Castro Kids Speak Out
Falling victim to someone as sick and depraved as Ariel Castro—the man charged with the kidnapping and rape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Cleveland—is obviously a terrible thing.
Just look at what he did to these young women over the course of a decade of captivity in his Seymour Avenue home: abducting them as children in broad daylight; keeping them chained up; raping and impregnating them; forcing one to miscarry as many as five babies; forcing another to actually have his child… the list goes on and on.
Of course, being the child of a monster like Castro is no easy task, either. Especially once you discover that the man you loved—and the man you thought loved you—was in fact torturing young women and keeping horrible secrets from those closest to him.
I cannot imagine what these kids—now adults—must be feeling right now. But in the case of Castro’s daughter, Angie Gregg, I don’t have to try to imagine it; she basically laid everything out in an interview with CNN recently.
Before she knew about the horrible things her father did, Gregg described her dad as a “friendly, caring and doting man.” Her childhood with him seemed ordinary enough, for the most part. Castro would take her for rides on his motorcycle and sometimes lined children up in his backyard for haircuts—which seems much more ominous given Castro’s crimes.
Unfortunately, though, life with her father wasn’t always happy. Castro accused Gregg’s mother, Grimilda Figueroa, of cheating on him and often beat her “like she was a man.” Gregg witnessed many of these attacks, as did her sisters. Eventually, Figueroa had enough and left Castro.
Gregg was the only daughter who stayed behind because she believed the excuses her father gave for his violent behavior. And she remained with him until she was grown and moved away.
Now married and aware of who her father really was, Gregg remains shocked, appalled and, most of all, disgusted. To her, Castro is “the most evil, vile, demonic criminal” ever. And given what he did to these young women—two of which Gregg knew in her school days (DeJesus and Berry)—she now says that Castro is “dead to [her].” And who could blame her?
What’s most frightening about Gregg’s new-found knowledge of her father is how every little detail from her past suddenly started to fall into place. Things she once found slightly strange—but not all that suspicious—now seem so much darker and disturbing. Here are a few specific examples that she referenced in her interview:
- Any time Gregg visited her father, his house was locked up tight, he would appear in a window, motion for her to wait and then take an abnormally long time to reappear. When he finally did, he would always ask her to come around to the back door. Never was she—or anyone else—permitted to enter through the front.
- Gregg and her husband visited Castro and occasionally ate dinner with him, but he always had music playing very loud. And when she asked to go upstairs to see her childhood bedroom, he always made excuses, like there was too much junk in the room. Little did she know that “junk” was actually a young woman being held captive.
- At one point, Gregg and her husband were living in Indiana and invited Castro to visit, but he always declined because he never wanted to leave home for more than a day at a time. Now we know why.
- A few months ago, Castro showed Gregg a picture of a 6-year-old girl on his cell phone and claimed it was his girlfriend’s daughter—this was the same story he told a neighbor who saw him at the park with a young girl last Sunday, the day before his captives were freed and he was arrested by police.
How horrifying must it be to realize that every time you thought things were normal with your father, the truth is that he was doing evil and despicable things to women roughly your same age? Women you once knew as children?
Gregg is understandably beside herself and now wants nothing more to do with her father… ever.
“There will be no visits; there will be no phone calls. He can never be daddy again,” she told reporters. “I have no sympathy for the man. To go to the vigils, to show these girls the footage of their parents’ pleas for their return, to rape, starve and beat innocent human beings… I am disgusted.”
Castro’s son Anthony has also been affected by his father’s terrible crimes and was initially suspected of being the rapist/kidnapper since they share the same first name, Ariel. He was, of course, cleared once police arrested his dad.
Oddly enough, Anthony noticed some peculiarities similar to those shared by Gregg with regard to their father. The most notable is that whenever Anthony visited Castro, he was rarely—if ever—allowed inside the house. His last visit actually occurred a short time ago, not long before Castro’s crimes finally came to light.
“I last saw my dad two weeks ago at the house, but he didn’t let me in. He never did,” Anthony told MailOnline, a British news site. “The last time was several years ago and even then it was for about 20 minutes.”
What’s even more bizarre is that Anthony—a self-proclaimed “journalist turned banker” who graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in print journalism—once interviewed Nancy Ruiz for a 2004 newspaper article. Ruiz is the mother of Gina DeJesus, who had been missing for just a few months at the time of the interview.
Now Anthony knows the truth: it was his own family responsible for the young girl’s disappearance. And this isn’t easy for him to accept, as I’m sure we can all imagine.
“If I had known anything about this, there is no way I could have not done something about it,” he said. “I wrote about it ten years ago and now it is so close to my family. It’s unbelievable.”
Unbelievable is right. And it just goes to show that no matter how well you think you know someone—even your own flesh and blood—the truth is that no one can truly know the evil that lies within. It just sucks that something horrible like this had to happen before Gregg and Anthony Castro discovered the truth about their father. My heart goes out to them, to be sure.
Posted on May 10, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged Amanda Berry, Ariel Castro, Castro, Cleveland, commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, Family, Gregg, Kidnapping, news, perspectives, Rape. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.