Ariel Castro sentencing: Alarm, chains, bedrooms of Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry

CLEVELAND - The first images of the rooms where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held for about 10 years and the chains used to restrain them were shown during the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro.

There were more than 1,000 pictures taken inside Castro's home on Seymour Avenue.

(See images from inside Ariel Castro's home - 5.wews.com/nxIMj )

The pictures reveal the graphic details about years of abuse and captivity, FBI Special Agent Andrew Burke said.

Burke, who had worked the missing persons cases for years, said he will never forget seeing Gina, Amanda, Michele and Amanda's daughter sitting in the back of the ambulance on May 6.

In court, Burke was shown a scale model of Castro's house. It showed the rooms by colors as the women had described and how Castro turned the residence into a prison, assistant prosecutor Blaise Thomas said.

He said modifications were made in the home to fortify it; there were areas to hide additional rooms.

A photograph of the front door showed alarm clocks wired in a makeshift manor to create an alarm system in the house, Burke said. There was a white wire from the front door alarm to the back door that connected to a switch that would activate the alarm.

On the first floor, there was a heavy curtain or bedspread that separated the kitchen from the rest of the living room, he said.  He said the dining room was turned into a bedroom with a queen-sized mattress.

Photos showed a porch swing blocking the entrance to the staircase leading up to the second floor, the only bathroom in the home and the staircase leading to the bedrooms.

The front bedroom on the second floor belonged to Amanda and her daughter, Burke said.

The door had been modified with a handle on the outside to keep it closed, there was also a bolt and slidelock to secure the door from the outside, Burke said. There was also a hole cut in the bottom panel of the door for ventilation since the windows were boarded up with heavy closet doors.

A picture showed child workbook pages on the boards covering the windows that were done by Amanda's daughter.

Gina and Michelle shared a smaller room with a large bed. The window was obstructed by a wooden panel that had been screwed in. There was also a commode in the room, the photograph showed. The only ventilation in the room was a hole in the ceiling where there was a box fan in the attic, Burke said.

Two pictures showed chains with locks on the floor of their rooms.

The basement photos showed the home's support pole that the women were initially chained to in the early stages of their captivity.

Burke said there was a washing machine that held a large amount of cash. Investigators said that Castro would pay the women for sex and then make them pay for items they wanted from the store.

Castro described himself as sexual predator in a note he wrote on April 4, 2004. The letter was found on the kitchen counter near the sink.

Other photographs showed a full-faced motorcycle helmet Castro owned and a wig. When the women were kidnapped, prosecutors said that Castro made them were a helmet. He also made them wear a disguise when he allowed them outside.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments