2 of Ariel Castro's Victims Finally Tell Their Story

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus go public for first time with new memoir
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2015 8:51 AM CDT
2 of Ariel Castro's Victims Finally Tell Their Story
In this May 6, 2014, file photo, kidnapping survivors Gina DeJesus, left, and Amanda Berry are honored at the annual National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

The nightmare of captivity ended for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight on May 6, 2013, when the women were freed from Ariel Castro's Cleveland home. Berry and DeJesus now describe their ordeal in a 321-page memoir out today. Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland marks the first time the pair are going public with the details of their experience, reports USA Today, and was written with the help of Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. (Knight has spoken out on a number of occasions.) ABC News has details:

  • Berry describes arriving at Castro's home on April 21, 2003; she entered his home after accepting a ride from him, believing his daughter (her classmate) was inside. "He started showing me around the house. And I never got back out." She says he took her to a bedroom and instructed her to "pull down my pants. And from there I knew, like, this was not going to be good."

  • Berry says Castro later asked her if he could get her something "to pass the time." She requested a journal, and he got her a diary, the kind with a small lock and key. In it, she used a code to log the number of times Castro raped her, thinking "one day maybe authorities will get to read it." USA Today notes some days bear the letters "4X" and "5X."
  • Berry reveals Castro called her family using her cell phone about a week after she disappeared, and referred to her by a nickname only those close to her used: Mandy. Authorities got within two blocks of his home, but cell-tracking technology was still in its infancy. "We spent about a week, around the clock, in that area, hoping that this phone would be used again," says an FBI agent. It wasn't.
  • Castro also lured DeJesus into his car by using a story about his daughter. They went to his home, and he "starts like, to, like, touch me and stuff, and then, I’m like, ‘What are you doing? You could go to jail?’ He just switches up like, ‘Well, OK, we’re going to, you’re going to go home now.’ He said, 'But you can't go through the same door you came in.'" They entered the basement, where she tried to run. "He sat on my back." She kicked him so hard he bruised, she says.
(More Ariel Castro stories.)

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