Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry broke their silence recently about their 10-year ordeal of being kidnapped, chained, raped, physically and emotionally abused by their captor Ariel Castro.
After 10 long years of unimaginable torture, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, along with Berry’s six-year-old daughter, managed to escape nearly two years ago when Castro forgot to lock them inside their rooms when he left the home. The girls fled the only home they had known for 10 years, called 911 and were free.
“Sometimes, there are days that I just can’t believe it,” Amanda Berry, now 29, told People magazine exclusively. “I just feel like I can’t believe that this happened to me.”
Gina DeJesus and her co-captees released a book chronicling their ordeal, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, written with Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan.
“He was always watching us,” Gina DeJesus, 25, said about Castro. “Before the door opened, your heart was just beating real fast.”
— People magazine (@people) April 22, 2015
Amanda Berry said their days were filled with uncertainty and constant fear.
“You didn’t know why he was coming up the stairs or what was going to happen.”
Despite horrific circumstances, Gina DeJesus and the girls spent their evenings when Castro went to work like many other girls their age by dancing and singing and watching their favorite show, The Vampire Diaries, every Thursday night.
“We would watch the show and then for two hours afterward, we would talk about what’s going to happen next week,” said Berry.
— FOX6 News (@fox6now) April 23, 2015
The fun would be broken the moment Castro returned home.
“He would walk up the stairs and just ruin our whole day,” said Gina DeJesus.
Some days were more difficult than others.
“At the time, I thought I was going to be there forever so I didn’t care if I died,” said Gina DeJesus.
— Cleveland Scene (@Cleveland_Scene) April 22, 2015
However, a deep-rooted hope is what kept them going, said the women, who still live in Cleveland with their families.
“You had to stay positive because if you didn’t, there was no reason to try and survive it,” said Amanda Berry.
As for Castro, he was sentenced to life without parole and took his own life by hanging the next month.