September 21, 2014

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UPDATE: Report suggests auto-erotic asphyxiation possible in Ariel Castro’s death

In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Ariel Castro makes a statement in the courtroom during his sentencing for kidnapping three women in Cleveland. (AP Photo)

In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Ariel Castro makes a statement in the courtroom during his sentencing for kidnapping three women in Cleveland. (AP Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro’s death by hanging in his prison cell may not have been suicide after all, but an attempt to choke himself for a sexual thrill, authorities said Thursday. They also said two guards falsified logs documenting the number of times they checked on Castro before he died.

The report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction suggests — but does not conclude — that Castro may have died as the result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, whereby individuals achieve sexual satisfaction while choking themselves into unconsciousness.

Castro’s pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles when he was found Sept. 3 in his cell at a prison reception center south of Columbus, the report said. He had a sheet wrapped around his neck, which was attached to a window hinge, investigators said.

Officials also found a Bible open to John Chapters 2 and 3 and pictures of Castro’s family arranged “in a poster-board fashion,” according to the report.

Those facts were forwarded to the state highway patrol “for consideration of the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation,” the report said.

Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said she could not immediately comment.

The Franklin County coroner classified Castro’s death as a suicide last week.

Castro did not leave a suicide note and “multiple levels of assessment” did not find tendency toward suicide, the report said. A comprehensive mental health evaluation found “no evidence of serious mental illness or indications for suicide precautions were present,” according to the report.

The day he died, he expressed interest in the possibility he would serve his time segregated from the general prison population.

As a result of those facts, no motivation for suicide was found, the state concluded.

In court, Castro blamed his problems on an addiction to pornography. At his August sentencing, he described himself as a sex addict.

“These people are trying to paint me as a monster,” he said. “I’m not a monster. I’m sick.”

A 2004 note by Castro that authorities discovered when searching his house in May alluded to him taking his life in the future.

Surveillance video indicates guards did not do at least eight required checks on Castro the afternoon and evening before he died. Two checks were done properly just before Castro hanged himself.

Similar allegations of falsified logs have been made against two other guards in the Aug. 4 suicide of a death row inmate just days before his scheduled execution.

The Castro report also said an ambulance contracted to provide medical assistance at the prison was significantly late in arriving, but the delay likely didn’t affect the outcome.

The report also said staff failed to make sure Castro watched a suicide prevention video when he first arrived in August.

Castro, 53, was a few weeks into a life sentence after pleading guilty in August to kidnapping three women from the streets of Cleveland, then imprisoning them in his home for a decade during which time he repeatedly raped and beat them. He was accused of limiting their access to food and toilet facilities and chaining them at times to a pole in the basement. Rescued with the three women in May was a 6-year-old girl Castro fathered with one of the victims.

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  • Mike wowk

    Who cares….. he’s dead. Good riddance. Saved us tax payers alot of money

    • Smira29595

      AMEN

  • Spec440

    These guards should be given medals and promotions. As far as the video…..clearly if he would have watched that he wouldn’t have killed himself. The video would have made it very clear that a 1000 year sentence in a prison where everyone was going to try and stab you every single day is not that bad. Life is worth living.

  • taxpayer89

    Why are we supposed to care why or how he died.

  • Ray Venn

    Great, now when his family sues, and you KNOW they’re going to taxpayers will foot the bill.

    Another fine example of gubment’ workers.

  • bigmacky

    why are we still reading about this? he is dead and I personally don’t care if he hung himself or was eaten by ants. enough already- this gonna be a topic that rears its ugly head for years like janet Jackson” so called malfunction? stop wasting our money – HE IS DEAD

  • Phil Blank

    Been in the news at least since 11am.

    Cleveland or another paper said his pants and underwear were around his ankles.

    All Just BS!

    Show us the photos!!!!

    The guy is dead, but they still want to kick him!
    They probably never even heard of auto-erotic asphyxiation until they read about David Carradine dying from it in Thailand. And HE had his hands tied above his head!

    Were Castro’s tied?

    Then again, who knows?

    Maybe the guards killed him?

    • Carrie Watson

      Why exactly do you want to see the photos? I sure as hell don’t! He’s sick, alright. He’s a sick monster! Maybe he was abused himself as a child, but I don’t care how he killed himself. I’m gonna be royally pissed as a taxpayer if we have to pay his family for wrongful death :-(

  • Nick Rosemark

    I don’t see how releasing this information has helped anyone.

  • Phil Blank

    BBC: 11 October 2013

    Coroner says ‘no signs’ Ariel Castro died in sex act

    The coroner who classified the death of Ohio captor Ariel Castro as a suicide says there were no signs he had been choking himself for sexual pleasure.

    It follows a state prison report that suggested his death by hanging last month may not have been suicide.

  • Don Grantzki

    I refuse to believe that a nice clean cut guy like Castro would indulge in ANY kind of deviant sexual practices!! ALL the women in his life have ONLY good things to say about the “saintly” way he lived his life!