The Bell Chimes

Kidnapped for 10 years

Ashley Mondragon, Journalist

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On April 21,2003 the lives of a family was changed forever. Amanda Berry was
abducted just the day before she turned 17. She was on her way home from work when she came
across a car in a driveway. She had to go around the car to go her way but she noticed a man in
the car with his daughter, Amanda noticed that the girl in the car looked familiar so she smiled at
her. After a while she noticed that the car started following her down the street. The man in the
car asked if Berry needed a ride home, she said yes and saw that the girl that looked familiar was
no longer in the car. The man in the car was Ariel Castro, he was a former Elementary school
bus driver who was loved by many for being kind. Amanda asked where the girl was. Castro’s
response was that she was at his house and asked if she would like to go see her. “Yes” was
Berry’s answer. He then took her to his white two story house on Seymour Ave. She didn’t see
the girl and his response was that “his daughter” was probably just taking a bath and also said
“we’ll just wait”. What Amanda told ABC News next will send chills down a body “He started
showing me around the house. And i never got back out.”
Ariel Castro took Amanda upstairs and showed her something really odd. Their was a
woman sleeping in a bedroom in front of a T.V. Later on she learned that the woman in that bed
was 22 year old Michelle Knight. Who was imprisoned by Castro for almost a year. He took
Amanda to the next room over and according to Amanda “ It was really dark in there, and he
didn’t turn on the lights” she then proceeded to explain how there was a little room off of the
bigger bedroom she described it as as big closet. Berry explained how he took her there and told
her to take off her pants. That’s when Amanda really knew something was wrong. Amanda Berry
was Ariel Castro’s second prisoner.
Amanda was taken to a basement and had her wrist taped and ankles. He also tied a belt
on her ankles over the tape. He also made Berry wear a helmet over her head and told her “ Just
be quiet and don’t make any noise and i’ll take you home.” He had her chained to a pole turned
off the lights and left her there with the television. On her 4th day Castro Moved her to a
bedroom upstairs and chained her to a radiator . Castro asked her if she wanted anything from the
store and she wanted a coloring book and a journal to pass the time. According to Amanda’s first
diary entry he told her that she will be set free and go home before the summer.
One week after the abduction of Amanda, Ariel called the family and told them that he
had her. That call led the rescuers only 2 blocks away from the house. Once a day Berry was
given a bag of chips, crackers or other food to eat. She said that he tried to act nice and to take a
shower it had to be with him. She Became numb to the sexual abuse. A couple months into her
being held captive he made her a really disgusting promise “ I’m just for this, another girl and
then I will take you home”.
A year later he kidnapped 14 year old Gina DeJesus who was close friends with Castros
daughter. Castro was also friends with DeJesus’ father. Gina was short on bus money so she had
to walk home that is when Ariel pulled up and asked “ You seen my daughter?” DeJesus
answered “Yeah, she’s right around the corner” he asked if she can help find her she said yes got
in the car. They arrived at the 2 story white house and asked for help moving some equipment.
Gina was weirded out by his odd behavior. “ He was, like, fixing his eyebrows and, like,
trimming his mustache and, like, cutting his nose hairs.” She then explained how he started to
touch her she was shocked and asked what he was doing and reminded him that he could go to
jail not knowing that he should’ve been in jail a long time ago. Ariel told her that she can go
home but not using the same doors in which she came in from. He then led her to the basement
then chained her up. He didn’t tighten the chain hard enough so Gina threw it and tried to run but
he sat on on her back.She said that she just kicked him and kicked him and explained how she
bruised him pretty bad.She said that she yelled for help but the radio in the basement and in the
living room was really loud and overpowered her voice. For the first 2 weeks Ariel only talked
and touched DeJesus. She explained that she was raped on May 7th, 2004. She remembers
exactly what had happened like it was yesterday.
Both Gina and Amanda said that he loved to play mind games and one of the cruelest
things that Castro did was play Russian Roulette with the girls. Russian Roulette is a game where
their is one bullet in the chamber of the revolver,spin the cylinder and pointing the gun at one’s
head.DeJesus said she remembers thinking “Why not? I got nothing to lose”. The explained how
he went first and pulled the trigger and nothing happened then he gave DeJesus the gun and she
told herself “Ok, I’m about to pull the trigger and everything”. Then he stopped her and told her
that he wanted to pray. He got on his knees and started praying. She pulled the trigger and
nothing happened. All 3 women were usually in their separate bedrooms but on May 23,2004
they were all put together in a room and were forced to watch a show named “America’s Most
Wanted” and in that episode Berry’s and DeJesus’ families were being interviewed. When
Castro’s daughter visited All three girls were forced to hide in the basement. They always tried
to yell for help but always went against it.
Amanda Berry’s 20th birthday she had a feeling she might be pregnant. She was flabbergasted
she was chained to a wall had a bucket as a restroom and ate very little. Christmas 2006 amanda
went into labor. Instead of taking Berry to a hospital he bought her a pool and he put it on top of
the bed. Castro was playing doctor and made Knight his assistant. Amanda’s support system was
Knight while castro was sitting in the rocking chair reading a book about birth. Some hours
Jocelyn was born into captivity. DeJesus said that having the baby there would distract them
from being in that living hell. But as Jocelyn grew up she had more freedom that Berry, Knight,
and DeJesus all together. Yes she was still held in that little house she was allowed to wander of
to the backyard park or even join her dad to service on Sundays. Ariel was a different man when
he was around Joselyn. She brought the sweet and loving side out of him. But, Berry had a worst
fear she feared about him touching because of what he did to the young girls.
After a whole decade the girls escaped on May 6, 2013. DeJesus said that Jocelyn went
downstairs and ran back upstairs and said that she couldn’t find ‘Daddy’ and that he was nowhere
to be found. Amanda’s heart started pounding immediately because she started thinking “Should
I chance it? If i’m going to it, I need to do it now.” Amanda said that for the 1st time in 10 years
she found her bedroom door unlocked and Ariel Castro nowhere in sight. She looked downstairs
and the front door was opened but was wired with an alarm. The storm door was padlocked
closed Amanda was still able to squeeze an arm out . The girls upstairs thought that Berry was
caught by Castro. A neighbor did see her arm but was too scared to get involved. But another
neighbor did show up his name was Charles Ramsey. He tried pulling on the door but couldn’t
get it to open either. He sort of kicked the door in and said “there you go finish kicking it out so
you can get out”. She then finished kicked the door out she went outside with her daughter and
called 911. Police arrived to rescue Knight and DeJesus.Amanda Berry said that she was terrified
but because there was so many people on the street she know she wouldn’t be hurt by Castro. To
this day she has no clue why he left that day with the door unlocked and no one will ever know.
August 1, 2013 Ariel Castro was given life plus 1,000 years in prison. He plead guilty to 937
counts of kidnapping and rape. But on September 3, 2013 he was found dead in his cell after he
committed suicide by hanging himself.

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Kidnapped for 10 years