This Man Kidnapped His Daughter’s Friends and Held Them Captive for 11 Years

Police couldn’t find them; a brave neighbor saved them.

Malinda Fusco


Ariel Castro; Source

Between 2002 and 2004, three girls disappeared in Cleveland, Ohio. No one realized that they hadn’t gone far, but that they were instead held captive inside of Ariel Castro’s house, the father of their friend, Arlene Castro.

This is the story of how three young women survived horrific circumstances and were saved thanks to a brave neighbor.

Who was Ariel Castro?

Ariel Castro was a Cleveland man with a history of violence. He beat his ex and only had custody of his daughter, Arlene, occasionally. He had previously been arrested for domestic violence and fired from his job as a bus driver. The county fired him for “bad judgment.”

Apparently, Ariel had left school children unattended on the bus when he went to lunch, made illegal turns, and used his bus for grocery shopping.

Sadly, his judgment only got worse…

Three Girls, Three Years, Three Kidnappings

Amanda Berry (left), Gina DeJesus (center), Michelle Knight (right); Source

You may have heard the saying that things come in threes. Unfortunately, this was the case with the Castro kidnappings: three girls, three different years, three kidnappings.

Michelle Knight’s Kidnapping

On August 23, 2002, Michelle Knight was on her way to a child custody meeting at a local courthouse. Upon getting lost, she went into a store to ask for directions. It was there that she saw Ariel Castro, the father of her friend Arlene Castro.

Ariel Castro offered to give her a ride to the court house, however instead of the courthouse, he brought her to his home. It was there that he tied her up in the basement, gagging and chaining her there.

When she begged for him to let her go, he reportedly told her that she wouldn’t be leaving for a long time…

Amanda Berry’s Kidnapping



Malinda Fusco

♡ I write about health, writing, and true crime. ♡