(NEW YORK) — Michelle Knight, one of three Cleveland women who survived a decade of imprisonment and torture, was forced to help captor Ariel Castro prepare a torture chamber for his third victim, she told Dr. Phil McGraw.
Knight had seen television reports about the disappearance of 14-year-old Gina DeJesus, whose sister Knight knew, when Castro forced her to help him.
“He was telling me that I needed to help him prepare another room and I didn’t want to prepare that room,” Knight said. “I had to help him drill holes in the wall to put the chains through to hook us together.”
“He had told me he was bringing us somebody in the house and he told me to be very quiet. All I hear is fighting in the basement. I could hear things crash and I could hear somebody screaming, ‘Get off me. Get off me,'” Knight said. “All I could hear was a girl screaming for help and nobody comes, nobody helps her.”
A few weeks after hearing about DeJesus’ disappearance, Castro told Knight his daughter was coming over and he wanted Knight to meet her.
“I knew that wasn’t his daughter,” Knight said. She remembered a rare moment when Castro left her and DeJesus in the bathroom alone together for a few minutes while DeJesus did her hair.
“I told her I knew who she was,” Knight said. “I whispered it in her ear. ‘You’re Gina DeJesus.’ And she whispered at me, and she said, ‘You know who I am?'”
Knight told DeJesus not to tell Castro that she knew who she was or else there would be consequences.
Castro treated DeJesus “halfway decent” at first, Knight said, because she was new and Castro didn’t want to scare her right away.
Knight and DeJesus were chained together at times and they became close, Knight said.
“There was times that he would hit her and I would stop him and take the hit. I would jump in front of her,” she said. The would take the punishment because “I know how it feels to be hurt and I didn’t want her to feel that,” she said.
Knight would tell Castro, “I’m the one you hate” and take the beating for DeJesus.
After, DeJesus “would cry and ask me why did I do that and I would say because I care.”
Knight said DeJesus saved her life after one of her five miscarriages, caused by Castro starving her, jumping on her stomach and kicking her.
“There was a time in the house I was going to die but Gina picked me up in her arms and said come back…I begged her to let me die, but she wouldn’t,” Knight said.
She said Castro liked Amanda Berry, his second victim, because “I think he had an obsession with blondes.”
Knight told Dr. Phil she never saw anyone on the news looking for her and that Castro taunted her about her family.
“He’ll see Amanda’s mother on TV and the first thing he’ll say to me is, ‘Where’s your family? Why don’t you have any? They must not really love you,'” she recalled. “And it would hurt because I knew my family didn’t care and I knew they wasn’t there for me because they never was.”
“And to see Amanda have her mother, I just wanted her to be my mother. I wanted her to say those things to me,” she said. “It was just extremely painful to have somebody coming in your room day after day telling you, ‘Your family doesn’t care about you. You never had a family that loved you and that’s the reason why I hate you — because I can abuse you and nobody would care.'”
In the first part of the interview that aired on Tuesday, Knight recalled begging Castro not to abduct other women and his anger at discovering that the girl he thought was a 13-year-old prostitute was actually 21 years old.
She also described a near escape in the first few months of her captivity, the hellish torture she suffered as Castro’s lone victim for about eight months, how Castro beat her to abort the child she was pregnant with and what it was like when he abducted Amanda Berry.
Knight is the first of the three women to publicly tell her story with a two-part appearance on the Dr. Phil show.
Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, announced a book contract in October, but Knight, 32, declined to be part of the deal.
Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts of rape, kidnapping, torture and aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years by an Ohio Judge on Aug 1. He was found dead in his jail cell on Sept. 3.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Recent posts in National News