Castro Family Dark Side: Disturbing New Details of Suspected Amanda Berry Kidnapper Emerge
New information on the Castro family's dark side emerged today, as the three brothers sit in a Cleveland jail for their alleged roles in the kidnapping, and decade-long imprisonment, of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Most of the disturbing new information focuses on the dark side of Ariel Castro, 52, the owner of the house where the three kidnapped women were found, along with the probable daughter of Berry.
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Perhaps the most disturbing detail is that Castro himself participated in the search for one of the missing women, neighbors said, passing out missing person fliers and performing music at a fundraiser for her. Castro even attended a candlelight vigil for one of the women, where he personally comforted her mother.
A school bus driver for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Castro received good performance reviews, but behavioral problems cropped up a few times. In February 2004, Castro was suspended for two months without pay after accidentally leaving a child on a bus. The most serious incident occurred in 2004, when Castro went to Wendy's with a child still in his school bus, told the child to "Lay down, bitch," and then left the student aboard when he went to eat. Castro was finally fired in October 2012.
Neighbors recall Castro as a man who loved playing with children, and generally as a fun guy. Juan Perez, who lived two houses down the street from Castro, told Cleveland's NewsChannel5 that almost the whole neighbordhod knew Castro. "He was a nice guy, he would come around and say hi. He gave the kids rides up and down the street on his four-wheeler." Perez said Castro often attended neighbors' parties.
Other than a 1993 arrest on a domestic violence charge, which was dropped, Castro's only police involvement was a disorderly conduct conviction that same year.
In another strange twist, in 2004, Ariel Castro's son Anthony wrote an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the disappearance of then-14 Gina DeJesus, allegedly one of his father's captives.
Anthony Castro told WKYC-TV yesterday, "This is beyond comprehension...I'm truly stunned right now."
Another of Ariel Castro's children, Emily Castro, 24, was given a 25-year sentence in 2008 after attempting to slit her baby's throat.
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