Ariel Castro Death a Suicide, Not Autoerotic Asphyxiation

Image: Ariel Castro Death a Suicide, Not Autoerotic Asphyxiation

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 07:05 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Ariel Castro committed suicide and didn't die from autoerotic asphyxiation. That was the official conclusion of two corrections consultants tasked with determining the nature of the notorious Cleveland kidnapper's prison cell death in September.

The 53-year-old sexual predator was found Sept. 3, hanging from a bed sheet in his prison cell with his pants and underwear down around his ankles, leading some to speculate that his final depraved act was autoerotic asphyxiation, Cleveland.com reported. Autoerotic asphyxiation is when oxygen is temporarily cut off to the brain for sexual arousal.

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"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 consultants' report stated.

The state-commissioned report was produced by Fred Cohen, a State University of New York at Albany law professor, and Lindsay Hayes, project director of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, Cleveland.com noted.

The report confirmed the initial suicide ruling by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Coroner's Office.

As for the fact he was naked from the waist down when he was found, a prison nurse told the consultants that he was often naked in his cell throughout his time at Cuyahoga County Jail.

In addition to confirming Castro's death as a suicide, the report provides insight into Castro's mental state through his prison journal entries.

Castro repeatedly accused prison staff of mistreating him because of his crimes.

"I don’t know if I can take this neglect anymore, and the way I’m being treated," Castro 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."

According to the report's authors, Castro wrote "with a sense of entitlement" and was "oblivious to the realities of his future situation, and is incredulous that the media and other inmates should treat him so poorly."

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Prior to his suicide, Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison without the possibility of parole for abducting, raping and beating three Cleveland women he held captive in his house for a decade.

During his sentencing, Castro told a judge that his perverted deviance stemmed from an addiction to sex and pornography, telling the judge "I'm not a monster. I'm sick."

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