Prisoner Hangs Self After 1,000 Years Sentence

•Castro in handcuffs before he killed himself last night

•Castro in handcuffs before he killed himself last night

Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper who held three women against their will for a decade, is dead after hanging himself in his prison cell Tuesday night.

Castro, 53, was found about 9.20pm at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. He had served only one month of his prison term, which sent him away for life, plus 1,000 years.

Daily Mail quoted prison officials as saying that Castro was being housed alone in an isolation unit for his protection.

Prison regulations dictate that guards had to check on him every 30 minutes. Officials say he hanged himself during a break between inspections.

Castro made international headlines when Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed from his Cleveland house after ten years of captivity under unimaginable conditions.

When prison guards found Castro hanging in his cell Tuesday, they immediately began trying to resuscitate him.

He was taken to Ohio State University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later – shortly before 11pm.

It costs nearly $25,000 a year to house a prison inmate in Ohio, on average. The cost to house Castro, who was kept in high security, would likely have been much higher.

A spokeswoman for the the Ohio Department of Corrections said the agency will make a full investigation of Castro’s suicide to determine whether regulations were followed and if anything could have been done to prevent his death.

•Castro in handcuffs before he killed himself last night
•Castro in handcuffs before he killed himself last night

Castro’s attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have a psychological examination of Castro done at the Cuyahoga County Jail, where Castro was housed before he was turned over to state authorities following his conviction, his attorney, Jaye Schlachet, said Wednesday morning.

WOIO-TV, which broke the news of Castro’s death, reports that guards checked on him every 10 minutes while he was being held in the Cuyahoga County jail awaiting trial.

He had written about killing himself in a self-piteous suicide note he wrote in 2004. The FBI found the note when they searched his home after his captives were freed.

In an interview last month after Castro’s conviction, Schlachet and attorney Craig Weintraub said their client clearly fit the profile of sociopathic disorder and that they hoped researchers would study him for clues that could be used to stop other predators.

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The former school bus driver was sentenced on life in prison, plus 1,000 years after he pleaded guilty to 937 counts of kidnapping, rape and battery.

Castro claimed that he was ‘sick’ but ‘not a monster’ and blamed his barbaric treatment of the three young women to an addiction to pornography and abuse he sustained as a child.

“I do want to let you know there was harmony in that home. I was a good person,” the delusional Castro told a court before he was sent away.

He admitted that he kidnapped Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus off the streets of Cleveland and kept them chained and bound in his house of horrors for up to 11 years.

Knight, who was his first victim – taken off the street in 2002, was in the courtroom at the time of his sentencing. She offered a stinging rebuke of her tormentor.

“I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all that happened, but you will face hell for eternity,” she said.

Castro systematically raped and brutally beat the women – causing them to miscarry several children – and subjected them to unimaginable horrors.

He fathered a daughter with Berry, who by most accounts, was not allowed to see the light of day for the first six years of her life.

During his trial, he asked the judge to allow him to see the little girl. The judge denied his request.

His death prevents any future legal wrangling and attempts to see the child.

The horrific ordeal made international news when Berry broke out of her four-bedroom prison on Seymour Street on Cleveland’s West Side in May.

She proclaimed to a 911 dispatcher: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry … I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here. I’m free now.”

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