News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Wayside Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Crime and Courts


The neighborhood marked by Ariel Castro's horror works to recover
The Seymour Avenue neighborhood looks next to the demolition of the frame house where three women were imprisoned for a decade
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Residents of Castro's near west-side neighbhorhood say tearing down his house of horrors is one thing everyone needs.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Three months ago, the international media zeroed in on the near west side Cleveland neighborhood where Ariel Castro held three women captive for a decade. Castro pleaded guilty today to hundreds of charges of rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder --  and the television cameras returned to Seymour Avenue.  As WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, residents are hoping this time, the media gets the story of their neighborhood right.

LISTEN: Castro's neighborhood

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:25)


The Rev. Horst Hoyer was tolling the bells at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church just as the tweets went out: Castro was pleading guilty to 937 of the 977 charges against him – and faces life plus 1,000 years in prison.

His are the same bells that toll every Sunday. Including the more than 500 Sundays when Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held captive in a frame house just a four buildings west on Seymour Avenue. Hoyer takes a small bit of comfort in that.

“And there was one thing that Mr. Castro could not stop from coming into that house and into the rooms of those good ladies, and that was the sound of the bells that we have up in the tower here. Every Sunday, twice, they heard them.”

Hoyer’s church hall became a staging site for police, sheriff’s deputies, FBI agents and other investigators who descended on the area when Berry broke free of Castro’s house early the evening of May 6 and led police to the other two.

Until that night, Hoyer says no one in the neighborhood had a clue.

“Well, all I can say is Mr. Castro would make a terrific actor; he played a perfect role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I don’t think anybody in the neighborhood had any suspicion. Had we known, anybody would have pitched in, anybody would have been a neighbor.”

Residents say the media got their neighborhood wrong
But that’s not the way he and others say their neighborhood was often portrayed. Instead, they heard accounts of an area pockmarked by crime, decay, vacant houses and indifference.  It’s a description Herman Wetzel says he doesn’t recognize. And he’s lived in the area for 84 years.

“This is just a normal neighborhood in the city of Cleveland. And all this about all the theft and everything. There’s not of that going on around here. This was the only bad scene here.”

Neither Wetzel nor others diminish how horrific that scene was, nor the trauma the women suffered.

 “Time is an ever rolling stream,” says Pastor Hoyer. “You don’t stop it. And the time that they have lost is devastating. My feeling is, if harm is done, it could be healed. But the scare will remain forever.”

Tear it down
The actual sentencing of Castro will be next Thursday. But Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo has made clear the parameters – Castro will never be freed. And the house on Seymour – now boarded up and surrounded by a 10-foot chain-link fence – is forfeited and will be torn down.

Immanuel Lutheran’s secretary Jill Kershner says that’s important for everyone.

“You know after it happened it took me the longest time to just to drive down the street to even just drive past the house because I just couldn’t wrap my head around what happened.”

Castro pleaded guilty after Cuyahoga County prosecutors promised they would not pursue the dealth penalty in connection with Castro forcing one of the women to repeatedly miscarry. Through their lawyer, all three have repeatedly said they did not want to testify at a trial. And after the plea, their statement  said they were relieved and continue to be grateful to the community for its support, and for leaving them alone. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

More Ohio schools are adding STEM + arts to come up with STEAM
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Not Education! Your first sentence and intro to this article is incorrect. Please correct this inaccuracy....

Body found in Brecksville park identified as Hillary Sharma
When will we learn the cause of death? We live here and if there's foul play, we have a right to know.

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University