Ariel Castro FBI Tapes Reveal Close CallsBy: Erika Watts - September 7, 2013
The FBI has released some interrogation tapes taken of Ariel Castro, the Ohio man who was found guilty of holding three women captive in his home for nearly a decade. In the tapes Castro describes instances of a few close calls he had that he thinks should have gotten him caught. The footage was released just days after Castro used bed sheets to commit suicide in his jail cell. The videos have been edited to protect the families involved.
In the interrogation that took place hours after Castro was arrested, he says his first close call was shortly after he kidnapped his first victim in 2002, Michelle Knight. Castro says a girlfriend who was visiting his home questioned him about a TV in the room where he held Knight. “She seen that I had a TV on in the upstairs room. And she says, ‘What is that? You have a TV on up there?’ And my heart started beating, and I was like, ‘OK, she’s probably catching onto something.’”
Castro’s girlfriend didn’t pursue the matter further, and Castro kidnapped his next victim, Amanda Berry, the following year. Berry, who was almost 17 at the time of her abduction, is the woman who got a neighbor’s attention in 2013, which led to the women’s rescue.
The former school bus driver got brave after kidnapping Berry, and described a time he used the girl’s own cell phone to place a phone call to her mother. Castro says that he told her mother that she was safe. “I think I said something…that I have her daughter and that she’s OK and that she’s my wife now–something like that, you know, probably not the exact words,” Castro said. Castro was never investigated after placing the phone call.
A final time Castro says he should have been caught was after kidnapping Gina DeJesus in 2004. DeJesus was abducted on the way home from school when she was 14. Castro says that the surveillance cameras at the school should have caught him on video prior to the kidnapping. “You could have broke the case right then and there,” Castro told the investigator.
After being sentenced to life plus 1000 years in prison, which was pleaded down from capital punishment, Castro was found hanged in his cell on Wednesday. The prosecutor of the case, Timothy J. McGinty, called the convicted rapist, kidnapper and murderer a “coward” after learning of his suicide. “This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade,” McGinty.