Ariel Castro is currently in jail pending an $8,000,000 bond for the alleged kidnapping, rape, and torture of three Cleveland women. As the sordid details of his treatment of his victims trickle out in the wake of their rescue. I think we can all agree that Castro is a piece of shit. Yes, any man who would kidnap, rape, and torture any woman — let alone three women in this case — qualifies as being less than human. Be that as it may, it is quite remarkable that Nancy Ruiz, the mother of one of his victims, Gina DeJesus, has already forgiven him.
As a father of four girls, I seriously doubt whether I would be able to do what Nancy Ruiz has done. But I suppose, for her sanity, the forgiveness of Castro — someone ironically with whom she grew up with — will speed up the healing process. Though this may sound crazy to most, Ruiz’s act not only stands as a testament to her character, it also helps to remind us that Castro is in fact a human being. And as hard as it may be for most, he does deserve some compassion in spite of his acts. But hey, maybe that’s just the mental health advocate in me talking, and not the loving father of four daughters. I know, what I just said sounds hypocritical considering me calling him a piece of shit earlier. But like Castro, Ruiz, and the victims, I’m human. That said, hopefully we don’t lose sight of this fact in our blood thirst for revenge as we start talking about the death penalty.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about justice; and no, I’m not suggesting that Castro be given a lifetime pass to Disney World for being a “monster.” If he goes to trial and is found guilty (which I’m sure he will if he does) he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. As unsatisfying as this suggestion may be for some, it’s just something to think about. After all, for what Castro did, the humanist in me is convinced that being put to death would be too easy. I can’t tell you how to feel about Castro. But if Gina’s mother can forgive him, why would it be hard for anyone unrelated to the victims to do the same?
This from ABC News:
The mother of Gina DeJesus, whom Ariel Castro allegedly abducted and kept as a sex slave in his Cleveland home for a decade, had a surprising answer when asked what she would say to Castro.
“I would hug him and I would say, ‘God bless you.’ I would say, ‘God bless you,’ and I’d hug him. I did not hate him. I forgave him years ago. I said it: I forgive whoever done it, just let her go,” Nancy Ruiz told “20/20” anchor David Muir in an exclusive interview Thursday.
“Because you know what?” Ruiz added. “When you start to hate a person, that eats you up. I don’t have time for that. I have to be, you know, I want to be happy, like I am now.”
Ariel Castro’s cousin, Maria Castro Montes, had a different answer when Muir asked her the same question.
“I wouldn’t be able to look at him. I couldn’t say anything to him. Why? Shame on you? How could you do this? I don’t even want to ask him those questions. I don’t even want to look at him,” Montes said in an exclusive interview Thursday.
Montes described seeing Castro, 52, occasionally over the time he allegedly held the three women captive.
“When I saw him, I loved him,” she said. “This is a man who I loved. This is a man who was a family member. This is a man who has his own family. He has kids, he has grandkids. Those are the ones who have to be suffering the greatest. I don’t even know what to say to his kids.”
DeJesus, 23, was reunited with her family Wednesday after nearly 10 years spent as the alleged prisoner of Castro, a man her mother knew for years.
For years after DeJesus’ abduction, Castro, who grew up in the same community as Ruiz, would offer the family his support.
As recently as last year, Castro asked Ruiz, “How are you doing?” never indicating he was allegedly keeping her daughter a captive just miles from where she lived.
Ruiz said DeJesus told her that she and two other women, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 30, were kept chained in the basement of the basement. Later on, they were allowed upstairs and kept in two separate bedrooms for much of the time.
DeJesus and Knight were often kept in one bedroom. Berry and her daughter, 6, whom she gave birth to while in captivity, were held in a second room, Ruiz said.
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