Friday Nite Lite: Cleveland Courage Fund… and Then The CartoonsPosted: May 17, 2013 Filed under: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Barack Obama, child sexual abuse, children, Discrimination against women, Eric Holder, Fox News, Free Press, House of Representatives, Mitt Romney, open thread, physical abuse, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Real Life Horror, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party activists, the GOP, U.S. Politics, War on Women, Women's Rights | Tags: Amanda Berry, AP, Benghazi, Cleveland Courage Fund, Gina DeJesus, IRS, Michelle Knight, TCM 14 Comments
TGIF…and it is also the last day of school here in Banjoville. Next week, after a round of many doctor appointments, things will settle down into a nice summer schedule.
Before we get to the funnies tonight, I want to share this information with you.
A trust fund has been set up for Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. According to a press release from May 15th, over $480,000 have been donated to the Cleveland Courage Fund. Below you will find links to the fund, along with links to the Facebook page and various fundraisers and events being held for Michelle, Gina, Amanda and Amanda’s daughter.
Cleveland Courage Fund | The Cleveland Foundation
How You Can Help the Kidnapping Survivors
The Cleveland Courage Fund of the Cleveland Foundation was established by Cleveland council members Brian Cummins, Matt Zone, and Dona Brady after the discovery of three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade. The fund, so named because of the courage shown by these women, will directly benefit Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry and her daughter.
All money raised – 100 percent – will benefit the survivors and their families through nonprofit organizations.The Cleveland Foundation will not assess fees on this fund and will issue a tax receipt for all donations received.
Cleveland Courage Fund | Facebook
Support the Survivors | Cleveland Courage Fund
Considering that almost $11 million dollars was donated to the Sandy Hook victims families, I sincerely hope that these women receive a considerable amount of generosity from the same compassionate public…it would seem to me that these women are in more need of monetary assistance to cover cost of medical care, therapy and living expenses. Remember, these women have been shut up in hell for ten years, they do not have employment healthcare benefits...or welfare. (Stupid Rush can kiss my ass.)
Pass this information on to your friends, hopefully the women will be able to use these funds to support themselves as they begin the process of adjusting to life outside the prison where they have been tortured for so long. Thank you!
Anyway, let’s get on with the cartoons.
A shitload of stuff on Obama, his administration and the dubious conceivable three…. Benghazi, IRS, AP. (I don’t know what to call them, surprisingly they have not been given the usual Bradgelinagate nickname of sorts.)
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson, Victor Valley Daily Press – 05/15/2013
Vigilante Government by Bob Englehart
Title – Political Cartoon by Tim Jackson, Chicago Defender – 05/15/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 05/15/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies
I love the eyes on this next one, and the saying on that mug…it is just too silly, in a nerdish sort of way: AAEC – Political Cartoon by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch – 05/15/2013
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon – Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press – 05/15/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by MStreeter, Savannah Morning News – 05/15/2013
This First Amendment with Jay Carney is another good one: Jay Carney by Political Cartoonist Jeff Koterba
(Makes that “I do it AP style” mug up top much funnier if you ask me…)
Benghazi Snake Oil by Political Cartoonist Chris Britt
The next cartoon is freaking hillaryous…Hillary alert by Political Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons
And BB, this one should get you laughing out loud: 3 Wishes by Political Cartoonist Tim Campbell
And a little nod to Casablanca? Partisan Office – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 05/16/2013
Okay, so this next one has nothing to do with the scandals, but it does have to do with Obamacare and the House GOP: AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette – 05/17/2013
Now, on to cartoon topics that are about different subjects. This first one seemed funny to me because I always laugh to myself when I think of Spielberg and his Jurassic Park scene “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth!” It was so painfully obvious…it actually hurt watching it.
Steven Spielberg opens Cannes by Political Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte
Look at the tux tails knocking over the other attendees. LOL
And this is a good way to bring this up, you must see this movie on TCM…oh, it is good. It will be showing on Tuesday, May 21st at 3 pm est: Night Must Fall (1937) – Overview – TCM.com
I will give you a hint, it sure ain’t no old ladies hat…perhaps it is the old lady’s head? Robert Montgomery is spectacularly devilish…you won’t be disappointed. And the way he carries that Victorian hatbox around, ha…it is something to see.
Other films on TCM you may not want to miss: Rarities, Ho! TCM Recommendations for May 17-31 – Bright Lights After Dark
Every true film lover needs Turner Classic Movies because there’s stuff on there available almost nowhere else –films so weird and forgotten you’ll sometimes find them only at 3-9 AM, hiding in the wings until all the prettier pictures to go to bed. If you have a DV-R to go with it, then you know what to do. Set that sucker to these obscurities on the TCM’s schedule.
Go directly to that Bright Lights After Dark blog link and you will see a list of the films with show dates and times and a little mini description/review/discussion of each film, along with posters and other film archives. (I am soooooo glad that BB has TCM now.)
Anyway, get the popcorn ready and have some fun.
Oops, I’ve gotten distracted.
We have to finish up this cartoon post, yes?
Graduation by Political Cartoonist Mike Keefe
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch – 05/17/2013
The Cleveland Police Department seems a bit fucked up too if you ask me…
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon – Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press – 05/17/2013
(Pathetic but true, innit?)
And….lastly, I thought this cartoon from Mr. Fish was spot on, especially with all the well deserved bashing Jon Stewart has been giving Obama this past week.
Stewart Tears Apart Obama: You Can’t Keep Saying You Found Out About News At The Same Time As Us! | Mediaite
Jon Stewart …targeted President Obama for his reactions to major administration scandals in the past week and how every time there’s a big news item involving his administration, Obama always seems to have found out about the news at the same time as the rest of the public did. Stewart found it odd that Obama wouldn’t have found out about IRS targeting Tea Party groups or the Justice Department seizing journalists’ phone records from, say, people inside the government instead.
Stewart noted how at Obama’s big press conference on Monday, there was a “question limit of one, total, from the entire American press corps,” but a reporter smartly exploited a loophole by asking four questions in the same question. Obama began his answer explaining that he learned about IRS targeting in the same news reports that the rest of the public found out about from.
Stewart mocked the blasé manner in which Obama answered the question, and pointed out that this is not the first time Obama has claimed to find out news at the same time as the rest of us. Stewart highlighted how Obama said the same thing about the Fast & Furious ATF gun-running scandal and the time when a low-flying plane freaked out everyone in New York City. And Jay Carney admitted that’s the same way Obama found out about the Justice Department seizing AP phone records.
Stewart quipped, “I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama learned Osama bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announce it on television.”
Video clip at the link.
Anyway,about that cartoon…here it is…Mr. Fish: The Boob Tube
This is an open thread…enjoy your evening!
Friday Reads: Why Media Must Examine Record of Cleveland Police Dept. in Violence Against Women CasesPosted: May 10, 2013 Filed under: misogyny, morning reads, Violence against women, War on Women, Women's Rights | Tags: Amanda Berry, Amanda Marcotte, Angel Cordero, Anthony Sowell, Ariel Castro, Charles Ramsey, Cleveland Police Department, Department of Justice, Elizabeth Loftus, false memories, FBI, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, rape, serial murder, Slate Magazine 43 Comments
Yesterday I read something that infuriated me. I usually admire Amanda Marcotte’s writing on women’s issues, but I have real problems with her take on the neighbors of Ariel Castro who claim they called 911 over the years to report suspicious activity at his house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland. Marcotte can’t believe that the Cleveland police would ignore such reports especially “considering Castro’s frightening history of domestic violence and child abuse.” She even provides links in the opening paragraph to a post at Slate in which she suggests that Castro’s neighbors must be “creating false memories”
As more details emerge from the bizarre kidnapping case in Cleveland, people are beginning to wonder how Ariel Castro could have kept women locked up in his house for a decade without anyone actually noticing that something strange was going on. Enter the neighbors,some of whom are telling the press that they did, in fact, see all sorts of weird behavior—and that they called the police, who did nothing about it. The police, however, are denying these reports, saying that the two visits made to the house in the decade were unrelated to any suspicious activities. Considering Castro’s frightening history of domestic violence and child abuse, it’s hard to imagine the police would just ignore it if the neighbors kept complaining about him doing things like dragging naked women around on leashes in his yard.
So what’s going on? Are all these people lying? Are the cops? Or is this a case of lost records or unrecorded police calls? One possible explanation is that the neighbors are simply caught up in the excitement over a national story unfolding in their backyard, and they’re misremembering their pasts because of it. False memories, particularly regarding incredibly emotional situations, are easier to develop than many realize.
This makes no sense to Marcotte, so she dredges up Elizabeth Loftus’ research on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony and the human ability to create “false memories.” For Amanda Marcotte, who seems to really care about the treatment of women who have been raped and otherwise abused, to excuse the Cleveland PD on this basis is a terrible mistake, in my opinion. Doesn’t she realize that Loftus is an expert witness who testifies almost exclusively for defendants accused of sexual abuse and assault? Couldn’t Marcotte at least look at the history of the Cleveland PD before dismissing accusations against them?
But no, she assumes that surely the Cleveland police department did the best they could, so any neighbor who worried about something being wrong at Castro’s house with it’s high fences, boarded up and trash-bag-covered windows must be “inadvertently” making up past concerns in order to alleviate their guilt or make themselves seem more important. I won’t go into a long essay on the problems with applying Loftus’ research in this case; I’ll just agree that anything is possible. But we need to ask ourselves: what is the most likely explanation in this particular case?
In another post at Slate, Justin Peters “explains” why he thinks the Cleveland PD “did everything they could and it still wasn’t enough.”
No. No, they didn’t. Let’s keep in mind that the Cleveland PD didn’t in fact find Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus. What happened is that
Berry noticed the front door of the home was unlocked but the outer storm door remained bolted. She was reluctant to attempt an escape because Castro was known to test the women by leaving doors in the house unlocked. He would beat them if they attempted to leave the unlocked rooms, police sources said. Berry made the decision to try to break through the storm door after seeing people on a neighbor’s porch. She gained the attention of neighbors such as Charles Ramsey, and they helped her and her 6-year-old child get out. She called 9-1-1 from a nearby home. [Ramsey was aided by another neighbor Angel Cordero, who wasn’t as good an interview as Ramsey]
When Berry called 911, she got an operator who tried his best to blow her off by saying
Dispatcher: We’re going to send them as soon as we get a car open.
It took Berry’s continued urging to get him to act immediately. Even Charles Ramsey said in his interview with Anderson Cooper, “Bro, this is Cleveland,” seemingly calling attention to the fact that in Cleveland missing women don’t get found in neighborhoods like his. This is a fact that all of Cleveland is aware of, which is why there is a lot of anger toward police in the city right now.
This is a morning reads post, so I’m not going to rant on and on about this. Instead I’ll give you some links to articles that support what I’m saying. But first let me ask a rhetorical question for Slate and Amanda Marcotte: Were the women who claimed they were attacked by now convicted Cleveland serial rapist and murderer Anthony Sowell “creating false memories” when they call 911 and were ignored? Were the neighbors who reported the smell of rotting corpses emanating from Sowell’s house and yard “creating false memories?” What about the thousands of rape kits that Cleveland PD never had tested? Why is the Cleveland Police Department currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department?
Violence against women is huge problem in this country, and the Cleveland PD is not alone in treating it as a lower priority than other crimes. IMHO, it’s very important not to forget that. Not ever.
Now I’ll end my rant and give you some links to click on. I know this is a distasteful subject, a painful subject, and I understand why no one really wants to read all the gory details. But sometimes gory details are necessary to wake people up to the reality of what happens to women in this country every fucking day–especially poor women, drug-addicted women, sex workers, and others whom society sometimes sees as “disposable.”
I’ll begin with a video from Democracy Now–an interview with Cleveland reporter Eric Sandy.
Here is Sandy’s article, The Long History of Ariel Castro, Cleveland Kidnapper and Monster. Please note that Castro did come in contact with law enforcement over the years because of his horrific abuse of his wife and children. None of his violent behavior was really taken seriously or adequately dealt with. I apologize for this long excerpt:
Once again, Tomba’s words at the Tuesday morning press conference hang in the air: “Every single lead was followed up no matter how small,” he said. Unavoidable thoughts hearkening back to Anthony Sowell’s 2011 serial murder convictions hang in the air, as well. The rescue at the Seymour Avenue house will bear out a legacy on the backs of all involved, much like Cleveland’s other high-profile crimes.
Stories revolving around Castro’s work as a bus driver and his interactions with family members fill out characteristics about the man – elements of his personality that may have led to both the kidnapping and to his evasion from law enforcement.
In 1993 and 2005, Castro was accused of domestic violence from his one-time wife. The former charges were reduced to mere disorderly conduct, while the latter incident offered grisly imagery of a fractured marriage still capable of wreaking havoc. Castro broke his ex-wife’s nose and ribs, dislocated her shoulders, knocked out one of her teeth and battered her so hard that a blood clot formed on her brain, according to filings in court. In an interview with investigators after the fact, Castro denied ever being abusive toward her.
That filing effectively killed Castro’s chances at even partial custody of his children. Nevertheless, as sources familiar with the man report, his penchant for manipulation pulled Emily and Arlene back into his gravitational pull at times.
Several years after the gross sexual imposition conviction of Colon blew over, Emily Castro gave birth to a girl. It’s unclear who the father was – though speculation points to either a former boyfriend who now lives in Cleveland or, according to the private investigator, something much more untoward, evil, and incestuous.
Emily was living in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she attempted to murder her 11-month-old daughter by slashing her throat four times in 2007. She was later convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
“It is certainly a mystery as to how this happened or why this happened,” Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck told The Journal Gazette at the time.
It is indeed a mystery that may yet hold more clues as to who Ariel Castro has been all these years. Any answers that lay within may illuminate a gap in local law enforcement’s own investigations.
More articles to ponder:
Alternet: Why Cops Bust Down Doors of Medical Pot Growers, But Ignore Men Who Keep Naked Girls on Leashes
Daily Mail: Son of ‘abductor’ reveals how father padlocked doors to basement, attic and garage because ‘we weren’t allowed to go there’
Note the padlocked door in the background of the photos, which were taken in 2001–before the abductions of Knight, Berry, and DeJesus took place. Who or what was in those locked rooms at that time?
Daily Telegraph: ‘Ariel Castro locked my sister in a box and beat her’
CNN on the similarities with the Anthony Sowell case: Cleveland abductions a chilling reminder of ‘House of Horrors’
19 Action News: “Note of admission” written by Ariel Castro in 2004
KNYC.com: Police Report
Joan Walsh on the media sliming of Charles Ramsey: Charles Ramsey is still a hero
Plain Dealer: FBI previously investigated stepfather of Ariel Castro’s children in DeJesus and Berry cases.
Note that the stepfather tried to get police and FBI to investigate Ariel Castro in the disappearances. They ignored his pleas, and Castro was used as a source against the stepfather and allowed to testify against him–even with his history of domestic abuse! Did you know that Castro repeatedly abducted his own daughters?
The Daily Beast: My Neighbor the Monster
Doug Parker owns the home next to Cleveland suspect Ariel Castro. In his first interview, he recalls 20 years of confrontations, a bitter court case, and more red flags….
Parker says the police have been to the house more than they claim. For one, he says, he called the police in May 1996 when Castro pulled fence posts out of the ground and rolled up a chain link fence that ran between the two properties.
“He did it while I was at work, so I couldn’t stop him,” Parker says.The posts had been buried 18 inches, leaving holes that DeaAna, 6 years old at the time, tripped over while playing and injured herself. “The cops came, we talked, and one of them suggested I go to court on this,” Parker says. “And that’s what I did.”He was awarded $900 in damages and Castro was ordered to put the fence back up.
I guess those court records must have gone missing…
The Daily Beast: Cleveland Kidnapping, Anthony Sowell Case Linked by Indifferent Police
If you are stunned that three Cleveland women could be held captive for a decadewithout being discovered, then you are unacquainted with the case of Anthony Sowell, also known as the Cleveland Strangler.
Sowell was a registered sex offender who remained at liberty despite a series of sexual-assault complaints against him, until the police finally acted and discovered the bodies of 11 murdered women in his house and backyard.
At least some of those murders and rapes could have been prevented if the police had not reacted so indifferently when a distraught woman called them in September 2008, after being repeatedly raped, beaten, and choked by Sowell. She had at one point sought refuge in a bathroom, where she saw a headless body wrapped in plastic and positioned in a sitting position in the bathtub.
After managing to get away, the woman had stumbled as far as a bus stop before she could go no further. She would later testify: “I couldn’t walk no more. I was tore up. My body was tore up … My face, my female parts, my butt.”
She called the police. “They told me I had to come in and make a report,” she would testify. She further testified that she asked the dispatcher, “How do I get there?” The dispatcher told her: “Come in and make a report. We can’t take a report over the phone.”
She told the court that after the call, “I felt less than human. I didn’t know who to turn to.”
Plain Dealer: Michelle Knight, held captive since 2002, removed by Cleveland police from FBI database 15 months after disappearance
Cleveland police removed Michelle Knight’s missing person entry from an FBI database 15 months after she was reported missing in 2002 — and nearly a decade before she was rescued from her captor’s home on Cleveland’s West Side.
City spokeswoman Maureen Harper said Thursday that police followed proper procedures by removing Knight’s name from the database in November 2003 because they were unable to contact Knight’s mother by telephone to verify that her then-22-year-old daughter still was missing.
However, the police department’s written policy on investigating missing adults, at the time of Knight’s disappearance on Aug. 23, 2002, describes a different verification process. It states that an officer must go and see that a missing person has been found, then inform the FBI within two hours for removal from the National Crime Information Center database.
Kym Pasqualini, a national advocate for missing adults, said in an interview Thursday that the removal of Knight’s name and description from the database helped the case fall through the cracks.
NY Daily News: Cleveland captive Michelle Knight was gang-raped while in junior high.
She got pregnant from the rape and that victimization probably set her up to be revictimized when she learned her son was to be taken away from her. Sadly, she left home angry and upset and Ariel Castro offered her a ride.
NY Daily News: Michelle Knight’s twin brother talks about their history and his happy reunion with her.
This one is heartbreaking but speaks beautifully to me about human nature and our need for connection.
I guess this is enough for now. I’ll provide other links in the comment thread. If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
As always, this is an open thread and you are welcome post links on any topic in the comments.
Again, I understand this is a painful and distasteful subject. But please be aware that violence against women is truly endemic in the U.S. and it still isn’t treated with the necessary seriousness by law enforcement, the courts, or the media.
Wednesday Reads: The Mini-Series BeginsPosted: May 8, 2013 Filed under: academia, Crime, Foreign Affairs, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, morning reads, Palestine, Real Life Horror | Tags: Academic boycott of Israel, Amanda Berry, Ariel Castro, Charles Ramsey, Cleveland abductions, language, Shimon Peres, Stephen Hawking 32 Comments
Well, since Dak is off flying the friendly skies (lets hope her TSA agent buys her a drink first) and Boston Boomer is babysitting her nephews all day, you will be stuck with me for the duration.
(Ah, should I say the next few posts at least…)
So……let the series of posts begin…
The little girl born in captivity to Amanda Berry is named Jocelyn, and according to ABC news, she seems to be doing okay. They have released a picture of her from the night of her escape that shows her face, and she is smiling. Cleveland Girl Born in Captivity ‘Smiling,’ Eating Popsicles – ABC News
The little girl, named Jocelyn, ate popsicles in the hospital room in which she and her mother were examined after all four females were takes to Metro Medical Center, said Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba.
“She looks great, happy, healthy and ate a popsicle last night,” Tomba said of the little girl, who may have been born and raised in the very house in which her mother was a captive.
“Seeing her mother smile made her smile,” Tomba said.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told ABC News that Jocelyn is missing a front tooth and that Berry had been schooling her daughter in the home.
Police said the women knew each other in the home, and while in the hospital asked to visit one another. It was DeJesus who proudly showed off to investigators a drawing the little girl had made.
CNN has full coverage here: Charges expected Wednesday in missing women case – CNN.com
But if you have 7 plus minutes to spare, please click here to see Anderson Cooper’s interview with the amazing Charles Ramsey…this man is a treasure.
Did you know that in the academic world there is a boycott of Israel? Yeah it is creating a stink over in Europe: Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel
A statement published with Stephen Hawking’s approval said his withdrawal was based on advice from academic contacts in Palestine. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.
Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind. He has not announced his decision publicly, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval described it as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.
Hawking’s decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions.
This started with The Teachers Union in Ireland, followed by the United States members of the Association for Asian American Studies. Take a look at that Guardian article to read more about it. If it was mention here on the blog earlier, I may have missed it…but perhaps it was lost in the shuffle of all the breaking news of late.
Meanwhile, in Italy: Deaths as Genoa ship hits control tower
At least six people have died and four are missing after a container ship crashed into a control tower in the Italian port of Genoa, officials say.
The Jolly Nero smashed into the 50m (164ft) concrete and glass tower late at night, reducing it to rubble.
Three of those who died are believed to have been trapped inside a lift as the tower collapsed.
Rescue workers have been searching in the rubble for survivors while divers scoured the water around the dock.
The accident occurred at about 23:00 on Tuesday night (21:00 GMT), when a shift change was taking place in the control tower and about 13 people were thought to be inside.All that remained of the tower on Wednesday was rubble.
One report I saw says they believe the total to be nine dead, but that is not confirmed.
Finally, this article about the origin of language should be very interesting to many of you: English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language
Map showing approximate regions where languages from the seven Eurasiatic language families are now spoken. Image: Pagel et al./PNAS
If you’ve ever cringed when your parents said “groovy,” you’ll know that spoken language can have a brief shelf life. But frequently used words can persist for generations, even millennia, and similar sounds and meanings often turn up in very different languages. The existence of these shared words, or cognates, has led some linguists to suggest that seemingly unrelated language families can be traced back to a common ancestor. Now, a new statistical approach suggests that peoples from Alaska to Europe may share a linguistic forebear dating as far back as the end of the Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago.
I’ve just given you the first paragraph of that article, you need to go read the entire thing at the Wired link and see just how important and ancient the word Mother really is….
That should get things rolling today, see y’all later…comments down below.
Ariel Castro, former bus driver who held Cleveland women captive, may have written 2004 news story about themPosted: May 6, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime, just because | Tags: Amanda Berry, Ariel Castro, Cleveland abductions, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight 62 Comments
UPDATE: Correction–The article mentioned in title was written by the son of suspect Ariel Castro. The son wrote it for a journalism course he was taking at Bowling Green University in 2004. Until tonight, he had no idea his father was the one who had abducted and imprisoned three young women.
What an unbelievable story. As I posted on the previous thread, three women who were abducted 9, 10, and 11 years ago have been found today in a house not very far from where they disappeared.
Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight were found alive, the Cleveland Division of Police said Monday. All three of the women are talking and “appear to be OK,” according to a statement from Cleveland police on Twitter.
Police said that a 52-year-old Hispanic male has been placed under arrest regarding this incident.
The man’s name has now been revealed to be Ariel Castro. And in a bizarre twist, someone by that name wrote a news story about the disappearances in 2004. The article was discovered by AOL senior news editor Jon Passantino and posted on his Twitter feed.
You can follow updates on this story at The Cleveland Plain Dealer as well as listen to “Amanda Berry’s frantic 911 call to police.”
“I’m here. I’m free now,” a frantic Amanda Berry told a 9-1-1 telephone operator moments after she escaped 10 years of captivity on Cleveland’s West Side.
The Cleveland law Department released recordings this evening of calls to 9-1-1 about the discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, all of whom disappeared a decade or more ago.
Hundreds of people gathered in the streets near 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, where the women were discovered. Cleveland police said Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight are alive, talking and appear to be OK.
“I heard screaming… And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” said Charles, a neighbor who found the women. “I go on the porch and she said ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.’ I figure it was domestic violence dispute.”
“She comes out with a little girl and says ‘Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry’… When she told me, it didn’t register.” He said he made the call and gave Berry the phone. When police arrived, officers asked him if he knew who he rescued.
A witness who spoke Spanish told NewsChannel5’s Stephanie Ramirez that he helped break down the door. He said there was a child who was about 4 or 5 years old with Berry, as well as other children inside the house. He said he recognized Berry from posters.
Angie Garcia, whose aunt lives across the street from where the women were found, said Berry ran over to the house Monday and begged to use the phone. Berry, who was wearing a wig, told the aunt who she was and then asked to use the phone to call 911.
The women and two young children came out of the house across the street, Garcia said.
“We never saw the girls there and we were always outside,” she said. “We only saw the guy.”
Longer story from Cleveland Plain Dealer with photo gallery
Berry, now 27, DeJesus, 23, and Knight, 32, were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. The FBI and police will interview the women when they are discharged….
Police arrested the owner of the house, Ariel Castro, 52, who had lived in the house since 1992. Records show he was arrested for domestic violence in 1993, but a grand jury declined to indict him….
Berry disappeared at about 7:40 p.m. April 21, 2003, a day before her 17th birthday. She was last seen leaving her job at a Burger King at West 110th Street and Lorain Avenue.
DeJesus, then 14, vanished April 2, 2004, while walking home from school in the same area. Since then, the two have been the subject of numerous vigils.
Knight, who was 21 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at a cousin’s house near W. 106 Street and Lorain Avenue on Aug. 23, 2002.
I’ll add further updates in the comment thread.