Neighbors react to death of Ariel Castro

(CBS News) CLEVELAND, Ohio -- We woke up Wednesday to the news that Ariel Castro had committed suicide in prison. Castro kept three women as prisoners in his house in Cleveland, beating and raping them for a decade, but he apparently decided that he could not live behind bars.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight

Ariel Castro hanged himself with a bed sheet at a prison in central Ohio. Guards had checked on him less than 30 minutes before his body was found. A month ago, Castro pled guilty and accepted a life term to avoid a death sentence.

"You're trying to make me look like a monster," he said at the time. "I'm not a monster. I'm a normal person. I am just sick. I have an addiction, just like an alcoholic has an addiction."

The women he abused and raped declined to comment Wednesday. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have asked for their privacy. The house that was their prison was torn down last month.

"I don't feel nothing for the guy," neighbor Jose Aponte says. "I mean, how could I feel something for somebody that kidnapped three girls and held them captive for almost a decade?"

Complete Coverage: Cleveland Abductions
Inmate suicide expert says death of Ariel Castro "was only a matter of time"

Children now play in the garden planted on the site of what became known as the "House of Horrors."
Children now play in the garden planted on the site of what became known as the "House of Horrors."
CBS News

Children now play in the garden planted on the site of what became known as the "House of Horrors." The people here say now that Castro is gone, it may be easier to move on.

"I knew that he was going to do something like this, but not this soon," says Jovita Marti, who grew up across the street. "Those girls suffered 11 years. He was only suffered for four months."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement that Castro "couldn't take for even a month a small portion of what he dished out for more than a decade."

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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