Empowering Talk Radio

Hostage Abduction and Abuse

Hostage Abduction and Abuse

Hearing about attempted abductions and kidnappings on our local evening news is nothing new to us as a society. However, the most recent headline-making story about the abduction of three women, in Cleveland, Ohio, held captive and missing for almost ten years… a whole decade, has grabbed our entire nation’s immediate attention and gotten many of us asking the same question:  “How could this have even happened?”

Ariel Castro, 52 years old, abducted three women, all in the same manner, ten years ago by offering each one of them rides… Michelle Knight, now 32, was offered a ride home by Castro in August of 2002.  Instead, Castro took Michelle to his own house in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Cleveland. Amanda Berry, now 27, was offered a ride to work by Castro and taken captive as well.  Gina Dejesus, the youngest abductee, now 23, knew Castro’s own daughter at the time (she was only fourteen) and felt that it was okay for her to get inside of the vehicle with him.  She had no reason to think otherwise and Castro promised her that they were, in fact, going to his house so that she could meet up with his daughter there…

During their captivity, all three women were initially chained to Castro’s basement walls.  Eventually, he “freed” the women from the basement, moving them to separate rooms on the second floor of his two-story house, where they were kept completely isolated from one another.  Michelle, the oldest abductee, was impregnated at least five times by Castro, who reportedly starved her and punched her in the stomach until she miscarried.  Amanda was impregnated by Castro and forced to deliver her baby, Jocelyn, in a plastic pool inside of the house. Castro made Michelle help deliver Amanda’s daughter and told her that if the baby died, so would she…

According to authorities, the three women were only let outside of Castro’s house twice in the ten years that they were held captive there.  Still, it’s hard to believe that no calls or reports were ever made to law enforcement to investigate any suspicious activity on the property. Castro’s neighbors talk about having “backyard barbecues” with him and how he would give kids in the neighborhood rides on the back of his motorcycle.  He was also a musician in a local band and some of his neighbors had played gigs with him before.  From this “viewpoint,” it would seem that Castro was living a fairly unassuming and, by all accounts, pretty normal life…  This is probably one of the most disturbing qualities about these abusers/abductors; how they can so easily put on a façade and publically hide who they really are, even from their own neighbors.

Be sure to check out this week’s podcast where I go into further detail about these abductions, including the short and long-term effects on these victims, and what preventative measures (if any) we, as a society, can take to help protect ourselves and our children and hopefully, keep this from happening… yet again.

-Hostage and abuse Podcast-

Editorial content by Kim Matchette