The man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to running a house of horrors in Cleveland was found dead late Tuesday night. Ariel Castro died of an apparent suicide in prison.
The last time we saw 53-year- old Ariel Castro was at his sentencing, on August 1st. It was an extraordinary court session, in which one of the three women Castro kidnapped and raped for years, summoned the courage to address Castro directly.
"I spent 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all of this that happened but you will face hell for eternity," said Michelle Knight, Castro's victim.
If that eternity didn't start in prison, it's underway now. Castro was found last night hanging in his 12-foot by 8-foot prison cell. He was in protective custody-- in that cell alone because of the notoriety of his case.
Castro was checked on by prison staff every 30 minutes, but he wasn't on suicide watch. When he was found, CPR was performed before he was taken to a hospital. Castro was pronounced dead just before 11 pm Tuesday night.
"I'm not a violent predator," said Castro when he made one of his first appearances in court.
Those were among Castro's final public words... Part of his bizarre, rambling 16-minute statement at his sentencing.
"They're trying to make me look like a monster, but I'm not a monster. I'm a normal person. I'm just sick," said Castro.
He claimed he had been sexually assaulted as a child, that he was addicted to pornography, and the sex he had with Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus was consensual.
"I just hope that they find it in their hearts to forgive me," said Castro.
Unlikely, given the words of one of Gina DeJesus' relatives.
"To Ariel Castro, ‘Que dios se apiade de su alma," said Gina DeJesus' relative in Spanish. Translation: ‘May God have mercy on your soul.'
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