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Ariel Castro committed suicide, prison report finds

A new investigation into the Cleveland kidnapper's death refuted earlier suggestions that he died during a sexual act.

By
Kate Stanton

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- In a report published Tuesday, two corrections consultants concluded that Ariel Castro committed suicide by hanging himself last September, in opposition to previous speculation that the Cleveland kidnapper had died accidentally during an act of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

“All the available evidence, including, but not limited to, the condition of the inmate’s cell when he was found hanging (e.g., careful placement of family pictures and Bible), as well as the increasing tone of frustration and annoyance voiced in his journal entries, and the reality of spending the remainder of his natural life in prison subjected to harassment from others, points to suicide,” the report said, confirming the coroner's original suicide ruling.

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An October prison report asked the Ohio State Highway Patrol to consider auto-erotic asphyxiation as Castro's cause of death because he had been found with his pants and underwear pushed down to his ankles.

But Fred Cohen, a law professor, and Lindsay Hayes, of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, called the theories a "distraction" and cited a prison nurse's testimony. She said Castro was often naked in his cell.

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Cohen and Hayes also shed more light on Castro's mental state, concluding that he was "oblivious to the realities of his future situation, and is incredulous that the media and other inmates should treat him so poorly."

Castro reportedly blamed his egregious crimes on his addiction to pornography, as well as the behavior of his victims.

The new report cited Castro's journal entries and behavior leading up to his suicide. He was increasingly displeased with prison conditions.

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“The themes in much of his journal entries concerned the behavior of some correctional staff and an obsession regarding the quality of food. He also appeared to write with a sense of entitlement," the report said.

"I don’t know if I can take this neglect anymore, and the way I’m being treated," he wrote when guards failed to bring him clean bed sheets and underwear. "I feel as though I’m being pushed over the edge, one day at a time.”

[Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch]

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