It was disturbing and relieving all at the same time.
Three women, all kidnapped and held in captivity for years, were found in an abandoned Cleveland home yesterday allegedly held by former bus driver Ariel Castro and his two brothers, all in their early 50s.
Amanda Berry was kidnapped 10 years ago at age 17. Gina DeJesus, a family friend, vanished at 14 in 2004. Michelle Knight disappeared in 2002 at age 20. Berry’s 6-year-old daughter was also found in the home.
Hear neighbor — and town hero — Charles Ramsey recount what happened.
The thought of what these women went through — neighbors reported seeing women on leashes in the backyard and police found chains and ropes in the home — is so disturbing, I don’t even want to think about it. Teenagers, kidnapped, scared and tortured. It’s disgusting.
But at the same time, they’re alive and free and able to reunite with their families. And that’s amazing.
It’s scary to think that we don’t know our neighbors. How can these three men hold three women captive for nearly a decade in a neighborhood where everyone seems to know each other? The Castros knew the family of one of the victims, two even speaking out after she was kidnapped.
Neighbors said Castro was friendly, rode around on his bike, talk to the neighborhood kids. He wasn’t that weird recluse you imagine would commit such a heinous act. He was the guy you waved to in the morning as you drove to work.
We all have our private lives, for sure, but it’s crazy to think that just next door something like this could happen.
I’m not saying we should suspect the worst of our neighbors. But we should know who lives in our neighborhood. And we should, like Charles Ramsey, not be afraid to help.
Thank goodness, I know most of my neighbors. And we’ve called the cops on the stupid ones next door. bwahahaha But seriously
CAT: The house was not abandoned, I thought one of the brothers lived there. Knowing your neighbors is almost as good as installing a security system. At least those you are cordial with will call you or the police if something appears amiss.
I know my neighbors well enough to know one has a sleepwalking problem and one tokes (it’s legal in Washington now).
Considering H5O’s episode last night was about a 10 year kidnapping… it is all a little weird. Art, or something resembling it, imitating life?
Hey Cat: … I saw the story on the news … and it’s so unbelievable …
… I still can’t understand how that could go on undetected in that neighborhood … it wasn’t isolated … there were many homes nearby … and more incredibly … many neighbors who were around … many who actually saw suspicious activity …
… it bothers me that we have become so passive even when strange events happen in our own neighborhood … yeah, it’s scary to get involved … yeah, we tend to mind our own business … but there has to be a limit to what we tolerate if we see it happening next door …
Kinda wonder now since our ‘old’ subdivision is changing as elderlies move to assisted-living housing and their homes are either rented out or sold to unfamiliar people. More strangers than known folks in area now. Kids out-of-control or quiet mischievers???
It now seems most likely that Ariel Castro’s two brothers weren’t involved, probably didn’t know what was going on, and won’t be charged. Like many people close to the situation, they probably wish they’d found and freed the three women, and had their brother taken off the streets, long ago.
I’ve lived in the same house for 19 years, with the same neighbors immediately on both sides for that entire time. They’ve been here longer than me and my family. We talk outside, see each other daily, and some combination of household members have been guests or visitors in each other’s homes, but I personally never set foot within either of those houses on either side of mine. I can’t say with certainty what goes on in there, and they have no way of knowing what goes on in my house.
I’m reminded of a background check for federal employment in 1989. The investigator asked, out of the blue and between questions about schools and travel: “Sir, are there any Soviet citizens living in your house.” It sounded laughable, and I think I did laugh at the absurdity of it, but one never knows.
Over the years, if I recall correctly, you’ve moved several times. I suppose it would be more difficult for you to know your neighbors as would be expected. I’ve stayed put for over 15 years & know my neighbors on a cordial basis. Been in their homes only for purpose. But Cat, what do you do when you don’t like your neighbors, because they’re totally psycho?!
Barking unleashed dogs, domestics & generally a big pain for the community. Fortunately the rental management had gotten so many complaints, they were kicked out. But what if they were owners?