Details about Ariel Castro’s suicide have revealed that he hanged himself in his prison cell and left notes with Bible verses and the names of his children and grandchildren written beside him.
A Bible open to the book of John was also found when prison guards discovered the Cleveland kidnapper’s lifeless body hanging from a hinge from his cell window using a bedsheet.
Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said she’s awaiting toxicology results before issuing a final report on Ariel Castro’s September 3 suicide. The preliminary notes indicate he suffered from hardening of the arteries.
Ariel Castro, 53, was found at 9.20 p.m. the night of the suicide, about 30 minutes after he was last seen alive, according to the notes. He was pronounced dead at a hospital an hour and a half later.
The significance of why Ariel Castro had the Book of John open at the time of his death is unknown, but some of the more prominent stories told in that section of the Bible include descriptions of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Ariel Castro pleaded guilty last month to nearly 1,000 counts related to his imprisonment of three women in his Cleveland home for a decade, including aggravated murder – for forcing one of the victims to miscarry – kidnapping, rape and other crimes.
He kidnapped Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry between 2002 and 2004 when they were 20, 14, and 16 years old.
Ariel Castro housed them in brutal conditions, restricting access to food and toilet facilities, chaining them and beating them repeatedly. He fathered a girl with Amanda Berry.
He was four weeks into a sentence of life without parole plus 1,000 years when he killed himself. His body was released to his son in Columbus.
Ariel Castro’s suicide is the subject of three prison reviews. Two, looking at the circumstances of his death and at mental and medical health treatment he received beforehand, are due at month’s end.
The study, due November 15, will also examine prison suicides over the past two years and make recommendations for any changes to the state’s policies and procedures for stopping inmates from killing themselves.