Last night, NBC aired Savannah Guthrie's interview with Michelle Knight, one of three women who survived a years-long ordeal at the hands of captor/monster Ariel Castro. And it's just as difficult to listen to as one might imagine.
Here's Knight on her abduction, which occurred after she got lost trying to walk to her son's caseworker's office and was offered a ride by what she thought was a helpful passerby:
So I got in the car and we started to drive. He was like, oh by the way, I have puppies. If you want one, you can take one home to your son. And I was like, okay. And we go into the house.
Knight was given a TV, she tells Guthrie, which is how she knew when Amanda Berry had been kidnapped by Castro. Because it made the news. Because a lot of people cared about Amanda Berry's wellbeing.
This brings me to what I think is one of the saddest aspects of Knight's sad story: it seems that not much thought was given to looking for Knight, a single mother who had her son taken from her by the state. Whenever I think about the case, I remember reading a year ago about how Knight was the focus of only "a few tips" the police department received, and that authorities believed that she'd run away because she was frustrated about losing custody of her child. Very few people cared enough to look for her. Her son was adopted to and raised by another family, and now doesn't recognize his mother. She says she hopes to one day see him again.
That's a damn shame.
Knight tells about how she shared a room with fellow captive Gina DeJesus, who Castro kidnapped at age 14, and how the two bonded during their captivity over their shared experience of unspeakable horror.
There were days, like, he'll come in, and he'll just do bad things in front of me, and I'll take her hand, and I'll tell her everything's gonna be okay. One day we'll get out. One day we'll be free. One day we won't be voiceless.
Knight says Castro impregnated her "four or five" times, and each time beat her so severely that she miscarried. Guthrie asks Knight why she thought Castro singled her out for his most intense abuse, and Knight said,
He wanted to break me and that's something he couldn't do. Because you can't break someone that's already been broken. You can only make them stronger.
During her captivity, she was allowed to keep a journal, where she wrote poems and songs and drew pictures of "doggies and Care Bears." When the trio of women were rescued, Knight weighed less than 90 pounds.
She's since changed her name to Lily and now lives on her own.
Knight goes into even more detail in her memoir Finding Me. Which, truth be told, sounds like a truly harrowing read.