05:14 AM EDT 08/24/2014
Originally posted 05/14/2014 12:50PM
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus brought home quite the souvenirs from their whirlwind visit to Washington last week – and are sharing the most special (photographic) ones with PEOPLE.
Originally posted 05/09/2014 09:40AM
There's a hard life – and then there's the stuff of nightmares. Before Aug. 22, 2002, Michelle Knight was living the former. After growing up poor on Cleveland's rough west side and suffering long-standing sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, she had run away, lived for a time under a bridge and given birth to a son who'd been placed in foster care.
Originally posted 05/07/2014 03:05PM
Amanda Berry was overcome by tears as she accepted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children HOPE Award Tuesday night.
Originally posted 05/07/2014 08:00AM
Michelle Knight spent nearly 11 years of her life inside a house of horror where she was chained, tortured, raped and beaten. Despite the nightmarish conditions she endured, she wants everyone to know one thing – she's a survivor.
Originally posted 05/06/2014 01:30PM
A year after their rescue from nearly 10 years of captive abuse, two of the three Cleveland kidnapping survivors are marking Tuesday's anniversary with thanks and by joining others in the fight to protect victims.
Originally posted 11/04/2013 10:20PM
Originally posted 10/10/2013 01:00PM
Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide, and two prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of him in the hours before he died, the state said Thursday.
Castro's pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles when he was found, leading the state to forward those facts to the state highway patrol to consider the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation, according to the report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The report suggests – but does not conclude – that Castro may have died as the result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, whereby individuals achieve sexual satisfaction by briefly choking themselves into unconsciousness.
Originally posted 09/04/2013 12:30AM
The man who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade before one escaped has been found dead and is believed to have committed suicide, a prison official said.
Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, a community located south of Columbus in central Ohio, JoEllen Smith, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman, said early Wednesday.
Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.
Originally posted 08/07/2013 08:45AM
The Cleveland house of horrors where convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro kept three women captive for a decade went under the bulldozer Wednesday morning.
And there to watch it fall: survivor Michelle Knight, carrying a bouquet of yellow balloons in a symbolic moment of triumph now that she and the other survivors, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, move forward to reclaim their lives.
The razing occurs less than a week after Castro, 53, was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years.
Originally posted 08/01/2013 09:30AM
When Amanda Berry gave birth to her daughter on Dec. 25, 2006, the baby was not breathing. Ariel Castro, whose DNA proved he was the baby's father, turned to Michelle Knight and threatened to kill her if she didn't save the baby. According to new court documents, Michelle breathed into the baby's mouth and "miraculously, the baby survived."
And during Ariel Castro's hearing on Thursday, she proved to be a hero again when she delivered a powerful victim impact statement.
"I cried every night. I was so alone. I worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day. Days never got shorter. Days turned into nights, nights turned into days. The years turned into eternity. I knew nobody cared about me. He told me that my family didn't care," Knight explained through tears. "Nobody should ever have to go through what I went through."
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