Cleveland kidnapper hangs himself in prison

Upon reflection, infamous Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro decided that imprisonment wasn’t so cool after all, at least not when he’s the one suffering confinement.  He took the coward’s way out last night, as reported by the New York Times:

Mr. Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, at 9:20 p.m., JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said in an e-mailed statement. Mr. Castro was housed in a cell by himself and a guard was required to check on him every 30 minutes at staggered intervals, the statement said. He was transported to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

His death seemed the final act in a story that has held the country transfixed since May, when neighbors discovered the women in Mr. Castro???s Cleveland home after hearing the screams of one of them and broke through the front door.

Mr. Castro later pleaded guilty to 937 counts including rape and kidnapping.

It was not immediately clear how Mr. Castro was able to hang himself. The Ohio Department of Corrections statement said a review of the incident was under way.

That is rather odd, since as Fox News points out, “Castro was being kept in protective custody, isolated from other inmates due to his high profile, and was subject to checks every 30 minutes.”  Contrary to some early reports, however, Fox says he was not on suicide watch, which would have put him under constant surveillance.

He only served 33 days of his 1,000-year sentence.  When that sentence was handed down, one of his victims, Michelle Knight, told him in court: “You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back.  I spent 11 years in hell.  Now your hell is just beginning.”  If there’s any cosmic justice, Castro hanging himself didn’t change that, and the Devil is currently showing him to his eternal quarters in the basement of the Inferno.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.  This is a good moment to honor the courage and determination of the three women who survived a decade of far, far worse treatment that the jail sentence Ariel Castro just couldn’t take.