CLEVELAND - Bill Calderwood wasn't at Ohio's Correctional Reception Center in Orient when confessed kidnapper Ariel Castro hanged himself Tuesday night. But like Castro, Calderwood spent time in a protective custody cell at another facility.
In protective custody, inmates are kept away from other prisoners who may want to hurt them.
"They (the guards) came around every 10, 15 minutes to check on me," he said.
Calderwood said he doesn't believe Castro hanged himself without somebody knowing about it.
"I had people tell me that you want to hang yourself, go ahead," he said. "This one sergeant told me one time, 'We don't care. One less person to worry about.'"
Calderwood said prison guards are terribly overworked, sometimes putting in three, four and even five double shifts a week.
"I think they probably harassed him so much and made him so depressed, he might have hung himself," he said. "But if he did, they let him."
Calderwood was released from prison in February after serving three years for burglary in connection with a house explosion that damaged nearly 70 other homes on West 83rd Street in Cleveland. Calderwood was found not guilty of the arson charges.