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Ariel Castro's Son Speaks: ‘I Grew Up in a House of Fear and Violence’

Illustration for article titled Ariel Castros Son Speaks: ‘I Grew Up in a House of Fear and Violence’

Anthony Castro — son of the Cleveland man who will serve a 1000-year sentence without parole over the kidnapping, imprisonment and repeated raping of Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight — was on the Today Show this morning to talk about his father and the family's reaction to his terrible crimes.


The picture the son paints of Ariel Castro as a father is an unsurprisingly ugly one. Castro was physically and emotionally abusive to his wife and children, causing them to live in a near constant state of terror. When asked whether or not he was shocked by his father's criminal actions, Anthony replied:

"I was shocked because of the magnitude of such a crime. I don't think I can imagine anyone doing that, let alone to find out that it was my own flesh and blood — my father. However, I did grow up in a house with a lot of fear and a lot of violence. So the fact that this was a violent case — no, it didn't surprise me...[My father] had a temper. He wasn't a monster 24/7, but if you crossed him, there would be consequences and those consequences, more often than not, would be physical consequences. I remember crying myself to sleep as a kid because my legs were covered in welts from belts. Seeing our mom getting beat up in our own home — no one should ever have to see their mom crumpled up on the floor in the corner the way I did so many times."


While the son wishes he wasn't associated with Ariel Castro ("What's horrifying is I have the same first and last name, I look in the mirror and see the resemblance and I think about what he did and how horrible it was and I just can't help sometimes being overcome by that."), he does find solace in his father's sentencing, considering it justice not only for Berry, Knight and DeJesus, but also for his now-deceased mother:

"I think that she will be there the first morning he wakes up in prison...that's going to be her justice."

In closing, Anthony Castro made it clear that he has no interest being a part of his father's life. "I have nothing to say to him," he said with finality. Hard to blame him.


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Man, you know, when you grow up with an abusive parent, having the empathy and humanity that this guy shows is the biggest fuck you to a parent's destructive bullshit. I had a very abusive father and I'm not comparing (though you know, this does definitely trigger thoughts about my life), but there is nothing more radical than experiencing all that violence and then growing up and being a decent and loving person.

I can' t peer into Anthony Castro's soul or anything but he loves his mom and he seems to identify with her and that's enough.