A suicide note allegedly written by Ariel Castro provides a chilling glimpse into the alleged kidnapper-rapist’s mind-set during the decade-long captivity of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus.
In the 2004-dated note found by Cleveland police Wednesday, Castro admits he is "a sexual predator" and expresses a degree of remorse for his actions, writing about wanting to kill himself and “give all the money I saved to my victims,” according to excerpts posted to Twitter by Scott Taylor, a reporter for local station 19 Action News. But he also blames his victims: "They are here against their will because they made a mistake of getting in a car with a total stranger,” Castro wrote.
The 52-year-old former city bus driver also questioned his decision to kidnap Gina DeJesus. "I don't know why I kept looking for another. I already had 2 in my possession,” he wrote in the letter, according to Taylor’s tweets.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath told NBC's “Today” show that a search of Castro’s Seymour Avenue home uncovered several items of note. Investigators confirmed Wednesday that they had discovered the restraints Castro used to confine the three women in his basement. The suicide letter was also uncovered during the search.
"We have confirmation that they were bound and there were chains and ropes in the home," McGrath said, adding that the women were “very rarely” allowed into Castro’s backyard.
One of Castro’s neighbors told USA Today that he alerted police after several people saw naked women crawling around his backyard wearing dog leashes.
Castro, a former city school bus driver, was arraigned on Thursday on charges of rape and kidnapping. The 52-year-old was charged with four counts of kidnapping, one each for Berry, Knight, DeJesus, and Berry’s young daughter, Associated Press reports. Castro was also charged with rape after prosecutors alleged that he subjected his victims to years of sexual abuse.
During a post-hearing press conference, Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins noted that the women had suffered several miscarriages as a result of repeated rape, AP reports.
“We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don't know,” Cummins said.
Castro’s bond was set at $8 million, with authorities stipulating that he would need $4 million in cash or $8 million in collateral to post bail.