Ariel Castro, who was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and raping three women, as well as murder in early August.
Prison guards found Castro hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, about 9:20 p.m., the state’s Department of Corrections said. Medical staff on duty state they tried to revive him, but failed.
Reports indicate that Castro was not mixed in with the general prison population. He was actually being kept in protective custody, therefore he had a cell all to himself. Guards were required to make rounds every 30 minutes
Family member, Maria Castro Montes, said she cried when she heard the news.
“I cried for several reasons. My first thoughts were if the girls knew. I am talking about the victims,” said Castro Montes, Castro’s cousin. “I immediately thought of them and what is going through their minds. Maybe this was for the best. I don’t think they were ever going to find peace with him alive.”
During the trial Castro shockingly shifted the blame toward the victims by playing the victim himself. He said he was “addicted to porn” and called himself a “very emotional person.”
He claimed that the three women lied about the way he treated them. He went on to say “the women were not virgins when he kidnapped them and that they wanted the sex.” “There was ‘harmony’ and ‘happiness’ in the home”, Castro Said.
In a letter that Castro wrote he claimed he was abused sexually as a child and he referred to himself as a “sexual predator.”
Police testified that the house had been reconfigured to hide the three women, and chains were kept in the rooms where Castro chained the women up. The locks were reversed on the doors and all windows boarded up. Castro Sexually assaulted the women, who were just girls at the time of the kidnapping repeatedly.
The first officer on the scene told the court, “When the women realized the police were there they literally jumped through the air and held on to an officer so tight that one of the victims was actually choking the officer, yelling out, “you saved us, you saved us, you saved us.”