- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2013

Ariel Anthony Castro, the son of the now-deceased Cleveland area kidnapper who killed himself in jail after holding three Ohio women hostage for almost a decade, said in an essay he penned for a local newspaper that he still can’t believe his father’s crimes — but that perhaps good can come of all, regardless.

“I’m still shell-shocked from the way these past several months unfolded,” he wrote, referencing his father, Ariel Castro, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer essay. “[My father] deserved to pay for his actions, every day of those 1,000 years he could possibly serve. My anger with him kept me from visiting him in prison, even when he moved to a facility just 20 minutes away from my doorstep.”

Mr. Castro, 53, hung himself in jail. He had pleaded guilty in July to 937 counts of kidnapping, rape and assault related to his abduction of Michelle Knight, 32; Amanda Berry, 27; and Gina DeJesus, 23. He was supposed to serve life, plus 1,000 years.

This is the first time his son has spoken publicly about his father’s crimes, Fox News reported.

The son’s home was broken into and ransacked, just days after his father’s arrest. Mr. Castro said he had to go live with a friend to avoid the press.

“I had reporters, in revoltingly poor taste, seeking me out for a knee-jerk reaction, wanting to know the whereabouts of my father’s remains, waiting for me outside the Franklin County coroner’s office,” he said, in the essay. He also said that perhaps his father’s crimes, as well as his life and death, can lead to positive change.

“[Maybe it] can lead to changes in how we deal with sexual predators, domestic violence, mental illness and yes, prison safety,” he said. “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.”

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