It’s a beautiful day in America. Ariel Castro is dead. According to published reports the Cleveland kidnapper/rapist hanged himself with a bed sheet from his prison cell inside the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. He was under protective custody which mandated that he be segregated from the general population and that prison personnel check on him at least once every thirty-minutes. When prison guards were unable to revive him he was transferred to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where he was declared dead at 10:52 p.m.
Given that he was under protective custody he obviously picked his moment very carefully. The irony is that he couldn’t take a month in captivity while he held those women in captivity for more than a decade. “These degenerate molesters are cowards,” Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said, “This man couldn't take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade."
However, there are those who suggest that something more sinister was afoot. Castro’s lawyer alluded to the possibility of a conspiracy surrounding Castro’s death and said that at the very least he should have been on suicide watch. I’m personally offended that anyone would try to frame Castro as a victim. He is the bad guy in this. The women he victimized, the prison personnel, and those charged with overseeing him are the good guys. Only a defense lawyer would suggest that those entrusted to protect public safety and ensure our health and well-being would scheme to murder a worthless piece of crap like Castro. To propose that somebody has to make it their life’s work to sit and watch Castro every minute for the next several decades to ensure that he doesn’t harm himself is a total absurdity. Sometimes justice plays out in strange ways and I think that’s exactly what happened here.
In the long run his victims will realize that they are better off now that he is dead. Let me give you my personal experience. The goon that murdered my daughter told a psychiatrist in the late 1970’s that he likes to masturbate twice daily while thinking of his past victims. That tells me that my daughter is being re-victimized every day that this character is alive. Now, similarly during his rambling statement at his sentencing hearing on August 1, which constituted a re-victimization, Castro talked about practicing the art of masturbation. So there is no doubt in my mind that Ariel Castro was continually and constantly re-victimizing the three-women that he had held as prisoners for more than a decade. They deserve better than that: much better.
As long as these monsters are alive they have influence over their victims. Castro’s rambling statement at his sentencing was a re-victimization. His lawyer’s musing upon his death is a re-victimization. They were under his total and complete control for more than a decade. Then they escaped. Last night he died. Now he can no longer influence their lives. That weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
Ariel Castro did suffer in prison for the rest of his life: it just turned out to be a much shorter life than anybody really expected.