man who inflicted upon them a living nightmare for more than a decade. Berry, DeJesus, and Knight will not be making a statement, but such a development will surely be a compounding trauma for the victims as they work to recover from the trauma and horror they experienced at his hands.