Arias and Castro: The Latest Buzz

Arias tries desperately to save her own life (courtesy of the Associated Press)

Even though the news coming from Arizona and Cleveland has been largely negative—which should be expected any time murder, kidnapping and sexual assault are involved—the upside is that in terms of blogging, there is never a lack of interesting material upon which to write.

And today is no different.

Rather than writing several different blog posts about Jodi Arias—the Arizona woman recently convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander—and Ariel Castro—the Ohio man recently arrested for kidnapping three young women, holding them captive, beating them and raping them repeatedly—I thought it might be more prudent to cover all the latest developments in one article.

Namely this one.

For starters, I take you to Arizona and the most recent twist in the case of Jodi Arias. Yesterday, Arias was convicted of first-degree murder and could eventually be put to death for her crime. Life in prison is still an option, though.

In what can best be described as reverse psychology—albeit a misguided attempt at it—Arias issued the following statement just after a jury convicted her of killing Alexander: “I said years ago that I’d rather get death than life, and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”

Although her attempt to influence sentencing seemed very obvious to many—including myself—I must say it was the smartest move Arias could make at this point. After all, if a judge thinks a death sentence would be doing her a favor, then the obvious choice would be to sentence her to life in prison… to force her to live with the consequences of her deadly actions.

Castro hanging his head in shame (courtesy of Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Personally, though, I still believe Arias deserves to pay for her crime with her life. I’m not religious, obviously, but “an eye for an eye” seems like little more than fairness in action. If you take an innocent life, then you should be prepared to offer up your own as compensation. Granted, this won’t bring Alexander back—and many would argue that losing one life is enough without throwing another into the mix—but again, fair is fair.

Was it fair that Travis got shot and stabbed to death in the shower on that fateful day five years ago? Absolutely not, so why should Arias get anything less than death?

I guess we’ll all find out soon enough. Arias’ sentencing hearing is underway and, with any luck, this decision will come much faster than her conviction did. Stay tuned as I’m sure more information will follow.

Now we travel to Cleveland, Ohio and the case of Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping, imprisoning, raping, beating and impregnating three young women for nine years or more.

In the interest of time—and to make this post less daunting for readers like you—here is a list of some of the latest developments in this shocking case:

  • Castro has been charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and rape. His bond has been set at $8 million—$2 million for each of the girls he held in captivity.
  • Investigators found a suicide note that Castro wrote in 2004 which references some kind of past abuse by a family member. This doesn’t excuse him from his crimes, of course, but he was placed on suicide watch at the Cleveland city jail and may still be on it after being transferred to the Cuyahoga County detention center.
  • One of Castro’s victims—Michelle Knight—told police that he impregnated her as many as five times while holding her prisoner. On each occasion, Castro forced her to abort the fetus, sometimes starving her or punching her in the stomach until she finally miscarried.
  • Castro kept the girls chained up in the basement—usually in separate rooms—but later allowed them to live on the second floor of his home. Whenever the mood struck him, he would visit one of them to satisfy his sexual needs and deviant behavior.
  • When Amanda Berry got pregnant, Castro apparently had a change of heart and asked Knight to assist in the delivery, which happened in a tub or plastic pool. And when the newborn stopped breathing, Castro told Knight he would kill her if the child did not survive. Thankfully, she did and is now six years old—she escaped from Castro’s home with her mother Amanda on Monday night.
  • To see whether or not the girls would attempt to escape while he was gone, Castro would often “test them” by leaving for a few minutes and then returning suddenly to see if they tried anything. If they did, then they would be disciplined, which I can only imagine involved rape, assault and other torturous methods.
  • A few of the girls actually saw television news casts about their disappearances and even vigils held in their honor. In fact, a number of people remember Castro attending some of the vigils himself!
  • All three women are in good condition. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus are back with their families, while Michelle Knight remains hospitalized but could be released soon.
  • A lot of people are curious how Castro could have abducted young girls on a busy street like Lorain Avenue in broad daylight. In Knight’s case, Castro somehow lured her into his vehicle and instead of taking her home, delivered her to his “prison” on Seymour Avenue. Amanda Berry was returning home from a shift at Burger King when Castro pulled up beside her, claimed to be the father of one of her co-workers and offered her a ride home. She obviously never made it and ended up on Seymour Avenue with Knight. DeJesus would join them a year later.
  • Law enforcement officials searched Castro’s home—which was described as being in “disarray”—and confiscated more than 200 items that might help them determine what really happened there.
  • The FBI also searched a boarded-up home several doors down from Castro since they received some information connecting it to the case.

Whew! I told you a list would work better, especially since the information from Cleveland seems to be snowballing with each passing minute. Hell, by the time you read this post things could be dramatically different, so I strongly suggest you stay tuned to your favorite news source to stay abreast of the latest in both of these disturbing and very interesting cases.

I know that I will!

Posted on May 9, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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