Ohio man who held 3 women captive hangs himself
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Cleveland man serving a life sentence for holding three women captive in his home for a decade hanged himself in his prison cell, officials said today in another shocking twist in the case that transfixed and appalled the city.
Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging Tuesday night at the state prison in Orient, said JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the corrections system. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“He took the coward’s way out,” said Elsie Cintron, a neighbor who lived up the street from the former school bus driver. “We’re sad to hear that he’s dead, but at the same time, we’re happy he’s gone, and now we know he can’t ask for an appeal or try for one if he’s acting like he’s crazy.”
Through a spokeswoman, his three victims declined to comment.
Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, in a deal to avoid the death penalty. At his sentencing, he told the judge: “I’m not a monster. I’m sick.”
In a scornful statement today, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said: “This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade.”