The Cleveland Captives: What Really Happened?

The Cleveland Captives: What Really Happened?

2013, Crime  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 7.45/10 from 110 users.

The BBC examines the now-infamous rescue of three kidnapped women who were held captive in a populated Cleveland neighborhood without rescue for ten years. Host Rick Edwards questions how these women could be missing for so long without detection through interviews with the family and neighbors of the women and their captor, Ariel Castro.

Many viewers will remember the case which made national news when victim Amanda Berry managed to free herself to the degree that she could get the attention of neighbor Charles Ramsey who responded to her cries for help, enabling her to call 911. In the emotional audio recordings Berry, who had long been presumed dead, calls rescuers to her prison of over a decade, freeing herself, the child she unwittingly bore with Castro, and the two other women whom Castro had imprisoned.

Building a timeline of the kidnappings, we learn that each young woman was taken from Lorain Avenue, the first being Michelle Knight in 2002, followed by Amanda Berry in 2003, and Gina DeJesus, the youngest victim at just 14 years old, in 2004. In an especially disturbing revelation, we learn that the DeJesus family was quite close to the Castros, with Ariel Castro participating in memorial events and search efforts for Gina when she was, in fact, chained up in his own basement.

Turning the attention to Castro himself, Edwards questions how someone regarded as a friendly, average guy could casually go about living his life while harboring such a sickeningly dark secret. Coming from a tight-knit family that were considered respected members of the local Puerto Rican community, the news of Ariel Castro's involvement in the kidnappings came as a devastating shock to his friends and family. Initially described as a normal guy who drove a school bus, loved cars and played bass in a salsa band, it is also indicate that his violent tendencies were evident in his marriage. He was known to abuse his wife and mother of his four children, ultimately resulting in divorce and loss of custody.

In a harrowing overview of the life lead during their captivity we learn of the living conditions, violent intimidations and repeated rapes each woman faced at the hands of Castro. Following-up with interviews with the medical staff that cared for them in the days immediately after their rescue, their survival is considered by many to be nothing short of a miracle.

Despite the outcome of the women being freed, the audience is left questioning what the appropriate punishment will be for Castro, how he could have been left to perpetrate his crimes undetected for so long, and how his victims will move into the future with so much darkness in their past.

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3 years ago

@3.25 that mexican is an illegal immigrant its a requirement to speak perfect english to live in the states

6 years ago

Pretty empty for a "what really happened" documentary. No information from any of the survivors. Instead we are offered a look at the inside of the medical room where they were first treated upon release, and the outside view of one of the victims houses. Wasted time for me.

6 years ago

Interesting to watch, but not very informative. With a "disturbing images" warning I thought we would at least see the basement and rooms where the women were locked up. We never even see inside the house, nor talk to the kidnapper or the women. You can get more info on the gd wikipedia page.

8 years ago

Also LOL at the defense attorney.....oh, you didn't think he was a monster after talking to him for three hours??? Think you might after being abused and raped by him for 10 years?

8 years ago

They keep saying what a great guy and what a pillar of the community he was.......and yet they all admit they knew he abused his wife?

DMaria Faraj
8 years ago

I live, and grew up, a quarter of a mile from this house. When I was fourteen the girls started missing. No one thought the crimes were related, I remember my father saying "I could've lost you" bc I was the same age as them. Im so glad this monster is DEAD. Oh idk what ppl think elsewhere but here we don't believe he committed suicide, he was trying to get off by asphyxiation. Why else would a self proclaimed Sex addict (also sociopath) hang himself with his pants down around his knees? Disgusting legacy, him and his Baby Killing daughter.

8 years ago

great documentary

9 years ago

Nice job on the film. Sin nature tells us that anyone can become an Ariel Castro. So watch yourself.

Laurdess Valentino
9 years ago

I wish all not guilty baby rapers killed themselves

9 years ago

~Oliver B Koslik Esq
With regards to your statement "Why is the police officer advocating aggravated assault with a deadly weapon "as any father would"?
Probably because he feels that laws are generalized and shouldn't apply to all cases, especially crimes that are sinister.

Sometimes, no matter what happens to the criminal, it is never quite enough to a victim and when something like that happens to you personally, yours or others viewpoints, laws, religions...don't mean squat anymore

Personally, I think the penitentiary rules are more appropriate in this mans case: a lifetime of incarceration, fear, bodily harm, molestation, gang rape, mental abuse and perhaps murder...sound about even to me. Bat-wielding fathers should just be the beginning.

~Oliver B Koslik Esq
9 years ago

Why is the police officer advocating aggravated assault with a deadly weapon "as any father would"?

Sure this man deserves severe justice, but inflicting "brutishly violent suffering" isn't right either.

We need euthanasia, quick, no waiting period for such medically deranged individuals. Just instant. Like a cow in a slaughter house.

I have been held in a social jail of sorts for a similar amount of time. Since my youth I have been "cut-off" / "X'd" "targeted" for reasons unbeknownst to me (although they have excuses, they change, and are unreasonable). It is only the most sadistic and cruel mentalities that can carry out such crimes of human captivity, and I can say that still. I do not wish any misery or harm against the people that stalk and perturb my life.

Generating hate towards others generates hate within oneself.

+1 TDF

Sacco Svd
9 years ago

I'm only sad this guy got away with suicide....I wanted him to rot in jail for the rest of his life :( how could they allow that to happen? grrrr.

Jake Harris
9 years ago

Near the end of this boring and info lacking documentary the i*iot narrator/host is annoying to listen to. When standing on the street in front of Gina's house (46:55-->)stuttering about more useless info I want to slap him and demand compensation for the time I wasted on this drivel.