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Cleveland kidnap survivor Michelle Knight displays forgiveness and wisdom

The one year anniversary of the escape of Michelle Knight was May 6, 2014. Knight has written a book describing the 10 year ordeal of her capture and torture by Ariel Castro in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.

Michelle Knight leaves Cleveland courtroom after Ariel Castro sentencing
Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were imprisoned, beaten and raped by Castro. Castro was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for his crimes. Castro died in an Orient, OH prison induction center of what was alleged to be an autoerotic activity that had him suffocated by his own hanging.

Knight testified at the sentencing of Castro, and has been the most open in her description of her ordeal at the hand of Castro. Knight had a difficult childhood that found her living on the streets of Cleveland and bearing a child before she was kidnapped by Castro. She was attempting to regain custody of her son, Joey, when Castro kidnapped her. One of the charges against Castro was that he forced Knight to miscarry after raping and impregnating Knight.

Knight has released a book, Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, that describes how the entire saga has resulted in her finding herself. The release date was May 6, 2014 that coincided with the one year anniversary of her escape along with Berry and DeJesus. She maintained contact with DeJesus for a time after their escape, but has now broken contact with both.

Knight displayed tremendous spiritual wisdom in her attitude regarding forgiving Castro for all his abuses and torture. The final words in Knight’s book summed up the wisdom and spirituality of Knight regarding freeing herself from her ordeal.

"If I don't forgive him, then it'll be like he imprisoned me twice.”

Knight has now changed her name to further distance herself from being a victim of Castro. She is now Lillian Rose Lee. She has cut her ties to Berry and DeJesus as a necessary part of her moving forward on her own.

You can read additional details of Knight’s story as reported by Joanna Conners in the Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer on May 6, 2014. This story has been followed around the world, and deserves to be told as an example of the how adversity worked to reshape a much stronger human being.

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