On the same day Ariel Castro was arraigned in court on kidnapping and rape charges , evidence recovered from the suspect’s home is beginning to shed some light on what might have motivated him to commit such heinous crimes.
In a suicide note written in 2004, Castro revealed a history of childhood abuse. Cleveland station WOIO reports that the note claims Castro himself was raped by a family member, and that he referred to himself as a “sexual predator” who needed help. The same note apparently included an order for his money to be split three ways among his victims–but he also seems to blame those same victims, saying, “They are here against their will because they made a mistake of getting in a car with a total stranger.”
Other reports say Castro shared cake with his kidnapping victims on the anniversary of their abduction, forcing them to celebrate the day. He was even spotted handing out fliers and attending candlelight vigils after Gina DeJesus’s abduction.
During his police interrogation, Castro described himself as a sex addict, unable to control his impulses, according to NBC’s Cleveland affiliate WKYC. He apparently believed he would one day be caught, and acknowledged he had no escape plan. Police described him as “cocky” during his interrogation, showing remorse for his capture, but not for his alleged crimes. He called himself “cold-blooded.”
Castro even told his interrogators that police nearly caught him at one point, but missed their chance. The details or timing of that missed moment are still unclear.
On Thursday’s PoliticsNation, Former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt said this behavior suggests that Castro had rationalized his behavior, rather than feeling guilty for it.
“He tells us he’s abused as a child, a way of blaming someone else,” Van Zandt said. “He blames the women that they got in his car–it’s their fault, it’s not his–so it’s all a rationalization.”
Van Zandt continued, “It’s justification in his mind that he’s not that bad of a guy, because look what I’ve done, I’ve taken care of them, I’ve celebrated anniversaries with them.”
Ricky Sanchez, a friend who played in bands with Castro, joined PoliticsNation Thursday. He said he was in the Castro house as recently as last week, and that Castro, and the home, seemed perfectly normal.
While Sanchez never saw any of the women in the home, he said he saw the little girl whom Castro is believed to have fathered with Amanda Berry. Castro apparently claimed she was his granddaughter. Sanchez described her as very shy for a girl her age.
Sanchez had been friends with Castro for years and visited the home many times over the last 12 years. He insisted that nothing ever seemed amiss, because Castro was so nice. But he did recall the many locks on the door, so many locks that he apparently needed help getting out on at least one occasion.
Sanchez also said that five years ago he received a tour of the second level of the house, which is where the victims were apparently kept. Although he saw only Castro’s bedroom, he said nothing seemed suspicious.
“He was a very nice guy. There was no way for me to have any clue what he was doing,” he said.