The Terrifying Details Of The Ariel Castro Kidnappings

The kidnappings committed by Ariel Castro were part of a uniquely unsettling crime. According to Biography, the disturbed school bus driver used his Ohio home as a prison for his three abductees — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — where he imprisoned and tortured them for over a decade. Once the women escaped, Castro's seemingly ordinary facade that hid a macabre secret sent shockwaves through the community and received significant media attention due to the terrifying details of the case.

Castro appeared to enjoy the double life. The Toronto Star reported that after tearing his victims away from their families, he helped their loved ones in their efforts to locate the missing women, and would attend vigils honoring the victims. He went so far as to offer comfort to one of the victim's mothers — all the while knowing that he was the cause of her pain. The notorious kidnapper also continued to have family members over for visits, although he made sure to keep his hidden life of torture out of sight.

Castro kept his victims immobilized

After his arrest in 2013, photos of the interior and exterior of Castro's home (pictured above) circulated through the media and shined a light on the sinister ways he kept his victims under control. In the early days of his victims' captivity, he kept them chained in his basement. Per The National Post, the kidnapper went on to install a network of chains through the walls of his home to keep the victims imprisoned in their heavily sealed bedrooms.

The details of the Castro kidnappings revealed the many twisted desires that his victims were subjected to during their captivity. He raped the three women throughout their imprisonment and eventually impregnated two of them. The first, Knight, miscarried multiple times after being beaten and starved to terminate the pregnancy. When Berry became pregnant, Castro apparently had change of heart, but still forced her to have the baby in an inflatable children's swimming pool.

Castro played twisted mind games with his victims

In addition to horrific physical abuse, Castro also toyed with his victims psychologically. As reported by People, Castro pitted his victims against each other to foster resentment and ensure they did not build bonds of trust. Despite his efforts, he was not entirely successful — DeJesus told the publication that she and Knight began to bond toward the end of their time imprisoned by Castro. Nevertheless, Knight and Berry, who Castro allegedly pitted against each other, had a hard time bonding, and have not stayed in contact since their escape from the "house of horrors."

The psychological abuse didn't stop there. On one occasion, Castro subjected his victims to mental distress by forcing them to play Russian Roulette, ABC News reported. In addition, he once forced his victims to watch their loved ones speak about their case on America's Most Wanted.

All three women have written books about their ordeal. As CNN reported, Castro was convicted and sent to prison, where he committed suicide.