Ariel Castro is dead. A prison spokesperson has confirmed that 53-year-old Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient on Tuesday evening despite being in protective custody. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, reported the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 3, 2013.
“The spokeswoman, JoEllen Smith, says Castro was found hanging in his cell about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the prison in Orient.”
Just a month ago, on Aug. 1, 2013, Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including the kidnapping and rape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. In order to avoid the death penalty, Ariel Castro had pleaded guilty.
Because of the notoriety of Ariel Castro’s case, he was in protective custody meaning that he was checked every 30 minutes. However, he was not on suicide watch according to JoEllen Smith.
Ariel Castro was isolated from other inmates at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient and was found hanged at about 9:20 p.m. when prison staff were making their rounds. It is assumed that he committed suicide.
After his sentencing, Ariel Castro had given a lengthy rambling farewell during which he justified his actions.
"These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I am not a monster. I am sick," Ariel Castro told Judge Michael J. Russo. "I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me."
It appears that just one month later, it was Ariel Castro who could not forgive himself.
Like everyone else, Ariel Castro heard the powerful words spoken by Michelle Knight after his sentencing. (See the complete video and text of Michelle Knight's court statement to Ariel Castro).
“I spent 11 years in hell," Michelle Knight told Ariel Castro at his sentencing. "Now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all that happened, but you're going to face hell for eternity."
Michelle Knight was right.