Cleveland ‘house of horrors’ survivors detail their decade of abuse and how Ariel Castro raped them up to 5 times a day – the only time they were released from their chains
Two survivors of Cleveland’s ‘house of horrors’ have revealed in their new memoir how Ariel Castro raped them over and over each day – the only time they had a brief respite from heavy chains which cut their skin and left their bodies aching.
Gina DeJesus described the first time that Castro raped her after she was abducted in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004 at the age of 14, according to the book seen by Daily Mail Online.
Gina, now 25, recalled: ‘He seems angry, like he wants to hurt me as much as he can. I’m screaming and crying and beating him back, but it’s useless.
‘I’m crying and bleeding. I’ve been terrified he would do this. I want to die. I try to cover myself with my clothes.
”’We gotta celebrate!’ he says, standing up and pulling his pants back on. ‘That was your first time!'”
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Ariel Castro’s dingy basement at his Cleveland home. He bolted doors across windows to prevent the women’s escape and then sheared off the bolts
Amanda Berry gave birth to a daughter Jocelyn in captivity. She tried to shield her daughter from the horrifying reality of their lives and even set up a kindergarten in the room they were held in, pretending to ‘walk to school’ each morning
Both Gina and fellow survivor, Amanda Berry, said Castro raped them up to five times a day, forcing them to tell him they ‘want it, love it’ and that he was ‘sexy’.
In one of the diary-like entries in the 300-page book, Amanda described how, a day after she was abducted, Castro forced her to shower with him and then locked her to a pole in the basement with chains around her stomach. It was her 17th birthday.
He then moved her to an upstairs bedroom and chained her to a radiator, adding zip ties along with the rusty chain.
Castro placed a tall, beige trash can next to the bed so that Amanda could use it as a ‘bathroom’.
Her only food was cold McDonald’s or Burger King which he brought once a day. She recalled: ‘After I finish eating, he tells me to strip, and he does it again.’
She described how he keeps a mannequin with a black wig and a red, fishnet vest.
The teenager initially kept count of the rapes in her diary, writing in an April 27 entry: ‘It’s Sunday. I’ve been gone six days. And so far he’s raped me at least twenty-five times.’
When he is doing horrible things to my body, I look at my mum’s face [in a photograph]. I imagine her laughing. I look into her eyes and lose myself in her. And my mom and I get through it.’
Amanda Berry describing in her memoir being raped by Ariel Castro and how she made a makeshift frame of family photos to help her survive
She described how he slobbered on her face and was ‘obsessed with my breasts’ telling the teenager: ‘These boobs are mine.’
Amanda wrote how she took pictures from her purse and stuck them using gum onto part of cereal box, carefully ripped into a frame.
‘When he is doing horrible things to my body, I look at my mum’s face. I imagine her laughing. I look into her eyes and lose myself in her. And my mom and I get through it.’
Amanda described the psychological tricks that Castro played on her, pretending that he had called her mom and allowing her to listen to voicemails from her desperately worried family.
At one point, he allows her to read an article in the local newspaper, the Plain Dealer, where her mom spoke of her worry.
Amanda then recalled of Castro’s reaction: ‘It turns him on to see how much it hurts me to read the article.’
The memoir describes the survival techniques Amanda adopts to stay alive: ‘Don’t fight. Don’t make him mad.’
She recalls the pain she feels from the daily rapes. ‘[He] is making me lie on my stomach while he does that really nasty thing again. It hurts so bad. I can’t help so I scream ”Let me go home or kill me!”’
Castro then pulled a vacuum cleaner into the filthy bedroom and began tightening the cord around her neck, tighter and tighter.
”’I’m not here to kill you,” he shouts. ”I don’t want to kill you! This is just about my sexual problem.”’
A third of the way into Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland. Gina DeJesus’ diary entries begin, explaining how she was tricked by Castro, a friend of her father, to entering his home to help him move a speaker.
He raped Gina a month after she had been at the home. She wrote: ‘Now that he’s started raping me, he can’t stop.’
During many of the rapes, he forces her to tell him that she ‘loves it’ – and when she refuses ‘make it hurt more’. Often, she is raped while in chains.
Michelle Knight, now 34, had already been held captive by Castro for around a year at his dilapidated Ohio home when Amanda was taken.
Gina wrote that he raped Michelle in front of her.
‘He climbs on Michelle, and I roll away and try not to watch. I can’t stop crying. Then it’s my turn.’
Despite the appalling circumstances, both women told GMA they never gave up the will to escape in a new interview, aired on Monday.
They said: ‘Now we want the world to know, we survived. We love life. We were stronger than Ariel Castro.’
Amanda, 29, recalled the day she was kidnapped on April 21, 2003, after accepting a ride from Castro, a friend’s father, as she walked home from her job at Burger King.
She said: ‘One ride can change your whole life.He started showing me around the house. And I never got back out.’
Amanda watched her mother beg for her to come home on TV as she sat chained in a house close to the very neighborhood where she had disappeared.
Amanda recalled how she felt watching her family’s desperate pleas.
‘That kept me going,’ she said. ‘And I said, I’m going to make it home to you, as long as you fight, I’m going to fight.’
She has also revealed the British royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William offered her a glimmer of hope during her decade-long ordeal at the hands of her captor Ariel Castro.
In an interview with Newsnight. she described how she enjoyed watching the news during her time in Castro’s house, and the impending royal wedding in April 2011 was highly anticipated across all the networks.
She said: ‘To me. It’s happiness. They’re getting married. To see what her dress looked like and see all the people there, it was just beautiful.
‘I still one day want to get married and have a family, that normalcy.’
Gina, 25, told GMA: ‘I tried to run but he sat on my back and I just start kicking him. I kicked him and I bruised him really bad.’