Amazing Courage Of Cleveland Kidnap Victims: How They Helped Each Other Survive


May 9 2013, Published 6:36 a.m. ET

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Three women plunged into an unthinkable nightmare. Raped. Beaten. Chained.

They lived a nightmare for ten years, and now that they are free, details are emerging of their amazing courage, and how three strangers plunged into the same real-life horror helped each other survive.

Amanda BerryMichelle Knight and Gina DeJesus spent a decade locked up in Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, repeatedly raped, beaten and abused.

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But new details have emerged from the police report showing their incredible strength and how they survived, as Castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.

According to the report, obtained by Channel 3 News in Cleveland Berry gave birth while in captivity and Knight delivered her baby under circumstances so awful they almost defy belief.

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But events took a deadly term when Berry’s baby was born not breathing. Knight administered mouth-to-mouth and brought the baby back, the source told the station.

It was an incredible life-saving act in the cruelest of circumstances.

In those desperate moments, all of their lives were at stake, Cleveland's WOIO-TV reports. According to the station, Castro told Knight that if Berry's baby died she would also die.

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Originally chained in the basement, the women were eventually let "free from the chains, to live upstairs" in separate rooms of the four bedroom, one bathroom house, according to the police report. “The women were tied to their beds at night,” one source told And chains and ropes were also found in the house. And Castro first kept them only in the basement until he believed their “spirits were broken,” ABC News reported.

Gina DeJesus

Otherwise, they were so isolated that holes were cut in doors for them to slide items through while they were in separate rooms, according to reports.

Still, they grew to knew each other and all had the common goal of breaking free. Their only taste of freedom came when they were released into the backyard, forced to "wear wigs and sunglasses," the report states, confirming's previous post.

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And sources also said that Castro would occasionally “test” the women, pretending to leave to see if they would try to escape. When they tried, he beat them, the sources said.

For that reason, Berry's escape attempt was that much more daring. Berry's child told her Castro was going to visit "grandma," a source revealed.

According to the police report, Berry told police that Castro forgot to lock the "big inside door" of the home on Monday, allowing her to escape. The screen door, however, was locked, but she was afraid to break it because she "thought Ariel was testing her."

She did, and her actions drew the attention of neighbor Charles Ramsey, and Angel Cordero, and both helped kick in the bottom of the door. Cordero later told that Berry said to him she had been kept locked up with a chain.

Police arrived on the scene and went into Castro's house. They checked the basement and walked to the second floor. The police report describes. "As we neared the top of the steps, Officer Espada hollered out, 'Cleveland Police,' at which time ... Knight ran and threw herself into (Officer) Espada's arms," the report reads. "We then asked if there was anyone else upstairs with her, when (DeJesus) came out of the bedroom. "

The women later told police how they had been snatched and brought to their hell on Seymour Street: All three were offered rides home from Castro that ended in their captivity. Only now can they go home at last.

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