The sister of Ariel Castro has revealed her horror at the events in the basement of her brother's home in Cleveland, Ohio, and says she'd like nothing more than for the kidnapped girls to meet the rest of his family and realise they are "generous and loving".
Maria Castro says this in a documentary on BBC3 tonight, which asks 'The Cleveland Captives: What Really Happened?'
Amanda Berry, reunited here with her sister, alerted the world with a calm call to 911 emergency services
She adds of the child born to Amanda Berry during her time in captivity: "I would love nothing more than to meet the little girl. It's been proven that she is his child. That means she's our cousin. She's our blood. I want her to know she doesn't have monster in her blood. She has good kind generous loving blood."
Presenter Rick Edwards speaks to Maria Castro about the events that shook up the world's press, after Amanda Berry escaped from Castro's home and spoke calmly to a 911 despatcher:
"I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here. I'm free now."
Thus was the world alerted to an almost unbelievable story, as three girls came forward and told their story of how they had been kidnapped and imprisoned in the basement of an ordinary house for a decade, allegedly at the hands of Ariel Castro and his brothers.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus (both here) and Michelle Knight were all kidnapped
Now, Rick Edwards continues his transformation from youthful TV host to a mini John Pilger, with a journey to Ohio to find out how this could have happened. And to his credit, it seems like he's had a bit more success with this trip than his one to South Africa, where his investigation into Oscar Pistorius consisted of knocking on the same doors as all the other reporters, and with the same lack of success.
He also speaks to Debbie, the grandmother of Michelle Knight, who has yet to return to her family following her release from the basement. Despite her hurt at this decision by Michelle Knight to remain with the family of Gina DeJesus, Debbie's anger is reserved for Castro, and she believes the death penalty would be the appropriate punishment for the men involved.
Rick Edwards does his best to make sense of this strange tale
"I despise the guy for what he's done to her," says Debbie Knight in the programme. "And I've always said since day one I would like to see him get the fixed penalty there is and by what I'm understanding right now, by the news, the possibility is they're going for the death sentence which is fine by me."
The state of Ohio defines a foetus as having personhood. The state prosecutor alleges that Castro forcibly caused miscarriages by Michelle Knight and is considering bringing charges that would carry the death penalty if found proven.
Castro's lawyers say he will plead not guilty to all charges, which include four counts of kidnap and three counts of rape. Local TV presenter Tom Meyer explained: "I spoke to his attorneys and they told me that Castro's not confessed to any crime, in fact they said he's a regular guy who has a heart and loves his child."
'The Cleveland Captives: What Really Happened?' is on BBC Three tonight at 9pm.
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