More details about Michelle Knight have trickled to media reports, telling a story so horrific and heartbreaking that it seems like horror fiction. On May 10, 2013 News-Press shared some of the woman’s story as the third person rescued from Ariel Castro’s Cleveland hell house. From what’s being reported it appears that Knight suffered the most abuse at the hands of Castro while Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were given better treatment. It should be noted that there was likely a fourth woman who disappeared from the Cleveland home one day (according to Knight) and it’s likely she was murdered. Would Michelle have been next if the girls didn’t escape?
Michelle Knight reportedly suffered five miscarriages due to beatings administered by their captor. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus only suffered one miscarriage each in this manner — and Amanda was allowed to carry at least one child to term. The level of abuse Michelle Knight suffered left her with hearing loss, and while Berry and DeJesus are home with their families right now, she is not. She is still in the hospital in “good” condition, but no other details are being shared about her health. Knight was kept by Ariel the longest in his Cleveland home, meaning she’s likely experienced an unspeakable amount of abuse compared to the other girls who escaped this past week.
Michelle Knight’s story is particularly heartbreaking because she could have been any troubled modern woman. She was a high school dropout and was a victim of bullying. She had a shaky life that left her a troubled person, and that nature likely led her right into the path of Ariel Castro — a sexual predator with an apparent fetish for violence and mental torture. Her story was not covered widely in the news like Amanda Berry’s and Gina DeJesus’s because she was considered a runaway, a troubled person who was likely on the streets. Thousands of teens and women go missing every week in the United States. How many of them are troubled people just like Michelle was? The lack of coverage of her case made it possible for Ariel to keep her in his home for more than a decade while he raped and abused her relentlessly, leaving her deaf and possibly internally damaged for life.
According to the Windsor Star, Ariel Castro has a history of just this exact type of behavior. Several relatives of the man’s former wife claim that he imprisoned her and his family in the same fashion. He reportedly beat her and abused her and played “twisted psychological games” by locking her indoors for years. This shows that Ariel Castro displayed a pattern of violently antisocial and repetitive degrading behavior for years.