CLEVELAND - Demolition began just after 7 a.m. Wednesday to the Seymour Avenue house where Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight were held captive for more than a decade, destroying the prison and fortress that Ariel Castro built.
"This was one evil guy," Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said at a news conference outside the home.
Gina's aunt, Peggy Arida, was with the crane operator as the first swing went into the "pink room," where Amanda Berry and her daughter were held.
Janice Smith, another one of Gina's aunts, was watching the demolition and said, "It means closure, finally closure, freedom. I'm just happy it's down, never to be looked at again."
(See images from inside the home before it was demolished - http://5.wews.com/nHTnx )
Prosecutors said Castro cried when he signed over the house deed and mentioned his "many happy memories" there with the women.
McGinty said the $22,000 found in Castro's home was offered to Amanda, Gina and Michelle. He said they want it to go back to the neighborhood instead. There has been no official word on what will happen to the area.
More than 100 people came to Seymour Avenue to watch. Onlookers cheered and clapped as the demolition began.
The demolition revealed a sticker in the home that said "Daddy's Girl."
The house is being torn down as part of a deal that spared Ariel Castro a possible death sentence. He was sentenced last week to life in prison plus 1,000 years.
A local woman remembers her own ordeal after watching Michelle Knight speak on a national TV program.
Cleveland-area residents reacted to Michelle Knight's first interview since she escaped from Ariel Castro's home, where she was held in captivity for 11 years.
Michelle Knight, who was held captive by Ariel Castro for 11 years, revealed details of what happened to her inside the convicted rapist and kidnapper's home in a national TV interview with Dr. Phil Tuesday.
An Ohio prison guard has resigned after an investigation about falsification of logs documenting checks on a death row inmate who later committed suicide.
Ohio's prison system has faced a glut of bad news in recent months, from inmate suicides to four homicides in a single prison in about a year, but long-term population growth trends are causing officials the most headaches.
Mary Jordan, a reporter for the Washington Post, will write a book for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus about the horrors that happened inside the house on Seymour Avenue.
There are 238 sex offenders who live within a two-mile radius of the former home of late convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro, according to a public records search.
The warden will move from Correctional Reception Center south of Columbus to the same job at Madison Correctional Institution.
An Ohio bill to provide cash reparations and other assistance to the three women held captive in a Cleveland home passed the House Wednesday.