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Ariel Castro received a prison sentence of life plus an additional 1,000 years for kidnapping, torturing and imprisoning three young women in Cleveland, Ohio.
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In court, Castro insisted, "I'm not a monster. I'm sick." The three once-captive women, and Berry's daughter, are now living their lives freely. As for Castro, as Knight told him at his sentencing hearing, his "hell is just beginning."
In a strange turn of events, Castro was found hanged in his prison cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, at 9:20 p.m. on September 3, 2013. After prison medical staff tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Castro, he was transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, roughly 20 miles outside of Orient. At 10:52 p.m. that evening, he was pronounced dead.
The following month, speculation surfaced that Castro's death might not have been a suicide, but rather, caused by auto-erotic asphyxiation—a sexual act in which an individual achieves pleasure through choking themselves, ultimately causing them to lose consciousness. Countering those assertions, the medical examiner who conducted Castro's autopsy, Jan Gorniak of Ohio, stated that she wholly believed that Castro had planned his death. "I did the autopsy myself. I saw the ligature. I saw the pictures of the cell," Gorniak said, according to a report by CNN. "It was a suicide."
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