5 Shocking Revelations From the Cleveland Kidnapping

New details from the decade-long nightmare reveal a true house of horrors and puzzling police incompetence.

Photo Credit: Artem Furman/Shutterstock.com

May 8, 2013  |  

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After nearly a decade of imprisonment, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were finally rescued on Monday from their alleged captors, Ariel Castro and his two brothers, Pedro and Onil, in Cleveland, Ohio. The horrifying case has shocked Americans and set off a frenzied search for answers and information. Now, the gruesome details their captivity– as well as failed opportunities to rescue them sooner — are now becoming apparent. Here are five stunning things we know about the case so far:

1. Merciless Abuse 

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight endured almost a decade of astounding physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the Castros, who appear to have forced the girls into years of sex slavery in a nightmarish dungeon in Ariel Castro’s home. Police Chief Michael McGrath told NBC’s Today show that they had been bound, and that  “there were chains and ropes in the hall.” Raped repeatedly, the women reportedly endured up to five pregnancies, during which they were also beaten. The fetuses did not survive, with one woman reportedly suffering three miscarriages at the hands of her attackers. It appears, however, that one of the brothers fathered Berry’s six-year-old girl, who was found, terrified, in the home.  

2. Missed Opportunities

Neighbors of Castro say they told police about horrific evidence of abuse — naked women crawling on leashes, banging on windows for help — years before the rescue came. Elsie Cintron, who lives three doors down, told USA Today her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard, prompting her to call police. “But they didn’t take it seriously,” she said. Clintron also said she once saw a little girl gazing out of the attic window.

According to USA Today, another neighbor, Israel Lugo called police about two years ago after his sister told him she heard a woman who seemed to need help banging on a window at Castro’s home. “When his sister looked up, she saw a woman and a baby standing in a window half

This article originally appeared on : AlterNet