I was horrified and disgusted and angered when I got the news of the unthinkable crimes my father committed. I still am.
Ariel Anthony Castro says he is still shell-shocked over the arrest, conviction, and suicide of his father, Ariel Castro, and continues to deal with the aftermath of his actions. Four months after the women the elder Castro held captive were found, Ariel Anthony is opening up about the ordeal. An essay Castro wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer was published over the weekend and gives some insight into the initial media frenzy and his father's death.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were rescued from the Cleveland house they had been held in for a decade on May 6. Three months later, Ariel Casto was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years and committed suicide in his prison cell just five weeks following the sentencing.
"He deserved to pay for his actions, every day of those 1,000 years he could possibly serve," Castro's son writes. He went on to say that reporters sought him out immediately after his father's death for a reaction in "revoltingly poor taste." That was not his first negative run-in with the media, however, as he also notes that a major news network erroneously used his photo instead of his father's after the initial arrest was made.
They thought I was him and he was me. That, however, was exactly what I wanted to scream from the rooftops. I am not my father, and I can't explain his actions or be held accountable for something I never knew he was doing."
Castro closed the essay by writing that the focus should turn away from bidding good riddance to his father and turn toward the future, asking "now what?"
If my father's life and death can lead to changes in how we deal with sexual predators, domestic violence, mental illness and, yes, prison safety, then we should have those discussions. If we can prevent a repeat here or anywhere, then justice truly will have been served amid all the broken pieces my father left behind."