In the end, the monster turned out to be a coward — when faced with the reality of living the rest of his miserable life behind bars.
Ariel Castro’s suicide Tuesday in his jail cell at the Correctional Reception Center on the outskirts of Columbus came a month and two days after he was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for the decade-long kidnapping and abuse of three Cleveland women. He pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts, including abducting and raping Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry.
The women escaped from Castro’s Cleveland home when one of them broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. The personification of evil was arrested that evening.
A grand jury charged Castro with two counts of aggravated murder related to one act, saying he purposely caused the unlawful termination of one of the women’s pregnancies. He also was indicted on 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools. He had lured each of the women on separate occasions by offering them a ride home.
He was sentenced Aug. 1.
During the proceedings, instead of expressing remorse and apologizing for the lives he ruined, Castro sought to excuse his monstrous behavior by saying he was addicted to pornography.
But the most egregious aspect of his statement was when he accused the women of lying about the way he treated them.
The convicted kidnapper and rapist contended that none of the women was a virgin when he nabbed them and that they sought to have sex with him. He described the living conditions as harmonious and that it was a “happy household.”
That could not have been further from the truth — as told by the women and law enforcement officials who investigated the crime.
By committing suicide, Castro showed himself to be a coward. Without a doubt, his time behind bars would have been a living hell, but not because of any external pressures.
In the solitude of his cell, Castro would have been confronted with the evilness of his persona. And he would have been haunted by the memories of the pain and suffering he caused the three women.
Castro’s lawyer, Craig Weintraub, sought to put a human face on his client, when he told reporters, “I know most of Greater Cleveland will be looking on this day as joyous, but for his family this is anything but. He’s still a human being; this is still a civilized society. There’s still an obligation to prevent our inmates from committing suicide.”
Yes, this is a civilized society, but there are uncivilized individuals who do not deserve to live among us.
No one who followed this sordid tale of a man’s inhumanity to three women could feel sorry for him.
His suicide should not engender sympathy. Castro’s three victims — and a child born in captivity — are the ones whose lives will never return to normal again.
Ariel Castro was a monster who deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison. His death is not to be mourned.