News & Politics

Watch: Ohio Kidnap Victims Break Their Silence to Say 'Thank You' to the Public

The three women who were kidnap victims used the video to express their appreciation to the public for their support.

Amanda Berry, one of the three Ohio kidnap victims taken by Ariel Castro
Photo Credit: YouTube

The three female victims of an Ohio kidnapper who held them in brutal captivity have broken their silence in a YouTube video. The three women used the video to express their appreciation to the public for their support and financial help in the aftermath of their ordeal.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal,” said Amanda Berry, a kidnap victim who was taken when she was nearly 17. “Everyone who has been there to support us has been a blessing.”

Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were kidnapped separately by Ariel Castro between the years 2002-2004. They were held in Castro’s home for a number of years, where he fathered a daughter with Berry and allegedly starved and beat Knight. Castro was arrested after Berry called out for help and got the attention of Castro’s neighbor. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and rape. Castro is set to stand trial beginning next month.

In the “thank you” video, Knight said she was looking forward to building a “brand new life.” Knight added that she had “been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and my head held high.”

The three victims were found on May 6, 2013 after Berry broke through a door while Castro was away. The police arrived shortly after neighbors discovered Berry and freed the women and Berry’s daughter.

Watch the video below via YouTube:


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.