Castro Would 'Test,' Punish His Captives

Amanda Berry thought his slip Monday was another trick
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2013 7:20 AM CDT
Updated May 9, 2013 7:51 AM CDT
Castro Would 'Test,' Punish His Captives
Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver suspected of keeping three women captive inside his decrepit house for a decade.   (AP Photo/Cleveland Police Department)

One reason it took the women in the Cleveland kidnapping case so long to escape to the world just outside their door? Ariel Castro would "test" them for just such a scenario, reports CNN. According to a law enforcement source, he would pretend to leave the house then return suddenly to check if any of the women had moved, punishing them if they had. Even though the women watched the search efforts and vigils held for them on TV, they eventually "succumbed [to] their reality," says the source. Additionally, Berry's child, Jocelyn, was not told Michelle Knight's or Gina DeJesus' real names, in case she mentioned them when Castro took her out of the house, WKYC reports.

When Berry did make her brave escape, she was afraid to break the locked storm door open in case this was another "test." A police report details their rescuers' arrival on the scene: "As we neared the top of the steps, Officer Espada hollered out, 'Cleveland Police,' at which time ... Knight ran and threw herself into (Officer) Espada's arms," says the report. "We then asked if there was anyone else upstairs with her, when (DeJesus) came out of the bedroom." WKYC notes that a public fund has been set up to provide services for the women. Castro, who has been formally charged, is due in court today. (More Cleveland Kidnapping stories.)

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